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Local singer on cusp of big break
Stephanie Standerwick's life as a fledgling music star is a far cry from her days in the molecular biology lab at Simon Fraser University.
But then again, it's a lot closer to her dreams.
She's five courses away from her degree, said Standerwick, 25. She recalled her original plan was to pursue a career in scientific research and sing on the side, as a hobby.
"I got a government grant, went that whole route, was working in labs and really, really didn't like it," she said with a laugh. "It just wasn't for me."
So after a trip to the Caribbean to re-evaluate her life, she returned set on pursuing her true love, singing. "Singing is my thing, it's my calling."
The Buckingham elementary and Burnaby Central grad was mostly into dance until after high school, when she started posting videos on YouTube of herself singing.
It was while she was a member of the Metropolis at Metrotown mall Glee Club that she was "discovered" by producer from a local music studio. Next thing she knew, she was recording the song "Raise the Roof," and then performing it live at B.C. Place, during the half-time show of the BC Lions' first game back at the stadium after its major renovations.
Local manager to the stars, Bruce Allen, shopped some of her songs around to a major music company which advised her to come up with more classic rock-influenced songs first.
Standerwick and her band, Bias Jack, have performed at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond, where the woman in charge of booking acts happens to be married to Mike Reno of Loverboy fame. Long story short, she's now writing songs with Reno and working with Hedley producer Davor Vulama on a CD.
Also at one of the River Rock shows one night a few months back was Natalie Cole, who was set to play the venue herself the next day. Cole was so impressed, she tweeted, "I think I may have found the next Joan Jett or Grace Slick."
Standerwick sounds like her head is spinning some days over her brushes with fame. "These are miracles. What are the odds of some of these things happening?"
Until her own big break, she'll continue working away in the studio and on the stage. She'll be performing with Bias Jack at the Do It For Dad walk/run, a fundraiser for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, at Burnaby Lake on Father's Day this Sunday.
She also performs with a group that does corporate functions in between her Bias Jack shows at everywhere from bars to stages like the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, certainly an eclectic mix.
"On one weekend I'd be playing this high-scale corporate gig with like, thousands of people, and then the next weekend I'd be like in some bar in Surrey getting chased in my car," she said with a laugh. "Life is fun."