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Music Artist Spotlight- London Lawhon

Posted on May 22, 2017 by admin

What does winning the 2017 Texas Dream Night Talent Search mean to you? 

Winning TDNTS meant I won over a little bit of the battle with confidence as an artist I was struggling with, winning, and just being around other artists who respected what I do so much and voiced that respect really resonated with me! The grand prize will also help fund my trip/shows in LA this summer which is a blessing!

What inspired you to become a musician?

I’ve always loved music from an early age, but what inspired me to become a musician is the connection and control the performers I would watch on TV and online had over their audience. It amazed me how a single song could bring a person to tears yet inspire another to overcome obstacles. I wanted to know what it felt like to stand back on stage and hear a crowd sing my lyrics back to me, so I told myself I was going to try until I made it reality.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Every day is a new surprise in the music industry. I’ve come to realize that I tend to surprise myself every time I step on stage. The real surprise though is the competition aspect of everything you’re working towards in a music career. In a way Texas Dream Night Talent Search is a small scale taste of the industry, there are hundreds upon thousands of performers looking to take your spot, so you have to make it count. That was always a shock to the system when I thought about it.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge to date comes in two parts. The first is finding shows to play in my area, and the second is having the guts to play locally in front of people I know in the community. In Houston venues for my music are hard to find, but when I do find them it takes a little extra courage to play the places just because people who know you personally tend to judge a little more.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

When writing lyrics, I always draw inspiration from the emotions I fight daily because of my anxiety. It’s always an emotional moment when I get the words down, then subsequently a release when I find the chord progression that fits the mood just right. I write my experiences of love, life, and music!

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

My most memorable performance was in the Klein Variety Show 2016 where I was the grand finale act. I had done the show for 4 years and it was my last chance to get on stage to sing for my friends before we all parted ways. I sang Stone Cold- by Demi Lovato and the crowd went insane! I had my friends and myself in tears by the end. So fun!

Anything else you want to share? 

I was so blessed to be a part of Texas Dream Night Talent Search. The people and the experience will be with me for the rest of my life I know! Thank you to the judges Wendy, Chad, and Debi for the feedback and knowledge! I am working on new music and new videos very soon!

You can check out London at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/londonlawhon

Music Artist Spotlight- Ashley Yankello

Posted on November 27, 2016 by admin

What does winning 2016 Ohio Dream Night Talent Search Competition mean to you?  Music Competition Winner

It makes me very happy and thankful to be selected out of all of the amazingly talented artists in the event.

What Inspired You to Become a Musician?

My mother inspired me.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

One instance comes to mind when I performed “Le Jazz Hot!” in a pageant where the microphone stand wasn’t tightened and it started sliding down, but I had to keep going!

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Having to perform with a lingering cold and sore throat.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

So far I’ve mainly performed cover songs, but I do like to experiment with lyrics that come into my head and while playing with my keyboard.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

Performing the National Anthem on a Friday night at a Major League Baseball Game in front of 30,000 fans.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I performed a duet with The Jaggerz, who had a gold record, on the 4th of July.

You can check out Ashley at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/ashley-marina-yankello

Music Artist Spotlight- Mikalyn Hay

Posted on October 13, 2016 by admin

mikalyn-hayWhat does winning the 2016 Tabletop Records Competition mean to you?  

Winning the 2016 Tabletop Records Competition means a lot to me! There were so many talented artists entered, so I was super surprised when Marcellus and Rafael called me with the news. When I was talking to them, we automatically clicked and I’m super excited to be working with them. As an artist, having Tabletop to back me up is super beneficial and all the projects we’re going to work on in the future is really exciting to me. Tabletop is a great resource to have as a young artist starting, and I can’t wait to work with them. This is definitely a big step in my career, and I’m super thankful for this opportunity.  

What inspired you to become a Musician?  

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a musician. When I was 10, I wrote my first song, and I never looked back. Every day, the people I meet inspire me to keep going and keep writing songs, with the stories they have. Music is something that I truly love, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.  

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?  

When I started music, I didn’t appreciate how much hard work it really is. The good thing though is that there are many amazing talented artists to work with who are so supportive and love to collaborate. This makes the work fun, as a young artist starting out advice, is a pleasant surprise.  

What has been your biggest challenge to date? 

The biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is finding venues to play at, and bandmates to play with who are my age. Some venues I can’t play at because I’m only 14. Bandmates wise, it’s sometimes hard to co-ordinate, because everyone has their own schedule. Most of the time, it’s just me and the piano, so I have to try extra hard to keep things interesting, which is why I’m trying to utilize things like loopers and different musical styles and songs to keep my live music interesting for an audience.   

