Over the next couple of weeks individuals should be putting Whiskey in My Water at the top of their to do lists.
Just not quite literally. What sounds like a good start to the weekend is also a song by super talented singer, song writer, musician Paul Lagendyk.
Lagendyk entered Whiskey in My Water into the 2016 CBC Searchlight competition.
It’s the second year in a row Lagendyk has entered the national musical competition.
While last year’s competition featured more of an emphasis on public voting, this year artists can move on to the second round of Searchlight either through votes or being selected by a panel of music industry judges.
Then, in the second round only one top vote getter continues on while the rest of the artists advancing are chosen by the judges.
“If you make it past the first round then you’re attention from people who could be of influence in regards to maybe getting it airplay on the radio nationally,” says Lagendyk. “It’s a good avenue for that.”
Lagendyk says the competition is an wonderful opportunity for himself and other independent artists to promote themselves to a national audience.
There are over 1,700 artists in the competition this year. It’s a bit less than last year when CBC Searchlight had over 3,000 entries.
One reason could be because the format for entries has changed a little. This year the competition amped up its mediums to include more visuals.
Lagendyk had a party to celebrate the release of his debut CD, Shiny Rails To Nowhere, in April 2015 and was able to use footage from himself playing the event for CBC Searchlight.
“It’s not just straight songs this year, you could put in a video too,” says Lagendyk. “I was lucky, I had some footage from my CD release party last year. So I was able to have a video ready and the songs are all done and ready.”
The first round of voting closes on April 20 at 2:59 p.m. EST. Those wanting to check out the video and vote can visit https://cbcmusicsearchlight.ca/entries/70501
“You can’t tell how you’re doing as far as votes go and stuff,” he says. “You know when you make it into the next round.”
For those who may not yet know
Lagendyk and his musical backgroud
Now in his early 40’s, Lagendyk grew up in a musical family. His mom and aunts grew up in the farming community of Powasson and were well known for performing at “kitchen parties.” Each of the three sisters played an instrument and as a family the Lagendyk’s would travel to bluegrass festivals in the summer.
“My mom taught me to play guitar when I was 12,” remembers Lagendyk. “Our household was very much into music all the time.”
At 15, Lagendyk got his first set of drums and was a drummer in a high school rock band. He fondly recalls “rocking out” all the time as many teenage musicians do.
“We were going to take over the world of course,” he laughs. “Then reality struck and we didn’t do that.”
Four years ago, after years of just playing music in his spare time, Lagendyk and his sister joined forces to put together a four song compilation CD as a gift for their parents 50th anniversary.
The CD was produced by family friend Andre Wahl in Huntsville, who then began asking Lagendyk about writing his own songs and performing them. Wahl told Lagendyk it was something he should seriously consider.
“He’s a really good producer,” says Lagendyk. “I put it off but every time our families would get together for dinner or something, he would bug me. Are you writing something? Are you doing something? So, I said, I’ll prove you wrong.”
To prove Wahl wrong, Lagendyk signed up for the North of Nashville country music competition at Casino Rama held a couple of years ago. But rather than stop Wahl’s insistence about Lagendyk’s talent, the experience actually reinforced what the producer was saying.
“I practiced, practiced, practiced, went down there and did one song,” says Lagendyk, who was one of 20 competitors. “I didn’t go any further than the first round of that competition. But there were 15 people who came up after and said you were our favourite of the night.”
This really bolstered the idea that Lagendyk could go a little further with singing and songwriting than just one competition. Eventually he released Shiny Rails to Nowhere and continues to be a favourite artist of Hunters Bay Radio listeners everywhere, while also playing several events in the area.