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Getting to know: Beamer Wigley
Beamer Wigley is an 11-year-old singer/songwriter from Penticton, who has been singing and performing since the age of seven. In addition, he takes musical theatre and guitar lessons weekly.
He also loves to act and recently performed as Gavroche in the Soundstage production of Les Misérables in Penticton.
Q: How did you discover your passion for music?
A: “I’ve always loved music. My lullaby was Santana when I was a baby, so I guess it just started from there.”
Q: What types of instruments do you play and how old were you when you learned to play them?
A: “My first instrument was drums. I was three and I would take out all my mom’s pots and pans and use them as drums with wooden spoons. When I broke the last set of her wooden spoons, they decided they better buy me a drum set. I still have those spoons framed. When I was five, I heard Keith Urban and Brad Paisley play. I loved what they did so I asked for a guitar and that was how it all started. When I was seven, I got a keyboard for my birthday so I taught myself how to play. I learned to play a bass when I was nine. Finally, when I was 10 I learned to play mandolin and now I am learning violin. My best instrument is my voice, which I learned how to use when I was seven.”
Q: Is anyone in your family musical?
A: “My sister is an incredible musician. Unfortunately she has stage fright. My whole family enjoys music so it is a kind of a musical family. I play, they listen.”
Q: What made you decide to enter the competition Our Kids Have Talent (which was held in Vernon from 2009 to 2013.) How has that helped you grow as an artist?
A: “I had never been in a musical competition before and I thought it would be fun. It was the first time I was on a stage and I loved it. It was because of that first competition that I learned to sing. It has given me lots of opportunities to perform and performing helps me grow. So yes, Our Kids Have Talent has helped me grow as an artist.”
Q: Can you tell me about the role you played in the stage production of Les Misérables?
A: “(Gavroche) is a poor street kid. He was the leader of the street urchins. Gavroche helped in the barricade in the French revolution. He dies in the battle retrieving ammunition.”
Q: I saw that you got to attend a music boot camp in Nashville. How was that experience for you?
A: “It was an amazing experience meeting all the other artists. Everyone got to perform for major producers and to be critiqued by them. I am going back in July for a longer boot camp.”
Q: What is your favourite original song that you’ve recorded?
A: “My favourite song that I have recorded is Beginning of The Road. It is a song about how I feel about my music.
Q: What advice would you give to other young musicians that wish to pursue a career in the music industry?
A: “Stay true to yourself. Be who you are, not who people want you to be. Be prepared to work. This is not a game you play, this is real hard work. Always give your best; you never know who is in the audience. Be respectful and stay humble.”
Q: What is the hardest part of being in the music industry?
A: “The hardest part of being in the music industry is knowing who is a real friend and has your best interests, or do they just want to use you. There will always be people in the music industry that you have to watch out for. There are bullies in and out of the music industry.”
Q: Is there another person in the music industry that you look up to as a mentor?
A: “I don’t have a mentor, but I do have a wonderful vocal coach and guitar teacher. I respect and look up to both of them.”
Q: Can you tell us anything about what your plans are with your music this year?
A: “I will be traveling to Las Vegas and Nashville. I am still working out times for The Stop Think and Feel anti-bullying tour in the U.S. I just want to get out and play as many gigs as I can.”
-Getting to know... a special to the Morning Star, features Q&A sessions with local musicians conducted by Grade 12 Kalamalka Secondary student Aniko Forgo.