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?  

My process for writing isn’t set in stone. Usually, for me, it starts with a melody. I will make myself sit down, and come up with a melody. Then, the words just come. Other times, I hear a story or someone says something that sparks an idea, and I write it in my phone. Then, I go to the piano and using that as a base, will start blurting out ideas that I like. However, since I’ve been co-writing, I’m getting introduced to many different writing techniques and learning that there’s not one specific way to write a good song.   A great writer that I have been working with lately says to put away the guitar and write based on vibe and then to build the song around that vibe.  I have some songs in the works that are very interesting and built that way and I am curious to how they will be received.  

Have you shared the stage with anyone we might know?  

At the LivLoveLyrics event I shared the stage with Tyler Shaw. He was super nice, and let us hang out and store stuff in his dressing room. He also invited us to sing with him at the end, which he didn’t have to do. He’s a great guy!  I have also shared the stage with Shawn Brady who is a crazy talented Toronto musician.

Tell us about your most memorable performances. 

I have two performances that hold a special place in my heart. The first was this past July, when I attended SongStudio in Toronto. At the end of the week, certain artists got selected to play at Hugh’s Room (which is a famous venue in Toronto) for a showcase. Everyone was really talented, and seeing all the hard work we had done that week pay off was cool. The band was super talented and I was happy to say that I got the chance to play with them. The house band had never heard the song and I just gave them the charts and they just joined in – it was so cool to be part of something like that they recorded it – so here it is.  Mikalyn Hay – You and Me.  The best performance I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part was opening for Tyler Shaw at  LivLoveLyrics – which is a very special event in honour of an amazing young girl’s memory.   I had entered the competition with Tyler Simmons and the song we wrote together, called 1:08. It was the first big event I had ever performed at, and it was so much fun. We had our makeup and hair done professionally, and the after party was amazing. I was super nervous before going on, because I had never done anything this big. I remember sitting in a corner, being called on, Tyler not being nervous at all (he had done it the year before), walking on stage, not being able to see anything because of the lights and telling myself “look calm. Look calm. You’ll do fine.” I think they’re doing LivLoveLyrics again this year, so I hope I can do it again.  

Anything else you want to share? 

I’m so thankful to TalentWatch and Marcellus and Rafael at Tabletop Records for giving me this great opportunity, and I can’t wait to see where it leads me! I also would like to thank the amazing people and support team that lead me to where I am today..: Zack Werner, Murray Daigle and Bobby John, Rosanne Baker Thornley and North Easton, Paul Tarvydas and Shawn Brady, John Dexter, the people at SAC that I’ve co-written with and helped me to be the writer I am now, and finally Michael Hay, who is my manager, but above all, my dad. Without him, I would be nowhere. Thank you all so much! 🙂  

You can check out Mikalyn at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/mhay

Music Artist Spotlight- Kaylin Brandsma

Posted on August 1, 2016 by admin

What does winning Wisconsin Dream Night Talent Search competition mean to you?  Music Artist Spotlight- Kaylin Brandsma

Winning the competition was amazing and it was a great opportunity to meet musicians and vocalists from all around the Midwest. The judges for the competition were from all over the US and shared their wealth of knowledge about the music industry and acted as mentors for us all weekend. It was awesome to work with judges who really invested their time and talents in each contestant. They talked about what steps were needed to promote yourself and get recognized along with the importance of staying connected to fans and so much more! Most of all, it was an opportunity to sing in front of others and get constructive feedback from the judges and fellow competitors.

What Inspired You to Become a Musician?

I have been singing as long as I can remember. In my house, music was and still is always on, whether it be on the radio or the television. My family would always turn on the radio in the car and we would sing along to the music. I used to sing along to the Wiggles and Kids Bop songs as a toddler. Then later, I watched Disney channel and I was influenced by the Disney stars. Then High School Musical came along and I absolutely fell in love with the music and movies. (I actually still am!) I really love Tori Kelly and Adele today.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I am surprised at how other artists have been so supportive and willing to give advice. They are also great sports during competitions and we cheer each other on and give out high-fives. I have met a bunch of talented and generous musicians throughout my singing experiences.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge yet is trying to decide what genre of music I want to go into. I love Country, R & B. contemporary Christian, and Pop.  I just need to stick to one genre for a possible career.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I don’t have any published songs currently, but in my free time I love to write songs. I usually start with the lyrics. The lyrics come from what I am feeling and what is happening in my life at the time. Then, I think of some chords on the guitar to put together.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we might know?

I have opened for local people and bands, but I haven’t worked with anybody that you would know because I am still an up and coming artist.

Anything else you want to share?

