Celebrating homegrown talent, Canadian Idol’s Zack Werner launches 2019’s Sing NL competition
Zack Werner knows talent. Back in his Canadian Idol, judge days, Werner worked with local stars like Rex Goudie, Craig Sharpe, Tara Oram, Jason Greeley, Jenny Gear and Mark Day, but his music biz expertize has also had an international flare.
More than a competition
From Red Hot Chili Peppers to The Black Eyed Peas and Finger 11, Werner’s been teaching, producing and writing music his entire career. And now, he’s proud to call Newfoundland home and wants to share the wealth, so to speak. One way he hopes to inspire the next generation of musical talent is through teaching music classes at his Idol School NL.
Now, through Sing NL, Werner hopes to reach province–wide attracting those with the desire, talent, and will to make it.
“It’s more than a competition. It’s about trying to offer an opportunity. It’s about a celebration of the fact that everyone has a voice and anyone wanting deserves an opportunity not to just compete, but to sing and to be celebrated as the people that we are.”
Youth don’t always get the audiences they deserve, he continues. “It’s really difficult for kids to get a chance to not just be seen as part of the traditional music of Newfoundland, but rather to be seen as artist unto themselves.”
Werner has hosted this competition before, and so many have worked their way up through the musical ranks after the experience. 14-year-old Abigale, whose talent has been featured within the pages of The Herald is but one.
“She’s brilliant. She is talented. And so is Rachel Cousins (featured this week, pg. 24) who has done great. And Matthew Cooper has done amazing within the classical world and performs with Atlantic BoyChoir,” Werner proudly offers.
Bursting with talent
But then, Newfoundland is bursting with talent, he continues.
“This competition covers all genres, it’s for all voices. It’s about anyone singing, pure and simple. For anyone with beautiful music within them.”
‘The stakes are higher’
Many have a tendency to see Newfoundland as isolated, he shares, but that’s just not the case. In a world of social media, we are not isolated, he insists.
“There is an easy reach across the entire universe. If what you do is great, there is a world that is easily reached through the social media world. Plus, just paying attention. We reach people through Spotify, through Instagram. We were all attached instantaneously. So what becomes important is doing great work and doing great things. That is universal.”
Online registration opens Nov. 1st and this year, Werner says, is special.
“We’ve partnered with NTV, OZFM and The Newfoundland Herald, so the impact potential is far greater, the stakes are higher this time around. The winner’s music will be featured on OZFM, which is huge, because you instantly gain access to a global audience. Then the media power and exposure of television/print and the online reach is limitless. So that immediately gives you an audience. That is irreplaceable.”
‘create the opportunity’
Plus, being seen as a “credible” performer within one’s own community is priceless. “One can never underestimate the importance of succeeding within your own backyard.
“There’s proof that locally, individuals and bands can succeed to really high levels. Shanneyganock. Great Big Sea. It cannot be underplayed how great a career can be had just being successful in this marketplace. Being successful in Newfoundland for Newfoundlanders can create an entire career.”
Werner’s enthusiasm is contagious. He laughs. “It’s easy to get excited,” he offers. No need to apologize. He continues, “You can’t underplay what it means to be successful here. Your own backyard really matters. You create the opportunity, there’s no limit to the magic that can happen.”
For more contest information, visit Idol School NL on Facebook.