By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Country music fans may be a fan of his work, but not know his name. However, they may get an introduction to Oshawa’s own Brandon Heard at the upcoming Canadian Country Music Awards next month.

Heard has been nominated not once, but twice for best album cover.

“It’s huge. It’s one of the best honours in the industry,” Heard tells The Oshawa Express. “It means I chose the right calling and being recognized for it. It’s pretty awesome.”

Heard has his name listed twice in the best album art category for his work on Chad Brownlee’s The Fighters and The Boom Chucka Boys’ Ramble.

While this is the first time Heard has been nominated twice in one year, this will mark his fourth year in a row that he has been up for a Canadian Country Music Award.

“It was 2012 for Chad Brownlee’s last album Love Me or Leave Me. Year after that, we got nominated for Hey Romeo’s Twist of Fate. Last year was Jess Moskaluke’s Light Up The Night,” he says. “But this year is two nominations on two different labels. It’s kind of neat. I guess I’m up against myself in the final balloting.”

Heard first got into the world of designing albums back in 2009, joining Sheila, now his wife, who had been to school for music business management, going to work for MDM Recordings, an independent Canadian label that focuses on country music.

Heard’s work with MDM Recordings saw him working with various Canadian country music artists, including those for which he received CCMA nominations, such as Chad Brownlee and Jess Moskaluke.

However, as Heard’s name became known in the industry, other labels came calling.

“Since then, it’s been one after another. And it’s awesome,” he says.

The award for best album art will be presented at a lunch ceremony on Sept. 11 during Country Music Week in Halifax, ahead of the main awards show on Sept. 13.

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