From a sea of over 10,000 applicants, only 30 artists were chosen to participate in all-new, six-part musical series, The Launch. Highlighting an incredible cross section of Canadian talent, the chosen artists span numerous genres and styles, and represent cities and towns all across the country.
These artists will have the chance to record and perform a new original song written by a world famous songwriter/producer and mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends---the selected artists face the life-changing prospect of being catapulted from discovery to stardom in just 48 hours.
Get to know the first 10 artists below, and get ready for the inaugural season of The Launch on CTV in January, 2018.
Calgary native Amy Bishop was born to be a singer. But knowing a career in music was no guarantee, she opted to pursue a career in a more stable field. Despite this, Amy never let her passion and persistence for music diminish and eventually, this lead to her collaborations with Moby and opening for April Wine, Farmer’s Daughter, and Chris Cummings. With an impressive and powerful vocal range, Amy delivers soulful versions of love-gone-wrong ballads and folk-based acoustic numbers that highlight her undeniable talent.
What is your phobia: Cotton balls
What artist, dead or alive, would you choose to perform with: I would LOVE to perform with KD Lang, I think our voices would blend so well together
What is your motto? There is always something to be grateful for
See more of Amy’s work on YouTube.
Despite growing up in a house where no one was musically inclined, Divine Lightbody discovered her passion for the arts a young age. Attending an Arts Program in her hometown of Brampton, Ontario, she cultivated her music skills by studying jazz and music theory. In her freshman year, she entered a singing competition and won, beating out some of the school’s top seniors. Her genres of choice are R&B, soul, hip hop, pop and reggae.
What is your phobia: Failure
Dream musical venue to perform in: Times Square and the Air Canada Centre
List your top 3 favourite musical artists: Tori Kelly, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys
See more of Divine’s work on YouTube.
No stranger to the Toronto music scene, Faiza has been relentlessly pursuing her dream for years. After moving to the city from London, Ontario, at 20, she overcame many obstacles to create music and share her talents. Cultivating her unique R&B and hip hop sound, she released a seven-track self-titled EP with the help of her friend and music producer Nate Smith, which caused buzz in the underground music scene.
Dream musical venue to perform in: Madison Square Garden
Artist you’d like to open for: Syd, Paigey Cakey, or Cardi B
See more of Faiza’s work on YouTube and Instagram.
Falling in love with music at age 13, singer-songwriter James Marshall of Acton, Ontario, has sought every opportunity to play and perform for others. From playing by himself in his bedroom to hosting shows at bars and coffee shops around Toronto, he’s honed his craft and developed his pop, blues and rock sound. With or without an audience, James has grown to realize that performing will always be something he will love and cherish.
Which artist, dead or alive, would you choose to perform with? Jimi Hendrix
Can’t live without & good luck charm: Coffee
Hobbies: Exploring abandoned places
See more of James’ work on Instagram and YouTube.
Toronto-based LITEYEARS, comprised of brothers Brent (vocals/piano) and Brian Wirth (guitar), Nick Haberer (bass/vocals), and Joey Muha (drums), developed their unique sound by building on strong percussion and incorporating electronic loops, ethereal keyboards, and melodic guitars. Their debut EP, released last year with the help of JUNO and Grammy-winning producers, features their hit single “Rhythm in the Stars.”
Can’t live without: My piano and pizza
Hobbies: Running, watching soccer (Bayern Munich!), beating my bandmates at Super Smash Bros. on N64
List (3) strengths: Empathy, conviction, diligence
Hobbies: Fitness, hiking, building guitar amps
Dream musical venue to perform in: Air Canada Centre
Artist you’d like to open for: The 1975
Biggest pet peeve: Crooked glasses/sunglasses
Artist you’d like to open for: OneRepublic
Dream musical venue to perform in: Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado
Hobbies: Being a full time bunny parent!
Artist you’d like to open for: Arkells
What is your nickname? There have a wide variety of nicknames over the years. These include “Muha, Hobo, Moey Juha, Animal,etc.”
See more of LITEYEARS’ work on Instagram and YouTube.
Raised in the small town of Brantford, Ontario, Logan Staats started his music career as an early teen, but has since become an award-winning artist. Passionate about using his talents to break the barriers between Indigenous and mainstream music, he’s gone from playing weekend shows at bars to sharing the stage with artists like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Keith Secola and Mumford and Sons. Blending themes of both sadness and hopefulness, his distinct sound and haunting voice lends perfectly to his genres of folk, blues and soul.
What inspires you musically? Culture, love, loss, desperation, and healing
Dream musical venue to perform in: Massey Hall
Artist you’d like to open for: Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons
See more of Logan’s work on Instagram and Twitter.
From Salt Spring Island, B.C., singer-songwriter Nicky Mackenzie was singing before she even knew how to speak. First learning as a self-taught musician, Nicky continues to nurture her artistic talents in high school, where she attends a special performing arts program. Her artistic aesthetic comes from a unique combination of jazzy vocals, an alternative R&B sound and her deeply emotional lyrics.
Dream musical venue to perform in: The Grand Ole Opry
Can’t live without & good luck charm: Coffee!
On the first day of ruling the world, what would you do: Give everyone the gift of understanding others
See more of Nicky’s work on YouTube.
The Revel Boys
Started by brothers Tyson and Myles Erlick in 2015, The Revel Boys began as a collective of friends making beats and YouTube covers. Now, the group has grown to include rapper/songwriter Akiel Julien, singer/beat maker Noah Zulfikar, and singer/keyboardist Josh Lamb. Collaborating with artists like Jocelyn Alice, Kojak, Walk Off the Earth, Commissioner Gordan, White Tiger Society and Lionshead, The Revel Boys have built a massive social media following. With the support of their fans, they’ve begun to create original music, releasing their first track “Wasted Days” earlier this year.
See more of The Revel Boys’ work on YouTube and Instagram.
Singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, Vivian Hicks is truly a quintuple threat. The Georgetown, Ontario, native already has awards for singing and dancing under her belt and has even toured and recorded with Mini Pop Kids. She also has a huge social following, boasting over one million fans on the app musical.ly. Her no-frills cover videos often go viral, and she’s received praise from some of her idols including Fifth Harmony, Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, The Chainsmokers and more.
Good Luck Charm: Dragonfly ornament bracelets
List your top 3 favourite musical artists/musicians/bands: Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez
Favourite sport: Dance, Basketball
See more of Vivian’s work on Instagram and YouTube.
Hailing from Moncton, N.B., Zack Lane is multiple award-winning Canadian songwriter and recording artist. As a charming performer with a sincere and appreciative nature, Zack has also had the opportunity to share a stage with Jann Arden and Jeff Cook from the iconic group Alabama. Taking inspiration from his family heritage and the musical and culturally rich region of Newfoundland, Zack creates emotionally complex compositions that reflect his unfaltering passion for his craft.
Dream musical venue to perform in: Madison Square Garden
Can’t live without: Pizza
Who inspires you musically: Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Eminem, Bon Iver
See more of Zack’s work on YouTube.
Click here to meet each artist.