Sonic Spotlight is an all-new virtual music showcase for musicians 22-and-under living in Larimer and Weld counties. With such an exciting initiative available for young musicians in the area, we wanted to get more information about this opportunity. In the video above, Jess Reed of Sonic Spotlight Program talks to Benji about it all.
Plus, we caught up with Nick Duarte, the music curator of the Fort Collins Museum Of Discovery, which will also play a leading role in Sonic Spotlight.
The Colorado Sound: What made you want to put the spotlight on the Colorado Music Scene?
Nick Duarte: We’re excited about the next generation of musicians to come into the spotlight. I can’t think of a better way for Northern Colorado to support its youth musicians than to showcase their talents!
“Calling all under 22 musicians to work hard to get creative!” Are there other elements to Sonic Spotlight that you encourage?
Be yourself and be bold! Don’t be afraid to show us who you are through your music. And if you’re not sure yet, Sonic Spotlight is designed to help you find your voice – and to help you put together your best work.
Can you give a rough timeline as to how this will all work?
The submission form will be online on September 1. Musicians will have a month to apply. It’s free to apply and free to participate. The deadline is September 30 at 11:59 p.m.
Eight artists and bands will be selected, and we’ll announce to the world in mid-October. The artists will then have a month to work with some music industry experts and mentors to prepare for the showcases.
The first showcase is November 19. It’s called The Sonic Round and will debut never-before-heard radio tracks from all 8 artists live on The Colorado Sound. Three artists will advance to the next showcase called The Spotlight Round, which focuses on music videos. That event will take place online on December 10.
What if a band or artist says: “But my sound isn’t typical to the Colorado scene, should I still go for it?” What would you say to that?
Absolutely! It’s our hope that we get the most diverse applications we can! Not only does this help showcase diverse talent – it is the kind of thing that inspires other musicians to try new styles and genres.
So many cool things are happening in Sonic Spotlight to educate, inspire, and collaborate with young artists. What are some of your faves?
I think I’m most excited about the professional development aspects of Sonic Spotlight. With both the sonic and spotlight rounds the semifinalists will get input and advice from experts to make sure that their songs and videos are the best they can be. It’s an incredible opportunity to have so early in a career. This sort of thing just isn’t available in most music scenes – it’s no secret that Northern Colorado is an amazing place to be a musician.
How important can Sonic Spotlight be in the life of young listeners and players?
Sonic Spotlight is an opportunity to showcase the vision, the ideals, and the style of these up and coming artists. The future belongs to them, this is their chance to show us (and then the world) what’s next for music.
Aside from learning about the music industry, what other skills do you hope participants gain?
It is my sincere hope that Sonic Spotlight builds up a community aspect for these young musicians. I know how important having a strong network was to my own musical ambitions and I hope all participants see how they can learn from one another, collaborate, and keep in touch long after Sonic Spotlight.
How important was music in your life and what would you say about how music can help young people be their best?
A life in music isn’t always easy but it’s taught me that the things you’re passionate about are worth fighting for. It taught me dedication and discipline before I really even understood how important those things were. I wouldn’t trade the life lessons I’ve learned through music for anything.
One of the coolest museums of all time is taking part. What role will the Fort Collins Museum Of Discovery play?
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is thrilled to be involved with Sonic Spotlight. We’re hoping that our Fort Collins Museum Of Discovery audience will help spread the word about this event far and wide. It’s always been a goal of ours to foster the creativity and community of youth musicians in Fort Collins and beyond through our programs, our interactive gallery, and our after-hours events. We hope that Fort Collins Museum Of Discovery we can be a resource for participants during Sonic Spotlight and especially afterward!