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Music Artist Spotlight- Kenna Denease

Posted on June 19, 2019 by admin

What does winning the 2019 Georgia Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?

Dream Night means a lot to me. The experience of meeting amazing artists, and learning from the best. But, winning was the most amazing part of it all. Honestly going in thinking I was going to fail because I didn’t have my band, and then winning? Just wow. I can’t thank the judges enough.

What inspired you to become a musician?

My musical inspiration was most likely my biological father. He was a musician for most of his life, playing trumpet in the church band, and singing in the choir. It was almost like I had a piece of him after my parents divorced. But, my Choir teachers and Theatre teachers commended me for my talent every year, and that’s when I knew that it was something I wanted to do.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

I encountered a lot of surprises in my music career, but I think the biggest one was becoming a lead singer for a band that I was lucky enough to create. And, being lucky enough to still be playing with my guys for 5 years, and being a strong band by ourselves for 3 years.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge up until now was dealing with my Uncle passing away. He was murdered almost 7 years ago, and just seeing my family fall apart was the hardest thing to witness as a kid. But, in the end my family was stronger.

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

My original music normally comes pretty fast just because I write with my best friend, who plays guitar. But I get my inspiration from things that happen in my life. For example, the first song I wrote was about my Uncle.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

My most memorable performance was when I was apart of the School Of Rock in Rockwall, Texas. We were performing on the Gotham Stage in Six Flags. I wasn’t on stage singing and the next song up was my favorite, Creep by Radiohead. I remember looking out at my mom and she was crying. I had kids I didn’t even know reaching their hands out at me. It was just an amazing experience.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

In 2017 I sang a song with Austin Allsups. On my birthday in 2017 I sang with my former vocal coach Cole Ragsdale. Also at the last Dream Night in Greenville, Texas, I got up and harmonized with Matthew Fiock.

You can check out Kenna at https://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/kenna-denease.

Music Artist Spotlight- Will Gurley

Posted on May 3, 2019 by admin

What does winning the 2019 Texas Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?

Man, winning this competition was an absolute rollercoaster. I was in the 2018 Missouri Dream Night, and Ms. Wendy Kay will back me up on this, but I was horrible. I had the passion, but that is just about it. The judges suggested a few things and my entire approach to music changed. Now, being an avid member of the theatre community, it was amazing to get to perform songs that come from musicals and actors in them. 

What inspired you to become a musician?

My dad was always playing guitar when I was young, so that sparked my interest. As I got older, I became more of a performer and my love for being on a stage made me want to be a musician. 

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

My biggest surprise has been falling in love with musical theatre. Just about a year and a half ago, I was in my first play and quickly fell in love.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The most challenging part of my music career has been balancing life, school, and music. I always have ideas and want to get them down, and I always want to be performing or playing music, so balancing that and social life and school as well as my Christian faith.

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

Oh my. My writing process is insane. I will start sometimes with a riff, a bass line, or just a melody in my head, or a lyric I want to build a song around, or sometimes I will just start writing and it turns into a song. A lot of my lyrics are semi-autobiographical with lyrics drawn from my life experiences.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

My most memorable performances include playing at the 2018 You Matter Festival (which I will be returning to this year!) and that was just an amazing experience. Getting to share my music and my story through a positive environment specifically for helping raise awareness for mental health issues was just incredible. My other one on the list has to be Dream Night Talent Search Texas. It was so amazing to get to be surrounded by such talented individuals and to have the chance to gain knowledge from some of the biggest industry professionals was so surreal. Another memorable performance of mine was playing Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music. I am the youngest child, so I haven’t spent a lot of time with younger kids, but all of the sudden I had 13 of them! It was such an incredible time and almost all of them call me “dad” to this day. 

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

One of my favourite performances was with Addie Sartino and the Greeting Committee and the You Matter Festival last year, and that was a super cool show.

Anything else you want to share?

My ultimate goal as of now is to make it to Broadway. Not only am I an actor, but I write and have written a musical that will soon be finished, so that is the goal!  

You can check out Will at https://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/willgurley.

Music Artist Spotlight- Davin-lee Chavez

Posted on July 30, 2018 by admin

2018 Missouri Dream Night Talent SearchWhat does winning the 2018 Missouri Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?

