A local singer/songwriter has set his sights on Las Vegas. Not for a vacation, but to attend a prestigious talent competition to further his career and delve deeper into the music industry.
Tyler Friedel, 31, of Lacombe, will be attending the Big Talent Showcase in Las Vegas from Aug. 6th to 9th.
The Big Talent Showcase is an event that combines seminars and workshops while allowing dancers, singers, songwriters, bands, actors and models to showcase their talents and connect with opportunities within the entertainment industry.
Friedel will be attending the showcase on a scholarship from Upscale Records and Nova Talent International, but is still seeking funds to ensure his success at the competition.
His quest is his life’s work — playing music professionally.
“I’ve been doing it my whole life,” he said. “My mom played piano and I was musically inclined growing up. I didn’t start playing guitar and writing my own stuff until after high school.”
Friedel began seriously pursuing music in 2007 first as a solo artist and then by meeting another group of musicians by chance, as a successful rock cover band in Lloydminster.
“We opened up for quite a few big names,” he said. “We did some of our own music, songs that I wrote, but we also did a lot of cover songs, basically anything you would hear at a wedding.”
In 2013, Friedel injured his lower spine, which sidelined him from continuing on with the band. He was then once again a solo artist, this time pursuing a country/rock vibe.
“As my writing goes, I’m anywhere from modern alternative rock, such as Daughtry, to country,” he explained. “That’s why I’m going for country rock because you can do the heavier songs and get away with it. If you are a rockers at a country show people think you’re just an over the top country guy. Garth Brooks set the bar pretty high when he was swinging by cables and stuff like that.”
Friedel also has a children’s song titled Just Keep Swimming that was inspired by Ellen DeGeneres’ aim to make a sequel of Finding Nemo, called Finding Dory.
“It’s a total kids song,” said Friedel. “I didn’t mean to write it but I was goofing around with my daughter one day and came up with it. The lyrics are pretty much about not forgetting who you are and standing up for what you believe in.”
Last year, Friedel attended the Big Talent Showcase for the first time, which was hosted in Orange County, in hopes to connect with someone or a talent agency to take him to the next level. Still recovering from his back injury, Friedel was limited to walking with a cane at the showcase, but it didn’t stop him from giving it his all.
“I went on stage and I really impressed the judges,” he said. “I had a microphone that didn’t work and I walked away from the microphone and I said to the judges, as long as you guys can hear me, that’s all I care about. And I sang my song and got a standing ovation.”
Once Friedel left the stage, he was met in the hallway by a president of a record company connected to Sony Entertainment who promptly gave him their card, impressed with his determination to perform despite the faulty mic.
“When I came back from the event last year, I still had to go through rehab for my injury and then I had to go back to work because bills were piling up,” said Friedel of the realities of pursuing music professionally.
This time around, as he was awarded a scholarship to return, he will be participating in two categories — singing and acting.
“I have a way to get into the event but I have to get there,” said Friedel. “I have to stay there, with my hotel costs and eat. That’s why I’m raising funds. But also to help pay for some production stuff as well. Although they are giving out scholarships, I would like to have a little bit extra. Whatever I can do for my portion, I will work for it.”
Friedel hopes to follow the path of Garth Brooks, who in the music world is considered the top of the barrel for country entertainers. “I know I am going in the right direction,” he said. “I definitely feel that I am.”
For more information visit Friedel’s facebook page or visit his GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/gettylertovegas.