Okotoks musician hopes national attention sparks career

Music: Jake Vance eliminated from CBC Searchlight Music Competition

By: John Barlow

  |  Posted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 09:43 am

Jake Vance, a student at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks, was a participant in the CBC Searchlight Music Competition.
Jake Vance, a student at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks, was a participant in the CBC Searchlight Music Competition.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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He may not have advanced to the final round, but a young Okotoks musician is hopeful is national exposure will kickstart his music career.

Jake Vance, a Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Academy (HTA) in Okotoks, was a contestant on the on-line talent search CBC Searchlight Music Competition. Vance entered the contest last month, but did not move on passed the on-line voting stage. However, Vance said the feedback he received affirmed he is headed in the right direction.

“I like any feedback I can get,” said Vance. “Whether its critical or positive feedback it all helps make me better. It is all about shaping your performance.”

Vance received substantial feedback from the two tracks he uploaded to the CBC competition website despite the fact they were demos he recorded in his basement. He said he was pleased with the response he received from social media especially considering his relative lack of experience.

He said the other entries in the competition were much more polished and professional and it showed he has a way to go before he measures up with some of the more experienced musicians in the industry.

Regardless, Vance said it was a worthwhile experience and it will help make him a better songwriter and performer.

“The response was very positive from everyone who listened,” he said.

With the glowing feedback he received from the CBC Searchlight competition Vance said he will focus on his music after he graduates from HTA later this spring. However, he is realistic about where his music will take him in the future. Well somewhat.

“I don’t expect to be successful at all,” he said of his music with a laugh. “I just want to be able to make a living so I don’t have to get a crappy job.”

After he finishes high school the Okotokian said he will turn his attention to writing, recording and playing as many live performances as he can.

“I have put a lot of time into this,” he added. “I want to do some recording, play a few gigs and see where this goes.”

For one who wants to focus on perfecting his craft as a musician Vance said he knows he could not be in a better community. He said the foothills area does an outstanding job of nurturing young and up and coming musicians.

“Okotoks and Black Diamond have this cool arts scene and that gives me hope,” he explained. “People out here want to hear me play and there are venues where they will let us play.”

Vance has performed at The Stop in Black Diamond and has opened for some prominent acts including The Fugitives. Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and T. Buckley. He hopes to release an EP later this year.

Vance’s next live performance will be at the Okotoks Soul Café in May. For more information see www.jakevance.ca


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