He just celebrated his birthday Tuesday, but William Prince had another reason to celebrate.

The Oji-Cree musician from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba received two Juno Award nominations for his debut album, Earthly Days.

"It's really overwhelming, it's incredible," said Prince.

"[With all the] time away from my family and those I love, this is exactly what I was hoping to show them that I was working towards," he said after nominees were announced Tuesday.

Prince, who has spent the last 20 years of his life working on his craft, describes his sound as "singer-songwriter, country folk,with a touch of gospel to it."

His Juno-nominated album has been in the works for 10 years.

"I was pacing myself for the last 10 years leading up to the release of the album," Prince said.

Touring life

He has been touring across the Prairies by himself, and enjoys the intimate settings of the small-town performances.

"It's been great. People are so sweet," he said.

While on the road, he has been getting a taste of Canadian hospitality.

"Real kind people along the trail that open their homes to me. I leave their houses closer, and there is a friendship formed. It's a real treat to me."

The Juno nominations will likely add to an already busy schedule for Prince. He credits his new management for doing what they can to get the musician exposure, and expects to be busy for the next two years.

"I've got a fast pass to the front of the line at these music festivals, from Prince Edward Island to Yellowknife. We'll see where the record is taking me. It's an unreal feeling."

The annual Juno Awards show is in Ottawa this year. A week of festivities will lead up to the live awards broadcast on April 2.