Gulf Islands Driftwood
Voice of the Southern Gulf Islands

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Teen singer gets CTV-show break


Salt Spring high school student Nicky MacKenzie is poised to gain national recognition as a singer, with a new CTV program set to bring her face and name into living rooms all across Canada next month.

Local audiences may recall being wowed by MacKenzie’s soulful blues voice during GISS Music and Gulf Islands School of Performing Arts performances at ArtSpring. An artists and repertoire team for CTV’s new signature show The Launch was similarly impressed by her progress through CBC’s Searchlight contest and invited her to send in a video application for the show last year.

“I wasn’t really expecting to get in, but we got an email and then flew to Toronto,” MacKenzie recalled. “It sort of all happened before my eyes like a dream, now that I think about it. Suddenly I was in Toronto singing for three beautiful people.”

Each episode of The Launch, which debuts on Jan. 10, takes viewers on an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to break in a new artist and launch a new original song to the world. Unlike the standard music contest show that starts with a large group and winnows them down to a champion in the finale, each episode of The Launch is a stand-alone event featuring a different celebrity and producer pairing, who join record mogul Scott Borchetta to mentor five artists for 48 hours or less.

MacKenzie’s show will be aired on Feb. 7.

The mentors give immediate feedback after a multiple song audition, and then select two of the five acts to individually record a song. One recording is then selected to be released to the public the following day.

MacKenzie is in her fourth and final year with GISPA. Her CTV bio notes the Grade 12 student grew up “singing before she could talk.” With her family involved in the Acoustic Planet Music studio, she had lessons on all sorts of instruments and felt most called to piano, guitar and harp, but especially voice.

“Nothing really beat singing for me — that was something I did no matter what,” she said.

For more on this story, see the Jan. 3, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.



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