Lo­cal mu­si­cian pur­su­ing life­long dream through Sing NL

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca Cal­en­dar is a com­mu­nity ser­vice of­fered by The Com­pass to pro­vide non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions with space free-of-charge to pro­mote their meet­ings and com­mu­nity events. We re­serve the right to edit out ticket prices, ad­miss

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.

Qalipu mem­ber­ship

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.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Rod­ney Slade (right) with Zack Werner, one of the judges for Sing NL.

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