Tag: singing

Could a ‘Junior’ edition of ‘The Shot’ be coming in 2019?

The Internet and The Shot fans are abuzz after executive producer C.J. Allen teased the possibility of a junior edition of the popular singing competition via Twitter. Allen posted a logo that could possibly suggest that a new format, one that would invite younger singers to participate could be in the works.

“So this could maybe be a thing.  Perhaps in 2019?  Hmm,” Allen tweeted.

Previously Allen has hinted at the possibility of doing a mini-season of The Shot that would be open to aspiring young talent with the age limit being 7-15 years old.  The parent competition and original version of the show is currently only open to singers age 16 and over and is currently accepting applications for its sixth iteration this fall.

With The Shot Season 6 coming in September, it’s unlikely that ‘The Shot: Junior’ will happen in 2018 but instead could launch sometime in 2019 — though the series has been known to run seasons in quick succession.  Seasons 1 and 2 of The Shot took place just three months apart.

You just never know what C.J. might have up his sleeve.


Where Are They Now? Season 5’s Jayde Taylor

Jayde Taylor has a lot to give: from her confident presence to her beautiful vocal to her phenomenal songwriting ability.  Jayde auditioned for the judges in Season 5 and had this to say about her experience and the advice she has for anyone thinking about auditioning for Season 6:

What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

My favourite part about doing The Shot was the networking.  I loved meeting everyone that was involved and working with them.  Everyone is just so supportive of one another and it’s really great to make those connections with people who must want to see you succeed.

I learned not to be so hard on myself during the process. Things are going to go wrong behind the scenes and on the stage, it’s life and it happens.

The Shot helped me grow in terms of my collaborative skills. We all got to work together and give each other feedback, learn from one another, push each other and that is really what it’s all about.

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

The Shot was the least competitive competition I have ever taken part in. The whole time we were rooting for everyone. It was never about winning or losing for any of us. We were just there to learn and have fun.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

My advice would be … you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I still talk to the friends I made [while part of The Shot] and we are always commenting and sharing each other’s material on social media, just because we are excited about everything everyone is doing. I gained a whole network of people I trust and adore and that is honestly a very rare occurrence in this industry, and I have The Shot to thank for that.

What have you been doing since The Shot?

I’ve been recording a new bundle of singles and getting a project ready to be released very soon!

I’ve also been buying music business books and studying that side of the industry.

Where can people find you or hear your music online?

 @itsjaydemusic on all social media.  itsjaydemusic.com to be launched soon

Where Are They Now? Winner of Season 2 James Downham

Season 2 winner James Downham has been one of The Shot’s most vocal and active ambassadors since taking home the trophy back in March 2015.  Since his winning performance of Tim McGaw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin'”, James has started a band, been writing and recording new music and has called The Shot the breath of air that brought new life into his passion for music.  Here’s what James had to say about his experience on The Shot and where he’s been and what he’s been doing since the big win:

What was your favourite part of The Shot?  What did you take from doing it?  How did The Shot help you grow as an artist?

 I think the best thing that I got out of participating in The Shot was becoming part of a community of people who are supportive of each other, who have a sincere desire to see others succeed, and cheer them on as they move forward.

The Shot was a true catalyst for my music career. It gave me the confidence boost I needed to do something I’d been yearning to do for a long time. Truthfully, there was nothing stopping me but myself and my own self-doubt. But joining a community of wonderful singers, artists, and fantastic supports from the community, and seeing others who were pursuing the same path, helped to remove the fear and the doubt.

How was The Shot different from any of your other experiences with performing or doing other competitions?

 I’d never participated in a competition like The Shot before. I honestly expected it to be very different. I thought it would be more competitive – as in, each participant looking out only for themselves, and looking to win. That’s not at all what I experienced.  I think the difference was the coaching and mentoring aspect, and spending time with the other participants. The whole event was framed as a development opportunity (perhaps as much self-development as artist development). Regardless of the outcome, anyone who wanted to learn and grow as a person and as an artist had the opportunity to do so, and to make some friends for life.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about auditioning for Season 6?

 Do it. Only good things can come out of it. Be prepared to work hard – during and after Season 6. The opportunity is whatever you make of it.

What have you been doing since The Shot?

 Wow! I’ve now put together 2 bands (The James Downham Band and my newest project, the Durham County Band). I’ve released 3 songs to radio across Canada (2016’s “Don’t Talk To Girls” and current James Downham release “Fly Away”; current Durham County Band release “Valentine’s Day”); I’ve been gigging, recording, and having fun! Durham County Band’s album will be coming out summer 2018 and I’m really excited about it!

 Where can people find you or hear your music online?

 Search for artists James Downham and Durham County Band in all the usual places… iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Music, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, and all the rest! www.jamesdownham.com and www.durhamcountyband.com

Questions REVEALED: What the Judges Might Ask You in Auditions

Earlier in the week, big changes to The Shot format for Season 6 were announced by producers in what might be the biggest shift for the hit competition since opening to singers age 16 and over from anywhere in the world.

The sixth installment will focus more heavily on development and mentorship of artists and will take a more “Dragon’s Den-like” approach to the singing competition format.  Auditionees can expect for their vocal performance to still play a big part in the judges’ decision to put a singer through to the next phase in the process but those stepping in front of the panel can also expect to be asked more in depth questions about who they are as an artist, their aspirations and how serious they’ve been and intend to be about pursuing a career in music.

While auditions are still several months away, the production team has already begun drafting a list of questions for the judges to potentially pull from when interviewing a hopeful contestant.

