THUNDER BAY – When you hear Urban your thinking Hip Hop, Reggae or R&B. but to the surprise of Urban Star’s creator Chris Sharpe and celebrity panel, Kid Canada and last years winner Dele o , this wasn’t the case at all. Two launch parties were held on June 3rd & 4th and the auditions were seen on Sunday at Jacks with Shaw Cable filming all three days.
Zack Tilson saw himself representing the entire Hip Hop community alone , standing amongst eleven vocal and acoustic artists of different genres.
Andrew Hamilton, the man behind the sound for the entire weekend and the auditions decided at the last minute to try out. Thinking the judges had already made their decisions he thought it would be fun to get up without any pressure. Andrew only picked up a guitar just over seven months ago.
Scrambling to borrow a guitar , fellow competitor Cody McCowell of Pictures of Tomorrow willingly gives up his own stringed instrument and handed it to Andrew as he gets up onstage.
Introduction, He begins…….The room falls silent, even the friendly bull dog that hung about aimlessly put himself on paws and the entire crowd sits frozen to their chairs . The judges look at each other in unison and the pens that were once moving halted until Andrew’s performance of his original titled “Bittersweet” came to a saddened end.
By this time i’m looking around the room in tears and glad i wasn’t the only one thinking the same thing the judges were, “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”. But of course we had to haul him into The Urban Boutique ASAP to get the FYI down low.
Growing up on the east coast, Andrew had an early start to music singing in choirs and learning piano at the early age of three years old. His mother was a University graduate with her degree in music so she inspired him and his siblings to be the best they could be.
Moving west in his mid teens lead him to joining a prominent vocal jazz choir that seen 18 very lucky individuals on a cross Canada tour. Pretty impressive.
Andrew finally settled in Thunder bay with his family just under 10 years ago getting his first taste of rock n roll as lead singer of a local rock band that lasted 3 years.Graduating Grade 12, he went on to making an impact on improving the vocal society of Thunder Bay , one student at a time teaching voice at Music Place for the past 6-7 years. His passion, persistence and perseverance were also rewarded with the manager’s position that he still currently holds.Being behind the scenes in the music industry and sound technician at Jacks on weekends has allowed him to see things in a different perspective. This is why he created “open mic night” held on the last Saturday of every month at Calico Coffeehouse.“There aren’t enough places outside of our local bar scene that allows people of all ages to come out with their instruments. It’s a friendly environment with an amazing atmosphere and great people. Exposure is really important and I’m just giving the youth that opportunity to grow.
‘I FEEL LIKE ONE OF THE ONLY ONES WHO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND CAN SAY, THEY ACTUALLY LOVE THEIR JOB”In the months to come we’ll keep you updated on Andrews road to Urban Star Winnipeg!!
Raechel Reed – MMG (An Urban Boutique Company)