I am starting to learn guitar and the basics of piano.  I am looking forward to hopefully working with a band in the future.

If want to find me, like me on Facebook at Kaylin Brandsma Music, follow me on Twitter and Instagram at  Kaylinbrandsma, and subscribe to my YouTube channel Kaylin Sings.

You can check out Kaylin at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/kaylinbrandsma

Music Artist Spotlight- Luxe

Posted on January 27, 2016 by admin

What does winning the Zero to Hero Music Competition mean to you? luxe2

This means so much to me…I’m really thankful, and can’t wait to start recording!

What inspired you to become a musician? 

I’ve always loved music, but I think that what completely pulled me into music was concerts. My first concert was when I was 7, and I’ve gone to about 30 since then.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career? 

It’s truly surprised me how many different choices there are with music. There are a million different sounds and little details that you choose from when making music.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I would say my biggest challenge was probably just trying to get my music heard. I never knew what steps to take, or what to do.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I’m constantly writing lyrics. I don’t really have a process, I just write nonstop all day. I’m inspired by a lot of experiences and people in my life, as well as random everyday things. Everything inspires me.

Tell us about your most memorable performances. 

I can’t actually answer that because I’ve never really done any true ‘performances.’ I’ve performed for family and friends multiple times, but that’s as far as that goes (so far).

Anything else you want to share? 

I’m very thankful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get my music heard. Thank you to TalentWatch and Invengo Productions!

You can check out Luxe at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/luxe

Getting Your Big Break; Fundamental Challenges Facing Artists Today

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Bernard Porter

Over the last three decades, I’ve enjoyed an immensely fulfilling career in the music industry. The greatest reward my team and I have received has been through mentoring some of the world’s most recognized stars as well as people who are just passionate about being the best artist they can possibly be.Getting Your Big Break; Fundamental Challenges Facing Artists Today

But now there’s a big problem in our industry that most artists don’t even recognize. No doubt, there are unprecedented opportunities to get exposure through various online channels and the popularity of TV talent shows have stoked the public’s interest in emerging artists. The problem is, even if an artist gets some initial exposure, there are few good resources to help them continue to develop their craft and create sustained, fulfilling careers.  The way I see it, there are at least two fundamental issues that need to be addressed. One is practical. The other is financial.

At our brick-and-mortar institute, PCG Nashville, we often meet artists who have completed an associate or bachelor in music or are considering a degree program. I’m always dismayed at the lack of practical, real-world training that they received (or would be receiving) from these programs. The problem stems from faculty who have been removed from the day-to-day music scene for years if not decades. Additionally, because of the time it takes publish textbooks, the curricula that rely on these texts often reflect what was happening in the industry years ago. In essence, these students are learning music history…not helpful if you’re trying to make it in today’s music industry.

The second problem is financial and compounds the issues found at traditional music programs at the associate and bachelor degree levels. Like most higher education programs these days, the annual tuitions plus fees associated with room and board are tremendous and only growing. So much so, that even if these programs are within financial reach of the artist, it certainly calls into question the return on their investment. With that in mind, we created PCG Online, an online destination where artists can get anytime, anywhere access to the same lessons that are taught to professional artists. These lessons are created and delivered by a team of instructors that I hand-picked from the network of trusted and talented individuals I’ve worked with for many years. We’ve come together to create the most effective tools that any artist can put to use immediately and continue to use throughout their career. And, we’ve put them on a cutting-edge online platform that makes it easy to learn whenever and from wherever they’re connected.

I say this all the time, but I think it’s worth repeating…Our vision is to ensure that every artist who is willing to work hard and invest in their craft will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals as an artist. That is, in essence, why we developed PCG Online. Check us out at www.PCG24-7.com.

Time Sensitive Discount- If you are interested in plugging into this program, you can receive a 30% discount when you enroll by 11/18/2015 (midnight eastern time).  To receive the discounted rate, input the code TALENT30 when you enroll at www.PCG24-7.com.

About the Author

Bernard Porter is President and founder of PCG Companies.

Music Artist Spotlight- Maddy Wanke

Posted on October 12, 2015 by admin

What does winning the 2015 Ohio Dream Night Talent Search competition mean to you?Music Artist Spotlight- Maddy Wanke

It is truly an honor to win this competition. This was such an amazing experience, and I am so proud to be able to call myself the winner of this competition. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.

What inspired you to become a musician?

Ever since I was a young child I have been singing. I remember still being in a booster seat when I was belting out ‘Picture’ by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. I have always been attracted to music and the way it can touch other people.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Each time I compete in singing competitions, I am always amazed by the wonderful people I meet. As for surprises, I’m always pleasantly surprised by the incredibly talented performers that I encounter at each and every competition. 

