YTV is looking for the next big thing to hit music and a teenager from northern Manitoba just might be it. Darrelyne Bickel has made her way into the top six of YTV’s popular youth series, The Next Star. The 15-year-old country/rocker from The Pas was chosen out of 3,000 hopefuls from across the country and is the only contestant from Manitoba.
“It’s a really great experience and I am so happy to have had this opportunity,” says Bickel. “I hope that this competition will take me further in my career. I know that it has already taken me farther than I could have taken myself, and I hope it continues in this direction. If just a few more people like my music, I will be happy. It is all about the music.”
Despite her young age, Bickel has built a name for herself performing throughout Manitoba over the past eight years. She released her debut EP, M.I.A., last December. Featuring six original tracks, the release has solidified the singer/songwriter as one to watch out for. She was encouraged to audition for the show by CBG Artist Development’s Chris Burke-Gaffney, who discovered Chantal Kreviazuk and McMaster & James and runs neuroBurke Studios, where Bickel recorded her EP with producer Arun Chaturvedi.
For Bickel to win the competition, she must get the most votes. Viewers can cast multiple votes online to help their favourite singer get a chance at the grand prize, which includes studio time at Metalworks Studios, a showcase at Canadian Music Week, a Gibson guitar, and an Epiphone amp.Universal Music Canada will also distribute and release the winner's songs in spring 2010.
Finalists still have a good shot at exposure, both through the show itself and a Next Star compilation EP showcasing the top six contestants, to be produced and released by Universal Music Canada in October 2009.
Click here to vote.