Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
DAVE CARLOCK LAUNCHES UNEXPOSED TALENT COMPETITION
Originally Posted: 11-16-2012 6:13 PM
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In September of 2012, I decided to try an experiment. When people meet me and find out about my work as a songwriter and producer, they often tell me about friends, relatives, or co-workers who have a musical talent. I've always loved meeting new people and regularly meet to discuss the music business with, or even formally mentor, young aspirants.

I thought, what if I could turn those first meetings into a recording session? Most people I meet have never had a pro recording session and if I'm going to meet them to hear them sing, etc., so why not document it so they can take it home? That thought quickly blossomed into the “Dave Carlock's Unexposed Talent” search.

The way it works is simple—someone contacts me and tells me about a talent that they think I should know about. I call my informant a “Talent Spy”. Then I contact the unsuspecting talent and invite them to participate. The singer lets me know which song they plan to sing so we don't have duplications, a 45-minute recording session is scheduled, and they bring a backing track of their song. A modest fee is paid, and the new talent gets a solid 30 minutes to have me coach them and record their vocal. The final product is burned to a CD and given to the singer to use as a demo.

Throughout the process, they get a tiny taste of what it's like to record in a pro studio with an experienced producer guiding them to their best performance and I get to work with their unique talents and learn their strengths and limitations. After the session, I create YouTube videos for each entrant and once we have enough participants, I make them public all at once for voters to review. Anyone can vote or review past contestants by visiting www.youtube.com/DCunexposedtalent.

Voting, is as easy as sending me an email, limited to one vote per email address. However, the most important voting rule is that voters must vote in every voting category or their vote will be disqualified. The biggest goal of the contest is to network with and give exposure to new talent and the best way for that to happen is to make certain everyone listen to all the entrants.

The response during Unexposed Talent's first month was so remarkable that I'm continuing to do this on approximately a quarterly basis, working around my production and travel schedule. I've met a lot of great new talent for the first time, some traveling from nearly 150 miles away to take part.

At the moment there are four voting categories: Best Female (over-18), Best Male (over-18), Best Rap Artist (over-18) and Best Under-18 Overall. The winners for the month of October included “Best Female” Debbie Neville-Ruff, a soulful singer with a Bonnie Tyler-esque rasp and range; “Best Male” Nathan Harris, a clear-voiced tenor I met when I photobombed him and his friends in Qdoba; “Best Under-18” Sam Taylor wowed the voters with her impassioned rendition of ‘Skyscraper', and Best Rap Artist has been added for the next round.

Winners aren't promised national fame, a recording deal, free studio time, or cold hard cash. They get a mention here in my column so not only the hundreds checking out the video on YouTube get to know them, all of you Faithful Readers do too. The name of the game in the music business is getting known and building a fan base, so Unexposed Talent gives them a first bump on the net and in print, in addition to getting on my radar.

The YouTube exposure is also creating a unique new method of promoting upcoming entertainment events. Two teen singers from Doug Fordyce's Kids On Stage have participated to spread the word about their upcoming shows in the YouTube video's description. WVBH's Quiet Storm host Loren Michaels also chose to promote the FM station's 1st Annual Holiday Fundraiser on November 17th by warming up his rich baritone for the cause.

In business or in music, networking is king and learning how to have fun doing it is the key. Dave Carlock's Unexposed Talent is a fun way for new talent to network while shining some light on their talents. And aside from all that, the contest also keeps things fresh and fun for me, introducing me to more people with new talent.

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