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Where ‘The Shot’ Momentum Can Take You

The Shot has become Canada’s premiere nation-wide search for original artistry and talent, providing unique opportunities for music creators seeking to propel themselves forward with the momentum that the program can offer. Here are some of our most memorable alumni and a small sampling of what they’ve been up to since their time of The Shot stage.

 

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Season 8 Set to Explore the Nuances of the Music Biz

Producers for the eighth season of The Shot have teased significant changes to the platform’s primary premise as it returns for its next iteration later this year.

It has already been announced that the new format will focus entirely on original music and the decision to increase the minimum age requirement from 16 to 18. Little by little, the producers are making more details known as they start looking through the demo video submissions in search of the next big Canadian talent. Demo video submissions opened January 1st and the first round of submissions will close March 31st.

Now, the powers that be have put out another tid-bit about the next season, “The Shot has always been about the artists and we’ve always been working toward filling the enormous void that exists for talent to have the opportunity to showcase their voice but also their songwriting. We want to create a real experience that has value to the music creators that deserve to be seen and to be heard. With that as our driving inspiration, our next season will simulate what it would be like for an artist to walk into a label or a management agency to audition for their shot. Gone are the big stage auditions; those who are asked to come in to audition for the judges will get to feel what it’s like to pitch yourself and your music to the big dogs.”

Season 8 of The Shot will also see more industry insiders and influencers become part of the process alongside the yet-to-be-announced panel of judges.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to get these artists in front of people that could really impact their career in music. We’re reaching out to our vast network of professionals in the business and they will play a big part in how the season unfolds. This next season isn’t going to be like anything we’ve ever done before and really nothing like anyone has ever done; this is going allow the artists to experience what it feels like to work their way through the process of being signed by a label, by management or by an agent. We’re really excited for what’s to come!”

In other words, this ain’t your granny’s American IdolX-Factor or The Launch (which ended its run in Canada after its second season last year). This will be the first time that an artist competition has given artists an insider’s look at how the signing process works.

Demo video submissions are open now here. Artists selected from the demo video submission process will meet the judges later this year.

A MUST READ BEFORE SUBMITTING: What’s a Demo Video?

Demo video submissions for Season 8 of The Shot open today at 5pm EST! Think of your demo video as something you would be sending to a record label, management company or a label.

So what should include in your demo video and what are the producers looking for when they consider whether or not to invite you to appear in front of the judges?

First and foremost, personality! You might be a solid performer and songwriter but if you’re personality, charisma and passion don’t show through, it’s going to be hard for the producers to get a good sense of who you are beyond just your powerful voice and songwriting. Show us your life! Take us on a tour of your house! Dress up as if you were going on stage in front of a couple hundred people. Give careful consideration to how you want to present yourself. Think of your demo video as being a job interview. The producers want to get a sense of you and your brand.

Introduce yourself at the start of your video. Make sure you include an introduction before you get into singing: say your name, age, where you’re from, talk about your music experience, and tell the producers a little bit about yourself. Your introduction doesn’t need to be more than a minute or two but this also shows that you’ve taken the time to make a video that is specific to The Shot. You might think that you can just submit a music video or something you previously recorded but doing so won’t tell the producers anything about you! If you’re not good at talking on the fly, write something out before you start filming.

Don’t worry about getting something professionally made! You can film your demo video on your phone! Just make sure you are front and center and you can be heard clearly. You don’t need to submit anything fancy. You don’t need to spend money on getting something professionally recorded or produced.

Pick a song that you’re proud of to perform in your demo video. We want to hear your original music. We encourage you not to submit a demo video of a cover. Sing and play us something that is uniquely you. The song doesn’t need to be a finished work with a title or something that you have taken into the studio and recorded. The producers are looking for singer-songwriters. Give the producers your best!

Break Down for How to Film Your Demo Video:

  1. Start with an introduction as outlined above.
  2. Introduce your song, say a bit about it.
  3. Sing your song.
  4. Close out your video with why you think you should be chosen to be part of The Shot Season 8.

Good luck and we can’t wait to hear you!

Season 7 to Stream in Early 2020

Worry not, Season 7 is coming to an online streaming service near you very soon!

Plans are underway to release the full season — from auditions to finale — in early 2020 and leading up to filming of Season 8 next fall. Season 7 will be available on Youtube, Vimeo and iTunes in hour-long episodic entries that chronicle the journeys and stories of artists and that showcases their original music.

Regarding the release of Season 7, The Shot producers said:

“Though the outcome of Season 7 is already known publicly, there is a story there about all of the artists that participated, the songs they sang and their growth as recording artists. We’re excited, for the first time, to put out episodes that are a reflection of those stories.”

Producers will also release clips from each of the episodes and specific performances from the auditions on The Shot‘s Facebook page.

Season 8 to Feature Only Original Music, Tests New Artist Age Minimum

Producers of The Shot have teased significant changes to the upcoming eighth installment of the hit vocal competition web series including cutting out the performance of cover songs and raising the minimum age of artists applying to compete in the show.

