Local singer regains voice — and a new album

Alecia Aichelle’s soon-to-be-released debut country album is very appropriately called Golden.

Alecia Aichelle’s soon-to-be-released debut country album is very appropriately called Golden.

However successful it turns out to be, the Red Deer-area country singer already considers it miraculous.

A dozen years ago, Aichelle defied medical odds after undergoing surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor that had wrapped around her thyroid gland. She was then an 18-year-old student enrolled in Red Deer College’s music program as a voice major.

Aichelle had been singing her whole life. But the only voice she had left after the operation was a “Mickey Mouse whisper.”

By lowering a camera down her throat, a doctor determined her recurrent laryngeal nerve had been sliced right through. “That’s what makes your vocal chord work,” recalled Aichelle (pronounced I-kel, like ‘Michael’).

“The doctor told me, ‘When a nerve is severed, it’s done … You’ll probably never talk again, and you will never sing again.’”

Aichelle was devastated — and angry at God at first. “I thought, why would he give me this passion and gift only to take it away?”

But she soon found strength in her Christian faith. She decided, “I’m going to be healed and maybe all this will become part of my story.”

Although the Kelowna, B.C.-native had to switch to piano to complete her first year of RDC, she was determined to sing again. She credits prayers, as well as her “perseverance, trust and patience,” with helping her slowly regain her vocal range by her second year at RDC.

There’s no medical rationale for the full recovery, said Aichelle. “My doctor said, “You’re talking!” He was totally blown away.”

Aichelle made a home in Central Alberta after graduating from RDC. She spent the last decade or so co-writing music in Nashville, performing at local clubs and seniors homes, and at charitable fundraisers.

In 2013 she put out a five-song, self-titled digital EP that contained the song Beautiful for You. Its lyrics hint at her time of despair. “It’s about being broken down in pieces and about asking God to put me back together as something beautiful for him.”

Aichelle’s including this song on her new Nashville-produced album, Golden, which will be released in the spring.

The first single from the album is a love song called Without June. It was recorded in Red Deer at Heath West’s Melodious Designs Studio and was released to country radio stations, including Red Deer’s KG Country.

Aichelle’s excited that her single was put to a public vote by an Ottawa country station. And Without June — which refers to a love as enduring as Johnny Cash’s for June Carter Cash — received more listener support than another original country tune from an Eastern Canadian artist. It will, therefore, advance to the second round of the contest.

Another thrill was recently performing the single, as well as several other songs, at the famed Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Those attending the Feb. 7 Bridal Gala at the Westerner in Red Deer can hear her sing Without June at the 11:30 and 2:30 p.m. shows.

Other fans can stay tuned for a yet-to-be-announced CD release party, which will be planned for a Red Deer venue after Aichelle’s album is out in March or April.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19 that it has already banned. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook says it will choose which publishers it will support

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

NDP and Liberals both promised some kind of pharmacare program

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Admiral Art McDonald has voluntarily stepped down as Chief of Defence Staff due to an investigation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Admiral Art McDonald steps aside as defence chief amid investigation

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre appointed acting chief of the defence staff

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

FILE - The Paramount Pictures gate is pictured on Aug. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. The studio is joining other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. ViacomCBS on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, announced that the studio’s films, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” will go to its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
‘Mission: Impossible 7’ will hit Paramount+ even sooner

90-day theatrical window reduced to 45 days

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Defending champion Einarson stays unbeaten in Tournament of Hearts

Players suggest a spectator-free debut made it less intimidating

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole on his way to winning the Canadian Open Championship at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont. on Sunday Sept.10, 2000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘The Tiger I know is a survivor and a fighter,’ Bill Paul weighs in on Tiger Woods

Woods was hospitalized after a single-vehicle crash near Los Angeles on Tuesday

Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) as Flames' Christopher Tanev (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) defend during first-period NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien looks towards the ice as his team takes on the Ottawa Senators during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. The Canadiens have fired head coach Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien, associate coach Kirk Muller

Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien, associate coach Kirk Muller

Most Read