Budding singer-songwriter Emma Alves will never forget the first time she performed in front of a live audience.
She was 10 years old when she sang at a coffee house in Langley.
“I remember when I held that microphone. I was so nervous, but I felt so alive!” she says.
At that moment, it felt like she became someone else, emerging from her shell to become the person she was meant to be.
Ever since, she’s leaped at each chance to perform in front of a live audience, whether it’s appearing at local music festivals or singing the national anthem at hockey games and at baseball fields.
Now the Grade 10 Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary student says she’s ready to share her music with the world, writing songs for a new CD she hopes to launch with a solo concert this spring.
Last weekend, she got a taste of what that might be like – she performed backing vocals at a night club in Vancouver for YUCA, a rock trio out of Langley. Their new album is called Rebuilding the Fallen Empire, and it’s the first release by a brand-new label in Cloverdale, Rising Empire Records.
According to Alves’ mom, Charlene, the members of YUCA heard her daughter singing at the studio and really liked what they heard, so they invited her to join them on stage at their record release party on Jan. 18 at the Red Room.
Alves plans to take the stage alone on March 28 at The Venue.
Her parents, meanwhile, have turned to Kickstarter.com to raise $7,500 in startup funds that will help her record an album and hopefully launch her career.
Her parents started the Kickstarter campaign – a reflection of their commitment in helping their daughter make her own dreams come true.
“As proud parents we always want to encourage our children’s creative flair and to pursue their dreams. We have an opportunity right now to help Emma with her musical gift,” the campaign reads. “All parents know that to see your child light up when doing something they love is a moment you want to see last a life-time. We are so excited that our Emma has this “light” when she is working on her music.”
From indie films to web startups, creative projects that meet Kickstarter’s criteria are given an online forum where they can make their business case to the world.
Supporters who like what they see can invest in the dreams and projects of artists like Emma Alves, giving them the infusion of cash they need to get their dreams off the ground.
Alves has just 16 days to raise $7,500 – enough to record, and release a full-length CD of her music, in addition to recording videos, expand her live show and reach out to fans old and new via social media.
Some of Alves’ favourite artists include other female singer/songwriters, such as Taylor Swift and JoJo.
She also performs covers, including Stay, by Rihanna, and Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours, but she truly shines when she’s performing her own work, such as her song, The One.
“I love doing my own versions of covers that other artists have done, or their own songs, but I love writing my own music too,” Alves says.
“I find it so beautiful how you can turn words, and then add chords on the piano or guitar, and turn them into something amazing. I find that really beautiful and inspiring.”
She’s excited about getting a chance to work with a music label.
It turns out her father is a musician, so it’s not surprising to learn there are photos of Alves as a toddler, strumming the guitar (“or trying to”) and playing piano.
“This music passion was in my right from the start,” she says.
By press time, more than $5,030 had been pledged towards her goal. The project will only be funded if at least $7,500 is pledged by 9 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 31.