A love of music is shared by many residents of the lakecity and it’s what’s motivating one young aspiring musician, Ethan Schultz-Anderson, to take part in the CBC Music Searchlight contest.
Schultz-Anderson is a Grade 11 French-immersion student at LCSS’ WL Campus where he is is a member of all three band programs. When not playing or writing music, Schultz-Anderson enjoys taking part in open mic nights or hanging out with his friends and going to movies.
“I’ve always wanted to be a musician, that’s kind of my goal in life as far as a career goes. I know that’s not entirely viable… but I write lots of music and have written about 30 songs,” Schultz-Anderson said.
He first took up the guitar when he was five years old because he said he’s had a love of music ever since he could remember. Good music really brings up powerful emotions for Schultz-Anderson, so it makes him want to create his own music to inspire those emotions in others.
While he’s written and performed many of his songs, up until this year he’s never recorded or released any of them online. In late January, however, Schultz-Anderson began recording his first song with the intention of sending it to a few record labels to see if they’d be interested. That’s when he heard about the CBC Music Searchlight contest and the opportunity it was offering.
Schultz-Anderson stayed up late the night before the deadline to finish recording and uploading his submission to enter it into the competition, his first time publicly sharing his work in this way.
When he’s played music in the past at open mic nights Schultz-Anderson said he’s never gotten a negative comment, accept sarcastic ones from his friends and he’s really enjoyed the positive attention his work has enjoyed so far. Typically he plays more pop-like music, though he said he’s not great at defining what genre he plays in.
The contest, meanwhile, marks his first time stretching his talents beyond the lakecity. Designed as a way to find new or emerging talent from across Canada, the contest is open to any upcoming artist across the country. From there, people vote on which song they like the most and judges decide who will ultimately win the Searchlight 2020 grand prize which includes the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience, a week in a recording studio at the National Music Centre in Calgary and a chance to perform at the 2020 CBC Music Festival.
“I’ve definitely been wanting to put my music out there for a long time and this is kind of a great opportunity that applied to me, a new artist in Canada with an original song,” Schultz-Anderson said. “That’s kind of what I want to be known for, my own original songs rather than posting a lot of covers.”
Currently, Schultz-Anderson is in the first round of competition, with the next round shrinking to the top 100 before the final 10 are selected and finally the number one winner. He’s hoping Williams Lake will be able to rally around him and give him a chance at the top spot and a way to kickstart his dream. However, he wants people to vote for him if they listen to and like his song first. People can vote once a day until Thursday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.
As a born and raised resident of Williams Lake, Schultz-Anderson said the community is ingrained in him and he would love to get the chance to shine some light on the lakecity music scene. Win or lose, however, Schultz-Anderson does intend to start posting more of his music to his YouTube channel, so if people want to follow his music they can do so there.
“Anybody can do music and if anyone puts in the effort you can learn how to play and write music. That’s basically what I did, I just tried hard and eventually I (developed) a knack for it,” Schultz-Anderson said. “I think it’s important to support a love of music in the youth of our community cause it’s an easier way to express themselves.”
Schultz-Anderson would like to thank anyone who takes the time to support him in this effort and the community in general for helping to foster his love of music.
Voting can be done at https://www.cbc.ca/musicinteractives/searchlight.