Loverboy keyboardist Doug Johnson and fellow South Surrey musician Don Wells have partnered again, this time to write "Because We Dream," the theme song for the 2012 BC Summer Games being held in Surrey.
To record the uplifting pop number, they scored the services of local vocalist Payton Rector, 14, of Surrey - a former winner of BC Junior Talent Search in Cloverdale and current student at Elgin Park Secondary.
"She could be the next kd lang," raved Wells, who doubles as media liaison for BC Summer Games and jams on the drums when he has some spare time. "She practised the tune on her own and was in and out of the recording studio in an hour, having laid down both lead vocal and BGs. We now call her 'the Amazin' Payton.'"
Lyrically, the song draws attention to the bold aspirations of youth in sport, and relates to other endeavours.
"In that sense," Johnson added, "Payton is the perfect choice to sing (the song) because she is a truly inspired young artists with big dreams for her future."
More than two years ago, during the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler, Johnson and Wells co-wrote an uplifting, pianodriven song called "From My Home," the performance of which served to warm hearts during the Surrey stop of the Olympic torch relay.
ALTO TOPS TALENT CONTEST
Tommy Alto was the big winner during the recent Diamond in the Rock contest finals held at Blue Frog studio/ concert hall in White Rock. Second place went to Olivia Torrie, with Julie Lin in third.
The Diamond in the Rock contest was created for performers age 19 and under who live in the South Surrey/ White Rock area. Weekly preliminary rounds were staged at Roadhouse Grille, with eight finalists on stage April 14 at Blue Frog.
"The experience was absolutely unbelievable, lots of fun," Tommy, 17, said of the Diamond contest. "I'm still super stoked that I won. The response and support from my fans has been huge, so I'm very thankful for that as well."
A talented teen, Tommy (aka Tom Vander Kam, a Grade 12 student at Earl Marriott Secondary) plays a great mix of catchy pop-rock songs. He released a full-length album, Scream My Name!, last year. Check him out online at www.tommyalto.com and on stage Friday, May 4 during the Youth Recognition Awards at Surrey Arts Centre, an event that doubles as the finals for the yearly City Jam talent contest; finalists that night are Kelly Salmon, Sam Hobeyn and the bands Northern Rain and Shadows.
Shadows, meanwhile, is also in the running for the BC's Best Teen Band Contest, with the winner announced Saturday, April 28 at the Electric Owl venue in Vancouver.
54-40 AT SURREY ARTS CENTRE
It's official: 54-40 is inked to perform at Surrey Arts Centre's main stage on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Tickets are priced at $47.50 via the arts centre box office, 604-501-5566. Get 'em while they last.
BEACH FESTIVAL MAKES CALL
Beyond Scarlett Arts & Entertainment Group Inc. is the company behind the inaugural White Rock International Music Festival, happening July 21-22 on a stage next to that famous white rock on the beach, near the pier. Event organizer Janice Savage this week announced another call for artists to perform at the festival, online at www. whiterockmusicfest.com.
PNE CONTEST TIME
Entries are now welcome for this summer's PNE Star Showdown, the talent contest that usually involves a Surrey finalist or two (or three). Past winners of the contest include Burnaby's Michael Bublé and Mission's Carly Rae Jepsen (call me, maybe?). This year's "intensified" format includes four days of live competition from Aug. 18-21. Up for grabs is $10,000 and more than $22,000 in New Image College scholarships. The submission deadline is June 6, online at www.pne.ca/starshowdown.
AC/DC 'JEWELS' IN SEATTLE
In Seattle this weekend, EMP Museum hosts some headbangin' opening events for the new exhibition AC/DC: Australia's Family Jewels, including a performance by the allfemale AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles. Australia's Family Jewels opens Friday, April 28 with a look at AC/DC through the ages - "the first and only fully endorsed exhibition to bring to life the history, creativity and power of one of the world's greatest rock bands." The exhibition will feature 400plus artifacts - photos, instruments, 35 years of gig posters and more. Check it out online at www.EMPmuseum.org.