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

As a fourteen year old girl, it is difficult when searching for songs that are appropriate for my age and that I can relate to. I need to put extra time into song choice, but it’s always worth it when I find a song I have a connection with.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

I think the most memorable performance was my first performance. I was five years old, and I sang in the school talent show. I sang a song called ‘Maybe’ from my favorite movie at the time, Annie. I was still learning how to read, so my mom had to make picture cue cards for me to learn the lyrics. I brought my stuffed animal on stage with me, Carmel. Thankfully, I remembered all of the words despite my nervousness.

Anything else you want to share?

I truly appreciate the opportunity this competition has given me. I met a lot of fantastic people. I hope to see them all again in the future!

You can check out Maddy at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/maddy-wanke

The Producer’s Chair- Invengo Productions

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Joshua Rumer

Before we talk about what we look for in an artist, we wanted to let you know how excited we are to launch the ‘Zero to Hero’ Music CompetitionThe Producer's Chair- Invengo Productions on TalentWatch. There’s one thing we can guarantee to the winning artist… This will be a career changing experience. It’s more than receiving a Demo Package worth $12,000. It’s about the emotional support and intangibles we provide. For every other artist who enrolls in this competition, we will provide you with feedback to help you as you move forward developing as an artist.

As far as what we look for in an artist, the first thing that sticks out in our selection process is whether the one claiming to be an artist is actually an artist. We define that as someone that has a definitive message, the honest delivery of that message and the skills to back it up. So many musicians are out there just singing or just playing, but their heart and soul do not seem to be ‘in it’. There is an honesty factor missing in a great deal of performers and this is something that is the most difficult to teach.  We can teach someone to be a better performer or player but you cannot teach them to feel.

Secondly, we look for the drive in an artist. We want to be certain that there is a heart in that chest of theirs that is just aching to burst out in a blaze of fire. Drive can be directed into a great deal of aspects of one’s career, but the most important is the understanding that they need this. It is impossible for them to live without being a career artist every day of their life. We do not select artists that want it for the fame or the money. The ‘idol types’ (we call them) do not really understand the concept of hard work because they have never really associated that with their craft. Often times the ‘idol’ mindset prevents them from putting forth the effort to become a career artist. It was Thomas Edison who once said “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I have a medical degree and I have lived in a van down by the river and ate from a pizza shop dumpster to stay in the game. That was a choice and it was probably one of the best moves I have ever made.

Lastly, we look for the following attributes in an artist- loyalty, honesty and dedication.

With loyalty we know we can invest a great deal of time into an artist and have a family style relationship with them.  Assisting someone closer to their goals makes us really happy and when they reciprocate that with a loyalty to our brand we will work for them indefinitely.

Honesty is crucial in working with someone because lines of communication need to be wide open and very uninhibited. This makes for smooth operations, game planning and just an overall sense of common ground. Without honesty someone is just pulling the brake line on the train.

Dedication is necessary for us to agree to be in someone’s corner for the long haul. If we are dedicating hundreds of hours developing and producing their product then it is only fair that they back up that time and creative investment in the form of a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ attitude. Sometimes artists go through some sticky times and we understand and appreciate that. However, as a professional your dedication will enable you to break through those difficult times in order to persevere.

Joshua Rumer, affectionately called ‘The Captain,’ is the CEO and Producer of Invengo Productions.

Music Artist Spotlight- Kaitlyn Renae

Posted on September 21, 2015 by admin

What does winning the 2015 Oklahoma Dream Night Talent Search competition mean to you?Music Artist Spotlight- Kaitlyn Renae

Winning the Oklahoma Dream Night Talent Search means so much to me. It was a true honour to work with Wendy Kay and Debbie Lewin. I learned so much, and it was a dream come true to win. I am very passionate about going into the music industry, so this is one step closer to making that a reality.

What inspired you to become a musician?

When I was about 3 years old, I would sit on my mom’s lap while my two sisters and brother would be taking their piano lesson. My piano teacher told me that I would start singing and so they would stop to listen to me. She told me right before she passed away when I was in 7th grade that God has given me a gift and that I cannot give up until I reach the top. I promised her I wouldn’t give up. She has inspired me since I was 4, when I started piano lessons, to pursue a music career.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I think a great surprise I have encountered in my music career is the many opportunities that have been arising for over a year now. It is truly a blessing.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

One challenge that I am still facing today is getting noticed in my small town in Oklahoma. Although I love my town, it is very hard to get publicity. Possibly in the next year or so, I hope to move to a city like Nashville and also finish my college there.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

When I write a song, I always start with what message I am trying to portray. I then come up with the music and the lyrics little by little. My songs are inspired by something I have gone through or am going through. I like to express how I am feeling through my music and lyrics.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

I have quite a few memorable performances. I will never forget the time that I sang at a big rodeo. Also, I had the opportunity to sing at a Christmas festival. That was an experience I will never forget. Also, I will never forget performing in the Oklahoma Dream Night for two years.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I had the opportunity to open for Gary Morris and Ty Herndon.

