OCL Studios, located just east of Chestermere has been nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Recording Studio of the Year Award.
“We’re really excited,” said Studio Manager Megan Owen, “The Canadian Country music industry is phenomenal to be a part of.”
This is the fourth time that the studio has been nominated for this award, but they have yet to win it.
“But we’ve only been around for about six years so we’re still pretty new,” said Owen.
The CCMA awards are peer nominated which, Owen said, makes the nominations that much more special.
“That’s probably the best part, it’s not a bunch of people we’ve never met, it’s people that have actually worked here or heard of us or heard our music that are like ya they’re doing something really cool over there,” she said.
“So that kind of adds an extra nice touch for sure,” said Owen.
OCL Studios is up against four other studios for the award.
“I’m pretty sure that is the exact same nominees as last year,” said Owen.
She describes the Canadian recoding industry as tight knit and very friendly.
“The whole music community in Canada is very small and studios are even a smaller part of it,” said Owen.
“Everybody knows each other, we’re all friends, it’s really great.”
That friendly atmosphere means that when Owen and other members of OCL Studios go to the CCMA Awards Gala in Hamilton in September there will be the feeling of one big family reunion.
“Its kind of one of those things where you can’t lose,” she said, “either you get to go up and make a speech or you get to see one of your friends go up and make a speech.”
She said that whether OCL Studios wins or not, just having a strong recording industry in Canada is a win.
“So, we’ll just celebrate anybody who’s working in Canada,” she said.
While OCL Studios has been nominated for a CCMA award, they work with any genre of music or recording project.
“We are always busy,” said Owen.
Of the country artists they worked with this past year that led to their nomination, Owen said a few projects stand out.
“The biggest ones would be the latest George Canyon Album, South Side of Heaven, was done here,” she said.
OCL Studios also worked on Brett Kissel’s latest album, We Were That Song.
The work on Kissel’s album also led to OCL Studios Recording Engineer Spencer Cheyne being nominated for producer of the year.
“He worked on…We Were That Song, he’s a co-producer on it,” said Owen.
“So, he’s up for two things,” she said.
In addition to the big country stars they worked with this year, OCL Studios also recorded with emerging band Leaving Thomas.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Owen.
“They did their debut album here and it debuted at number one on iTunes, so we’re excited about that one.”
OCL Studios is unique in Western Canada in that it is a residential studio.
In addition to the two recording rooms and a rehearsal hall that is also used to create live performance sounding recordings, OCL Studios also provides living space for bands to stay in while working on their project.
“You literally can just incubate yourself and focus on your projects,” said Owen.
Because of this ability to just live at the studio and focus on a project, OCL has had bands from across Canada and the world come record there.
“The furthest we had was a group from Australia named Jetty Road and they were here for a month,” said Owen.
“Their producer was from BC and he said well this isn’t quite the middle, lets meet here,” she said.
While the Australians weren’t impressed by Alberta’s cold November weather, Owen said they enjoyed working and recording with them.