Travis Nesbitt hoped for but did not necessarily expect to win a prestigious Canadian Country Music Award. But it turned out to be a stellar year with his name attached to two awards.
There he was in Hamilton, Ontario enjoying the 2023 Canadian Country Association Industry Gala Dinner on Sept. 16 when host Jackie Rae Greening announced his name as Video Director of the Year.
As Nesbitt tells it, “I didn’t want to go up there. I kept thinking ‘give it to someone else. I don’t want to make a speech.’ I was sitting with Clayton Bellamy of the Road Hammers and Dan Davidson, and Clayton said, ‘Get up there, you son-of-a bitch.”
His playful, summery video for Tim & the Glory Boy’s song, Float, also received a statuette for Video of the Year. This artist award is collected by the band.
Producing video content under the moniker NUU Noise, Nesbitt was nominated Video Director of the Year for an entire year’s body of music videos. It included projects for Tim & the Glory Boys, Dan Davidson, Clayton Bellamy, Brett Kissel and The Dead South.
Nesbitt has long been part of St. Albert’s music history. Lead singer for Social Code, he also fronted Los Angeles trio Siiines. Even though the former locally based singer started his career on stage, he also designed promotional graphics and marketing content. By 2015, he was working strictly behind the scenes fully dedicated to producing music videos and brand development.
Just a quick glance at his website's music videos and corporate productions reveals an edgy style unafraid to push boundaries.
“I always try to get better. I like things a certain way. I like them to feel gritty. Maybe it’s because I was in a punk rock band for so many years. Country music videos always play it safe, almost like a commercial. I like to make it more gritty, more artistic.”
One of the perks of being a music producer is travelling across North America. For The Dead South’s music video cover song, Chop Suey, Nesbitt flew to KeyWest, Florida where the band played an outdoor festival.
“They’re a very busy band. When they flew in, we only had six hours with them. So, we hired a production company and put the pieces together. After the concert we rushed to an indoor venue for a couple hours before they flew off again. That was a little hairy.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Tim & the Glory Boys from Abbotsford, British Columbia, pitched an idea for Float involving a pool and whimsical summer inflatables
“We barely finished the conversation when Tim went on Amazon and bought $2,000 worth of floaty things. I was talking to Carla (Tim’s wife) the other day and she said they’re still in the garage from last year.”
Nesbitt won’t receive his trophy for the standard six to eight weeks it takes to engrave and ship it. In the meantime, he jokes about placing the hardware in the bathroom next to the throne.
“Seriously, when Dan’s song Found went platinum, we all got plaques. I think I’ll put my trophy next to the plaques.”
And while Nesbitt could take time off and bask in the glory, the energetic producer is already in preproduction for a Royal Tusk music video and another one for Davidson’s newest single, He Met a Girl.