“I say go ahead,” Cousins says. “What could come out of it?”
Lots, and Cousins knows first-hand. She was last season’s winner, alongside Matthew Cooper, and took home a plethora of prizes, including a professional demo recording, music video shoot, photoshoot, legal and lifestyle consulting, a social media package, performance showcases and more.
The material benefits aren’t even the best part, Cousins says.
“If you have a passion for performing and singing in front of a crowd, it’s such a great opportunity to do so, and the competitive aspect teaches you so much,” she says. “I met so many lovely people that I still talk to and those connections are important, for sure.
“SingNL was a wonderful experience and I’d totally recommend to anyone to consider auditioning.”
Presented by The Telegram and Zack Werner’s Idol School NL, this is the second season for SingNL, the first province-wide singing competition.
Werner, a musician, entertainment lawyer and president of Venus Records who has worked with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Finger 11 and Red Hot Chili Peppers, is also a former “Canadian Idol” judge. With SingNL, he takes a coaching role instead, working with each contestant to help prepare him or her for the competition.
The judging is left to a live audience and panels of professionals, which last season included Great Big Sea’s Bob Hallett and Chris Andrews of Shanneyganock.
“Last season we saw a variety of singers in all genres competing against each other with a wide-ranging level of experience,” Werner says. “We saw a lot of growth in the singers over the course of the competition. I’m really looking forward to getting the opportunity to work and coach with more singers this season.”
There are two age categories for SingNL — ages 8-14 and ages 15 and up — and the competition will work in a similar way to “Canadian Idol.” Chosen contestants will perform in weekly groups before the judges and a live audience at the Bella Vista in St. John’s, with the event streamed live online. After a vote, at least two singers will move on to the semi-finals. With wild card spots, contestants will have the chance to compete more than once.
Five singers in each category will eventually advance to the SingNL finale, which will include a vote by the judges, audience and online viewers.
One winner in each category will receive an exciting pack of prizes, just like the one Cousins earned: a two-song professional demo recording; a music video shoot; a photo shoot; a social media package, including website design, one month of vocal coaching with Werner’s Idol School NL; a one-hour Skype consultation with an entertainment lawyer, a one-hour image, lifestyle and media consultation; showcases at the Rockhouse and the Black Sheep, a song and video featured on The Telegram’s website; an electronic press kit courtesy of Academy Canada, including a live recording; and a guest spot on Rogers TV’s “NL Now.”
Cousins, who released her debut album, “This Fire,” last month, is about to shoot the music video for her first single, “Waiting.” She came up with the concept for the video herself and is looking forward to bringing it to life.
“I absolutely love getting creative with it and coming up with different ideas and eventually piecing them all together,” she says.
SingNL is open to all singers, regardless of experience, including those who competed last season. Anyone who can’t make the live audition can submit a video audition instead. Details, prize information and a full list of rules are available online at www.thetelegram.com.