It means a lot honestly. I never thought that I could be capable of doing something so amazing!

What inspired you to become a musician?

When I was little I was in my churches children’s choir. I loved the feeling of performing, whether it be with others or by myself. I chased the feeling and started doing karaoke at a local restaurant in my hometown and it just got bigger from there!

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

When I was 12 I was in my first ever singing contest. I was so excited and met so many amazing people, but I figured out that not every singer is as nice as they appear. It’s sad but true.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge when it comes to singing has been overcoming my stage fright. I have never been a shy kid by any means, but I’ve always been scared to sing in front of huge crowds. TalentWatch has helped me a lot in my stage presentation and has taught me that anyone can sing music, but an artist performs it!

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

I actually don’t write any songs at the moment but I would love to learn or collaborate with any other singer/songwriter interested!

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

I have to say that performances to me are always important whether it be karaoke or opening for a band. But the most memorable one has been the Missouri Dream Night Talent Search. Everyone was so talented and it was an honor to perform on such a wonderful stage. The crowd wasn’t huge, but that isn’t what makes a memorable performance!

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I have opened for Clint Black a while back.

Anything else you want to share?

I just want to make sure that everyone knows to follow their dreams. I’ve done 3 dream nights and because I never gave up, I won and met some amazing people while doing it!

You can check out Davin-lee at https://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/davis73703.

Music Artist Spotlight- Daniel Sapphire

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin

What does winning the 2018 Texas Dream Night Talent Search mean to you?2018 Dream Night Talent Search Competition

Winning the Texas dream night means a lot. It gives you a lot more confidence for sure. To know that some of the music industry’s best like who you are and like what you do. That itself speaks volumes, besides the advice they give you to help you along in your music career.

What inspired you to become a musician? 

Honestly, I’m more of an artist than a musician. Yes, I’m a trained percussionist, but I love the art of creating something that no one has heard.

What surprises have you encountered in pursuing your music career?

Fans! I love the fans! They’re the first ones to let you know when you get off the stage, that what you did lifted their spirits, made them laugh or cry. I like hearing everyone’s story and being an artist allows you to meet people from every walk of life. It’s a big plus for sure.

What has been your biggest challenge to date? 

Honestly, picking out which cajón I want to take with me everywhere I go. Haha.

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

Living life. Life gives me music to write. Either my story, a friend’s story or just what’s going on in the world. There’s a song in everything and everyone. You just have to be open to it.

Tell us about your most memorable performances.

Texas Dream Night by far. Being on that stage where many artists have performed. That was the highlight of it all. The Texan Theater has had artists like Toni Tony Tone to Big bad voodoo daddy’s and I got to sing on that stage. I feel blessed.

Have you shared the stage with anyone we would know?

I sang with the band from Small World in San Antonio, which was pretty awesome!

Anything else you want to share? 

Follow my Facebook page, Instagram. Just Google Daniel Sapphire and I’m the first cat at the top! Thank y’all! Blessings!

You can check out Daniel at http://www.talentwatch.com/artist/profile/danielsapphire8.


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.

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.

Is a Music Career Right for You?

Posted on February 18, 2015 by admin

Is a Music Career Right for You?It takes years for most people to figure out their path in life – “What do you want to do?” is a question that we hear starting from a very young age. Working in the music industry often crosses the minds of creative people who love listening to and playing music. But careers aren’t just something you fall into, even if your career is a fun, creative outlet that allows you to express yourself, travel, and do what you love. So, is a music career right for you? Only you can be sure one way or another – but here are a few things to ask yourself before you dive right in.

Do you love to write, play an instrument, or sing?

While not everyone is lucky enough to do something they absolutely love for a living, if you are going to have a career in music you might as well love it. Robots don’t make music, people do (even electronic-tinged techno music still has plenty of creativity and soul). And listeners of all stripes will gravitate to songs that are filled with passion for the craft. Putting your heart and soul into music can only make it better, because it comes from an authentic place – and that’s something that no amount of music lessons can teach. No matter what kind of music you love to create, fans will be able to tell if you’ve infused it with your natural passion.