We’ve managed to snag a copy of the list to share with those who have already applied or are planning to apply for auditions this September.  Here’s a sample of those questions:

  1. How long have you been performing?
  2. Do you or have you work/ed with a vocal coach or received any sort of training?
  3. What is the largest audience you’ve ever performed for?
  4. How often do you perform in public?
  5. Do you write your own music?
  6. Have you released any of your original music?
  7. Who or what inspires you to do music?
  8. What’s your social media following like?
  9. What made you want to do The Shot?
  10. Where do you see yourself, musically, in 3, 5 or 10 years time?

This is just a portion of the list and these questions may not be verbatim when they’re asked later this year but we expect the judges to pull some inspiration from the suggestions.

Along with the questions above and others, performers will be asked to tell the judges about themselves and their backgrounds.

Whether the questions will come before or after an artist’s performance hasn’t been revealed yet but knowing the judges and their propensity for liking to switch things up,  don’t be surprised if they aren’t held to a formal structure.

The Shot is now accepting video audition submissions for Season 6 and applications are open for the live, in-person auditions on September 8th, 2018.

‘Big Changes’ Coming to The Shot Format for Season 6

THE SHOT has undergone a number of changes and developments over the years, particularly the decision to open the competition to anyone age 16 and over from anywhere in the world, but this year’s latest may be the biggest yet.

The Shot has continued to be Canada’s fastest growing platform for aspiring talent, but amid the rise of other singing competitions — both independent and televised, the show has had to adapt its format if it’s to keep up its success.

Last year’s installment of the hit competition saw producers allow, for the first time, video auditions to be submitted in order to open the opportunity to audition to a broader array of applicants.

The biggest upcoming change, producers say, is that Season 6 will have a greater emphasis on mentorship and the development of artists.  No longer will singers need to wait until the mid-way point of the program to find out which judge will mentor which group of hopefuls or to start the mentoring process.  The judges will be informed of which category they will mentor at the end of auditions, the announcement will be made at the start of the Callbacks and mentorship will begin immediately.  In addition, the judge/mentors will have autonomous control over how their groups develop and which acts advance to future stages of the competition in contrast to past seasons where advancements were decided by the judges collectively in closed door deliberations.



Producers also acknowledge that the perception of The Shot has been a challenge and that if there’s a comparison to be made with one of the many television concepts, it isn’t with shows like The VoiceAmerican IdolThe X-Factor or even CTV and Scott Borchetta’s new platform The Launch.  Instead, Season 6 of The Shot will have more of a Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank feel to it.

Auditionees for Season 6 will find their auditions to be more oriented toward having the judges get to know contestants, asking more questions and diving deeper into an artist’s journey and where they are or see themselves going in their music career.  Similar to the business pitch competition shows, participants in the auditions phase will be pitching their product: their personality and their talent.  While the vocal performance will still be the ultimate determinate for advancing to the next round, how a candidate responds to questions will also play a part in the final decision.

“It’s called the music business for a reason,” says executive producer C.J. Allen, “and everyone knows it’s not easy.  It’s arguably the hardest business to get into; to be a break-out artist, to get people to pay attention to you — whether your goal is to get signed to a label or go DIY, you need to be able to express to people … a label, a manager, an agent, even your fans or potential fans … what sets you apart and makes you different from everyone else.  It’s an incredibly important skill to have: one that I think many artists struggle with and so for many of the performers that come in to audition, it’s going to be a challenge but one that they’ll learn from and be all the better for when they’re actually in a real deal situation.”

The change to the concept is also set to create a balance between the art and the business.  While the judges won’t be dishing out multi-million dollar investments, they will be using their experiences and expertise to help finalists prepare for that possibility.  The Boot Camp weekend, for example, which has been traditionally used to set a series of challenges and tasks for participants, will be dedicated to preparing the artists for the brand new Showcase event where the finalists will have the opportunity to perform for an audience of music industry professionals including label representatives, agencies and producers who have been invited by the judges.



The new Showcase event also adds a new twist to what used to be the “Finale”: no longer will the judges deliberate to determine a ‘Top 4’ selection of finalists followed by an audience and online vote for a winner; instead, online voting will open immediately following the Boot Camp and will stay open for two weeks in order for a ‘People’s Choice Artist’ to be chosen and announced at the Showcase.  The judges will also choose a ‘Judges’ Choice’ award recipient and all finalists will receive a token of recognition for their success.  The ‘People’s Choice Artist’ recipient will also receive a VIP pass to Canadian Music Week 2019 which includes access to networking events, keynotes and workshops at the annual week-long conference.

The Showcase will culminate with a post-show event that will offer artists the chance to be introduced and personally meet-and-greet industry insiders and explore the possibility for future collaborations.

“This is the sort of platform artists have been looking for,” said Allen, “a genuine ‘kick at the can’ that doesn’t promote itself as ‘discover[ing] music’s next wave of superstars.’  It’s not that simple.  Artists need a dedicated team, a community around them to achieve success and that doesn’t come from a show that only works to serve its own interests.  The Shot is unique, nothing like this has ever been done before; it’s about opening doors and creating opportunities for everyone in the business: the artists primarily but we’re also an awesome, free scouting vehicle for the labels, for the agencies, for producers looking for exciting new acts … we do the work of scouting, finding and to a small extent prepping the talent during the month we have to work with them, but the endless possibilities and opportunities are in the hands of the artist and the business.”

Hopefuls looking to take their ‘shot’ can submit video auditions now or apply to perform for the judges at the Live Auditions on September 8th, 2018.



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