Local musician pursuing lifelong dream through Sing NL
Rodney Slade is one of four contestants heading to the semifinals of the Sing NL competition this May — something he says is a dream come true.
Slade, 19, lives in Victoria, and has been singing since the age of seven, saying that he picked up an interest in music through his family, specifically his mother, who is a trained singer.
“Mom would be just going around the house, practicing her songs for church, or anything else she had coming up,” explained Slade. “So I think I was initially inspired to start singing from her.”
Music has always been a big part of Slade’s life. He grew up around family members who sang and played guitar, and throughout his school life he was involved in several music productions, including things like CC Idol at Carbonear Collegiate. Slade noted that he wouldn’t be able to do what he does if it were not for the music teachers he had in school while attending Persalvic and Carbonear Collegiate.
Upon hearing about Sing NL, Slade said he was hesitant as to whether or not he should give it a shot. He said that when he decided to go through with it, he felt a sense of nervousness Rodney Slade has been since the age of seven. singing
during auditions that he wasn’t used to.
“My hands were shaking like crazy,” said Slade. “It’s not like a normal gig. I’ve played in front of audiences before with no issue, but this is a competition — there’s a win or lose aspect to it, and that was different for me.”
Slade has played gigs all over his hometown and surrounding areas, both as a solo act and with a band he and his friends formed a couple years back called Midnight Drive, who have set off two youth rallies where all funds received were donated to the Ronald McDonald House.
Despite the nerves, Slade came out of his audition successful, and has continued that streak of success up to this point.
Now, Slade is preparing for the semifinals, which take place in St. John’s on May 5.
“It’s been a mind blowing experience so far. Surreal, really,” said Slade. “This is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life, you know? I guess everyone has dreams of making it big, but I Roberts at 12:30 p.m. Anyone that is taking their own vehicle are asked to be at the Bay Roberts Legion to start the Form Up at 1 p.m. For more info call 596-3691. think this is a real step in that direction. It’s not like, national level big, but it’s still a huge deal and opportunity for me.”
Zack Werner is one of the judges for Sing NL. Werner, who was also a judge on Canadian Idol, has been acting as something of a voice coach for Slade sales end at 8:45 and the draw takes place at 9 p.m. This week’s escalating jackpot is estimated to be at $11,000. There is a 50/50 draw at the end of the evening. and other competitors, which is something Slade isn’t used to, having never taken voice lessons before in his life.
Slade mentioned that Werner’s been a very big help during his Sing NL experience, and said that without the extra work Werner’s put in, he’s not sure he’d be where he is in the competition right now.
All Sing NL performances are done in front of Werner and other judges, as well as an audience. After the performance, judges contribute 50 per cent of the votes, and the audience adds the remaining 50 per cent.
Slade said that even if he doesn’t win the competition, he still has plans for a career in the music industry. At the moment, he has several original songs written and completed, and is hoping to get them recorded when he’s finished with Sing NL.
His own songs take influence from artists such as Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Country music has always been a favourite of his.
Sing NL has been ongoing since mid March, and will continue with qualifying rounds through April. The finale takes place on May 20.
The winner of the competition will be given the choice to work with either Peter Daniel Newman or David Fitzpatrick, along with several other prizes including their own music video produced by Up Sky Down Films, a professional photoshoot, a month of vocal lessons with Werner, several performances at various places in St. John’s, and other things that would be beneficial to a career in the music industry. Labrador but spots are limited. For more information email laubach@ nf.aibn.com or call 709 634 5081.
Have you been turned down for status with the Qalipu First Nations Band? If so, consider joining the Mi’Kmaq First Nations Assembly of Newfoundland as we fight this decision. Contact us at 1-709-3886362 or check us out on our website www.mfnan.org.
Rodney Slade (right) with Zack Werner, one of the judges for Sing NL.