Can you think creatively?

Creativity is important, especially if you are coming up with original material. As an artist, you can only rely on covers for so long before you yearn to do something bigger – something more “you.” While a good mind for business is also important, your creative mind is what will allow your talents to flow in a way that will get you noticed. Even cover songs can be tweaked and manipulated to come up with something insanely creative and attention grabbing.

Are you ready to work hard?

Just because the music business looks fun does not mean it isn’t a whole lot of work. There are a lot of duties that must be performed, and you are the one in charge of it all: writing, recording, networking, booking gigs, playing live shows, hiring an accountant or manager, interacting with potential fans…the list goes on. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, but yes, it’s a lot of hard work. You can’t sit around and wait for something to happen – you need to be proactive in order to get your name out there and share your talents with the world. Working hard stems from having the ambition to succeed.

If you want a career in the music business, you’ll need a combination of talent, ambition, creativity, and passion. And even if you do have all of the above, it still can take a while for success to come knocking. Be patient, and be ready to work hard and share your best self with the world!

Seven Self-Care Essentials for Musicians

Posted on September 25, 2014 by admin

Being a musician is a lot of hard work – whether you are just trying to make a name for yourself, or have already reached a crowd of fans. Here are a few self-care tips to make it a little easier!

Listen To Your Body 

7 Self-Care Essentials For MusiciansWhile this should be obvious to everyone – not just musicians – it’s something that many people do not do. Often, we ignore signals from our body like headaches, fatigue, and general unpleasantness because we have things to do and places to be. Tune into yourself every once in a while, and do a basic wellness check. You can incorporate this into your daily routine by setting aside time in your schedule to meditate on how your body is feeling. Start with your head and work your way down; this will also give your mind a chance to connect with your body.

Make Time For Rest  

If your body says “I need to sleep,” don’t ignore it! Make time to rest. Many people think they can get by on less than average sleep, especially musicians who sing or play late into the night and then get up to work or go to school. If you can find a way to give yourself a full night’s sleep – do it. And if you can’t, make time for a nap. Ten minutes will do your body good, but anything more than 30 minutes can cause problems. The Mayo Clinic has some advice for healthy nap hygiene here.

Invest In A Throat Spray (If you’re a singer) 

Singers can often be blindsided by sickness or hoarseness, but still feel the need to perform anyway. If you are rigorously practicing or playing shows each night for a prolonged period of time, picking up a bottle of throat spray from Whole Foods or a drug store can be a lifesaver. There are many recipes out there, so purchase one that is closest to your taste. You can find them online, too, if you want to research before buying. And if you are more comfortable with a warm cup of tea, add some honey and lemon to help soothe any throat aches.

Get Some Exercise 

No matter how busy you are, try to steal away some time in your day (or week, if you that’s more manageable) for exercise. Keeping your body strong and healthy can ward off sickness and boost your staying power during performances and practices. Yoga is a calming work out that focuses on both the mind and body thus making it perfect for artistic, creative musicians.

Eat Well 

Eating healthy, whole foods can do just as much good as exercise – and is far tastier. Concentrate on avoiding fast food and highly-processed, sugary food. If you can add more grains, vegetables, and good protein to each meal you will thank yourself in the long run. And as for snacks, prepare your own instead of buying processed, pre-packaged foods. Cut up and Ziploc vegetables, chunks of cheese, nuts, and fruits instead of breaking open a bag of chips.

Create Stress Strategies 

Figure out what causes you stress, and then develop a strategy to either avoid that trigger or to deal with your stress appropriately. In the music world, stress can wreak havoc on your live performance and your ability to wield your instrument, whether it’s a guitar or your voice. When you are busy dwelling on something that stresses you out, you aren’t focused – and it will show. If a person causes you stress, avoid them or talk to them about their behavior.

Value Yourself

Whether you are a rock star in the making, or a lowly apprentice to that rock star, you need to value yourself. Make time for self-care, don’t say negative things about yourself in your own head, and don’t give in to self-deprecation (even if others think it’s funny). Treat yourself like you would a friend. Make it okay to give yourself pep talks, presents, or treats. If you don’t value yourself, it shows.