Okanagan Collaboration Challenge: musical teamwork required - InfoNews

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Okanagan Collaboration Challenge: musical teamwork required

Musician Steve Gosselin plays on stage at Record City with his wife Baily and daughter Isabella.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Steve Gosselin
April 16, 2019 - 5:30 PM

VERNON - Steve Gosselin is holding a musical challenge where everyone is a winner.

Gosselin has organized the Okanagan Collaboration Challenge, an event where musicians register and are paired up with a fellow musician they haven't worked with before. The pair are then given two weeks to write a song. The resulting music will then be showcased at a live event at Vertigo Gallery.

"I just wanted to come up with something unique and interesting, because there are so many singer-songwriter competitions and Battle of the Bands and I just wanted to bring something new, something that brings people together," Gosselin said.

Gosselin is organizing the event through his music promotion company SMG Endeavors, and partnering with Manfred E. Harter, who has a music show on ShawTV Okanagan.

Musicians have until April 20 to register and will then be allotted their partner a week later, giving them two weeks to collaborate and write a song, ready to be recorded and performed May 12. There's no age limitation for participants with musicians in their 20s through to their 60s already signed up. Gosselin is looking for around 20 artists in total.

Gosselin said he will ask the musicians what instruments they play, their past musical projects and what sort of collaboration they're interested in. He'll then try and pair them accordingly, but then after that the rest is up to them.

And asking how long it normally takes to write a song is not a question that can easily be answered.

"Sometimes songs are really easy to write and they take 10 minutes, and other times songs can take weeks or months even to write," he said.

Collaborating also has its pro and cons.

"It can make it more challenging it can make it easier, you've got two heads working on one project... you might bump heads and you might not agree on certain things, lyrics or direction, and it can be easier... you've got more ideas coming in," said Gosselin.

The final songs will be recorded at the live event and turned into a collaboration compilation album.

"That's the prize, everybody wins, that another beautiful thing about this," Gosselin said. "[With] singer-songwriter competitions, Battle of the Bands, there's only one winner, here everybody wins."

Along with a compilation album on CD, Gosselin plans — if the finances go well — to press seven-inch singles for each pair of collaborating musicians. Each pair would get the A side and chose another artist for the B side.

Musicians have until April 20 to register with the final concert taking place at Gallery Vertigo, May 12.

For more information and to sign up go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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