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Monday, October 22, 2012

Hamilton 24 Festival Birthed AndrewVictoria's Champion Song

Singer, Song and Songwriter in Perfect Union

"It's not the singer, it's the song" 

Well, I beg to differ. 

In the case of AndrewVictoria's Repeat Yesterday, singer, song and songwriter are entwined perfectly, resulting in a song that has now won the Intel Superstars contest, and bringing the prize total for this song to four. Hamilton duo Andrew Rudd and Victoria Boland made an international splash last week with 140,000 voters/fans and a panel of industry judges on ourstage.com by winning the competition hands down.

Andrew Rudd, Victoria Boland
Not Your Typical Contest

Ourstage.com is a streaming music site that creatively links independent artists with a highly engaged listener base. Says Rudd, "They want fans to sign up as listeners of independent music, and then to build playlists. Listeners star artists they like and a ranking system is built."

"The competitions are a way to bring artists in. The prizes are great, and it allows them to give something of value back to the artist." Ourstage's strategy is to create a series of high profile performance and competition opportunities. The artists then upload their songs, create a profile, and then enter themselves into various arenas of competition. The listeners vote for the artist of their choice through a series of one-to-one match-ups. Listeners must listen for fifteen seconds of each song before they can cast their vote, and then they don't get the same match-up again without listening and voting for several other acts as well. 

Which makes it almost impossible to abuse the system.

AndrewVictoria entered into The Intel Superstars Competition, which is the highest level of competition. Previous winners have been offered TV appearances such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and opening spots for Keith Urban. The event was open to Canadians this year for the first time. In the first round of competition, AndrewVictoria competed against others in their genre. After a few months of voting and exposure, the top 20 artists in each group formed a multi-genre cadre of 140 semi-finalists.

AndrewVictoria rose steadily through the rankings, ending up in the top 3. The top 20 finalists were then judged on these specific points:
  1. Songwriting structure
  2. Vocals
  3. Presentation
  4. Likeability
  5. Musicianship
  6. Quality of recording

Congratulations AndrewVictoria!

A Rich Year of Opportunity for AndrewVictoria

The Hamilton duo, comprised of Andrew Rudd and Victoria Boland, has been taking lots of initiative in recent months. Like all entrepreneurial musicians, they are working hard at the invisible part of the music business: making connections, engaging fans, responding to opportunities, following up with promoters, applying for music festivals, and in general building relationships. Their aim is simply to share their music and song-writing with an ever-widening audience, all the while being true to what they believe they are called to do.

Accolades flow freely from audiences and fans in the dozens of venues, songwriting competitions, shocases and festivals they've played in around the GTA. Just a week ago, they performed for the Songwriters Association of Canada's (SOC) Indie Week showcase at Czehoski's in Toronto. Back in July Repeat Yesterday won "Best Song of the Year" category in the Barrie New Music Festival.

In Hamilton, they are grateful for hometown recognition and don't take it for granted. The past year has been a whirlwind of activity and experience. Here are a few highlights: September 2011 - successful audition for Canada's Got Talent (Martin Short as host). Very positive first showings and affirmation from the producers required them to commit blocks of time to potential live TV sessions all through the winter. (Here's the story as told by Victoria). In January Victoria was named Female Vocalist of the Year by Image FM. February also included a performance with Brian Melo at the Sylvester Stallone gala at Carmen's, and performance at the multi-day Winterfolk Music Festival, Toronto. The summer was full of shows including an opening for Ian Thomas with Brian Melo, a lunchtime Ferguson Station concert for the Downtown Hamilton BIA, and a fundraiser picnic for Bridges To Community Canada. The BTCC event is an annual event that AndrewVictoria have been involved with regularly. BTCC helps raise money for construction projects in needy areas overseas.

The Intel Superstars award is an affirmation of the talent and hard work.

As we chat over a meal at Rankin's on Main Street East, I'm impressed once again by the honesty and integrity of these two. What a great addition they are to the music life of Hamilton. Life takes some strange twists and turns, they say. "Repeat Yesterday would not have been written if it were not for a last minute decision on their part to enter the Hamilton 24 Festival competition in 2011," Boland says. "So often, we take initiative and apply to enter a festival, competition, or showcase and there is no response, let alone helpful feedback." I'm left with no doubt that acknowledgement and respect for people is an important guiding principle for AndreVictoria.

Not Your Typical Song

Originally a film competition, the Hamilton 24 expanded to include music and other arts in 2011. The entrants had 24 hours to write a song with three characteristics. First, it had to include clapping or knocking; second, it had to include "I can't tell you" in the lyrics; third, it had to include the theme of waking up. With inspiration coming in the wee hours of the night as time was running out, things finally clicked.

Here's the brilliant piece of work that was born. Click here to listen.

Repeat Yesterday

by AndrewVictoria

You knocked me out, blew me away
You stole my words so I had nothing to say
You made me yours, your sweet endeavor
I can’t tell you but it lasts forever
All those times I heard people say
That waking up would be okay

Hold my hand just a little bit longer
I feel your strength and it’s making me stronger
Kiss me once, make the world go away
And serenade me back to sleep so we repeat yesterday

It wasn’t long for me to realize
That what I saw in you, you saw in my eyes
A perfect stranger in my dreamland
You woke me up, you helped me stand
I had my doubts but you proved me wrong
And now I ever wonder how it took so long

Hold my hand just a little bit longer
I feel your strength and it’s making me stronger
Kiss me once, make the world go away
And serenade me back to sleep so we repeat yesterday


So, what do you think? 

Leave a comment about AV's performance, and your thoughts about the song.

You can buy AndrewVictoria's EP at their website http://andrewvictoria.com

2 comments:

CRUISEROO said...

Excellent writeup Glen. Thanks so much for this, and all you are trying to do for local Hamilton musical talent. It's our privilege to have you championing not just AndrewVictoria, but all the gifted singers and songwriters in our city.

Glen T Brown said...

Thanks for the nice words!