NSCC student to open for Brett Kissel

WESTVILLE: Bailey MacKinnon is going to Kick it With Kissel.
The 19-year-old Westville singer will be the opening act for Brett Kissel on his “Ice, Snow & 30 Below Tour” which will make its way to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on January 29.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” MacKinnon gushed before heading back to school at the NSCC Strait Area Campus.

“I don’t sing a lot of country music but I grew up listening to it. This is a great opportunity for me and I’m very thankful.”
MacKinnon is familiar to Pictou County audiences as a result of her many performances as a solo performer and as lead singer of the group The Third Step.

“I’ve been singing ever since I could talk,” MacKinnon chuckles.

The talented young woman began taking voice lessons at age five from Darla MacKeil. She stuck with them for a few years then, several years ago, MacKinnon took on a few students of her own.

She also studied piano for several years and is now teaching herself to play guitar. She also accompanies herself frequently on the ukulele.

MacKinnon was chosen as the opening act for the Juno and CCMA award-winning Kissel through a video contest. She was selected among many contestants vying to perform with Kissel through the “Kick It With Kissel” contest.

Participants were asked to record a video of themselves performing their favourite original, cover, or Kissel songs and post it to social media using the “#KickItWithKissel” hashtag. Winners were chosen by Invictus Entertainment and Kissel himself.

MacKinnon uploaded a video of herself singing “Dream a Little Dream.”

According to the contest rules, the winners must perform as an acoustic solo, duo or trio. So MacKinnon is looking forward to sharing the stage with her equally talented musician brother, Brennon, who will accompany her on guitar and she is hoping to recruit former The Third Step bass player Nathan Snell.

MacKinnon has been playing everything from her own originals, to songs by Amy Winehouse and other popular artists. Along with singing, she also plays keyboard.

“I’m excited because I will be playing at home as well as my home away from home.”

The next couple of weeks will be frantic and exciting for the singer as she practises for what will be a 20-minute set – five or six songs, she estimates.

MacKinnon is nervous, but excited for the experience.

“I am a little awkward talking with people, but when I sing it’s different. Singing is definitely the one thing I know I can do, I’m confident when I sing. Music has always been there for me and has really helped me a lot.”

Kissel is a Juno award-winner, multi-Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award-winner and reigning CCMA “Fan’s Choice” and “Male Artist of the Year”. His “Ice, Snow & 30 Below” tour began in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, on January 12 and ends on February 4 in Georgetown, PEI with 17 stops in between.

“I remember how helpful it was to my career to open for a bigger artist and play to a packed house,” commented Kissel in a press release.

“I’m happy to provide a similar opportunity to up and coming artists as there is so much great talent out there!”
For more information visit: brettkissel.com.