In Season 7 of the series in Summer 2019, producers began to allow and actually encourage participants to perform their own original songs after six seasons of predominantly cover performances. Despite a mixed reaction from the show’s audience, producers have decided that, going forward, artists will only be allowed to sing their own songs with covers being completely disallowed.

“We look for artists who can use The Shot as a step forward in their career,” said co-executive producer Melanie Osmond, “By supporting original music, we believe that we are giving them the best opportunity to showcase who they are to the industry. Success is more than the ability to perform a catchy tune; artists need to be well-rounded. Just like the industry, we are looking for someone who is more than just a good karaoke singer.”

The Shot producers are also pointing out that, with the exception of NBC’s Songland which allows talent to perform their own music for A-list recording artists who will then take the song and record it themselves, other music competitions generally shy away from having participants perform their original music in favour of songs that an audience is familiar with and can appreciate and sing along to.

“Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift … we already have those artists. What we want are artists that can stand-out and hold their own and who have started to shape who they want to be as a recording artist,” says executive producer C.J. Allen, “in the years that we have been doing The Shot, we’ve always asked those coming to audition for us if they write their own music and sometimes even asked them to sing something for us judges. So we asked ourselves the question, ‘Why not just start there?'”

Producers also expect that the change will encourage more seasoned and serious artists to audition.

In addition to the shift in focus to only original music, the producers have announced that they will be raising the minimum age requirement from 16 to 18 years old. Sixteen has been the minimum age requirement since the show’s fourth season. With new, yet-to-announced format changes coming for Season 8, the expectations of artists are also being raised. Producers have said that the revamped process will be a more intense “bootcamp-style” series of benchmarks and as a result, it made sense to change the age requirement.

Video auditions for Season 8 of The Shot will open in January 2020.

Jennifer Beavis Elevated to Executive Producer Role

The powers that be at The Shot have announced that music industry veteran and long-time publishing consultant Jennifer Beavis who joined the show in Season 7 as a new face on the judging panel has been elevated to the role of executive producer effective September 2019.

With over 25 years in the music business, Beavis is a graduate of Fanshawe College’s Music Industry Arts and has, over the years, worked with the multi-national publishers BMG, EMI and famed Vancouver-based independent record label and music management and publishing firm, Nettwerk Productions. Beavis has also served as Director of Copyright for the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), Director of Publishing and Licensing Administration for Nettwerk and also held the position of Executive Director of the Songwriters Association of Canada. Most recently, Beavis has held the position of Senior Director of Administration at ole where she directed the day to day business affairs of catalogue acquisitions and publishing administration.

In addition, Beavis has served on the Boards of the Canadian Music Publishers Association; was a founding board member of The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as serving on the Canadian Country Music Awards and Durham College Music Business Management Committee.

“I was very excited and no less honoured to be asked to be a judge for Season 7 of The Shot and now am thrilled to be taking on the role of an Executive Producer,” said Beavis, “C.J.’s vision is altruistic in recognizing the high-level of talent we have in Canada and the need for them to have an opportunity to get noticed. Both of  which impressed me from the beginning and was why I got involved.”

Beavis joins the executive management team of The Shot alongside creator and executive producer C.J. Allen.

No official announcement has been made regarding Beavis returning to the judging panel for Season 8 in Fall 2020 in addition to her executive producer role.

Sam is back, but everything else is changing for ‘The Shot’ Season 8

Producers of Canada’s hit vocal competition web series have been hinting at big changes for its eighth season set for Fall 2020. After a successful, all-originals run in Summer 2019, producers are going all in on the opportunity for unsigned recording artists and music creators to perform their own music. To highlight the show’s push to support indie musicians and their own tunes, producers are planning a dramatic overhaul of the show that will include the scrapping of many of the competition’s staple phases. Perhaps most notably, the mentoring component in which the judges take on a group of artists that they coach through the process will be revamped to diversify the feedback and insight that the participants receive.

“Season 7 was eye-opening for all of us,” said executive producer C.J. Allen, “we loved that we were able to give our artists the chance to showcase their original music. No one else is doing that. Now feels like the right time to make some significant changes that will build on what we have been working on since 2014 and to take the experience to a whole new level for the talent.”

But in spite of the upcoming changes, participants and audiences alike can depend on one thing — Sam Cook will be returning as The Shot host.

Cook took over the hosting reigns from long-time MC Brad Moore for Season 7 and was an immediate fan favourite.

“I’m so excited to be back as host for Season 8 of The Shot.  I love that this show gets aspiring musicians in front of the right people in the music biz to help jump start their careers. Can’t wait to see you in Toronto in 2020!”

While remaining tight-lipped about any specifics, Cook that the team is “pretty excited” about the show’s upcoming format changes.

Allen promised that details about the new format will be revealed in the coming weeks as well as an announcement about Season 8’s judging panel. In Season 7, Allen was joined by returning judges Jessie T and Blair Packham as well as newcomers Shane Christopher Neal and Jennifer Beavis.

In the meantime, Season 7 winner Jasmine Whyte is set to release her debut single ‘Secret’ in early 2020 followed in quick succession by ‘One Man Band’, the original song that Whyte performed at her initial audition back in June 2019. ‘One Man Band’ is being recorded and produced by Brandon Fehdereau.