Anything else you want to share?

I just want to thank everyone who supports me in my music career. TalentWatch is a great way for you to get out and perform. I learned so much and grew as an artist by participating in Oklahoma Dream Night Talent Search. I am so blessed and honoured to have won this year. I am humbled to have been a part of this great competition. I think everyone who wants to make a career in singing should definitely give it a try. You will learn so much!

You can check out Kaitlyn at https://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/kaitlynrenaeofficial

Music Artist Spotlight- Cameron Molloy

Posted on September 14, 2015 by admin

Music Artist Spotlight- Cameron Molloy

What does winning the 2015 New Brunswick Dream Night Talent Search competition mean to you?

I entered the competition because it’s a great opportunity for an artist to get exposure. It’s a well-run competition and you get to perform on a big stage when the judges think you’re ready. There was a lot of amazing talent at this competition from the USA and Canada. I found that being selected as the overall winner was surreal; I didn’t expect it at all. I just do my thing, listen to the advice of the judges and enjoy the performances. I think the best part of competition isn’t just the winning; it’s also the contacts, exposure and the friends that you make during the process.

What inspired you to become a musician?

Singing and playing guitar was just something I always wanted to do. I’ve been singing my whole life, started learning guitar at 7 years old and I wrote my first song at 8. Music has always been a part of my family. They took me to many folk festivals and we were always listening to many different styles of music on trips and at home. I think seeing other artists, who are amazing at what they do, inspires me in many ways.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I was surprised to make it on to the hit TV show YTV the Next Star as a top 9 finalist out of 7000 auditions. To have Disney producers checking me out online was cool. I was surprised and honoured to be asked to be part of an album for the International Christmas Child Charity. I’m constantly surprised at the amount of support my first EP gets all over the world. I was surprised when I heard some of my songs on the Radio and when I started getting messages from friends that they heard me on the radio. Of course, winning the Dream Night Competition was also a surprise because there were so many amazing artists competing.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I think my biggest challenge at this moment is writing songs for a full album. I’m halfway there, so stay tuned to my social media for upcoming announcements.

What’s your process for writing lyrics and where do you get the inspiration for your songs?

I get lyric ideas everywhere. I hear something catchy or cool and I type it into my iPhone. I’m always thinking about melodies and riffs. Sometimes I start with a melody and the words come later and sometimes I start with the words and then create the melody.  There’s also a place in Sherbrooke Village Nova Scotia that I find to be really inspiring. It’s an old broken dock overlooking the water. It’s very peaceful and a great place to write. I actually wrote my song “Sacred Ground” that I sang in the Finals of the Dream Night Competition on that dock.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

My most memorable performance has to be playing this summer on the Main Stage at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival for a crowd of 10,000+ people. My parents have been going to this festival for years. It was a dream and a goal of mine to play on the Main Stage and it happened this summer. Another memorable performance was being on YTV The Next Star. I got to see how television shows work, made some great friends and a lot of people started following me. Other memorable shows include; singing a tribute to Stomping Tom at a Charity Hockey Heroes weekend at the Casino NB, being a part of Jeff’s Musical Car (youtube) and Jeff’s Musical Couch (Rogers TV).

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I performed a Christmas show in Cape Breton Nova Scotia a couple of years ago with Nicholas David from ‘The Voice.’ I’ve also performed on the same stage and have been mentored by Chuck Brodsky, Michael Johnson, Bruce Guthro, Catherine MacLellan, Stan Roger’s son Nathan Rogers and many other great musicians and people. I just recently opened for Joan Kennedy who was second only to Garth Brooks in Radio plays back in the 1990’s in Canada. I’m also opening for Twin Kennedy soon. They were recently nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award.

Anything else you want to share?

Just that I’m so thankful for all the people in my life that have spent time with me and helped me do what I love to do. I’m proud to say that Wendy Kay of Utopia Artists is one of those people in my life that has helped me and so many others develop as young artists. It’s events like the Dream Night Talent Search that provide opportunities for young artists like me to hone their performance skills, meet like-minded people and to continue to do what they love to do.  Everyone truly wins at events like this.

You can check out Cameron at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/cameronmolloy