Local artist makes short list in CBC music contest
Big news! You may know her as Christina Amelio, vocal coach at SuperCat Studios here in town, but soon you’ll know her like the rest of the country, as singing sensation Nina Amelio.
Amelio, 25, has now made it past the first round in CBC’s Searchlight competition, billed as a venue to find Canada’s next greatest musical artist – and now voting has resumed for the semi-finalists (the top 20 in the region). Voting closes April 20, so there’s not much time to show your support for Castlegar talent.
Amelio said she’s delighted with the support she has received so far, with her single Who Do You Think You Are?
“I feel Castlegar and the Kootenay area are really awesome – but I didn’t expect to get this far. When I found out this morning that I made it to the second round, I was shaking,” she said. “The past two weeks have been amazing.”
She said CBC Radio West has been playing her single, and a couple of anti-bullying pages on Facebook have reposted the link to her song, including Anti-Bullying Canada.
“That’s what the song is about – standing up for yourself, for anyone who has ever been bullied or mentally or physically abused,” she said, adding it’s a very personal issue for her, as she has experienced some of that herself – that’s why she wrote the lyrics.
She’s always loved music, she says.
“I’ve always been in choirs, and sang, since I was little – I used to put on concerts for the neighbours,” she said, adding she grew up in Robson, on Evin Road, in fact (Josh Evin, of Black Russian Skateboarding is her step-brother).
She started to pursue music professionally when she began competing in pageants – Miss Revelstoke was her first, as she lived in Revelstoke from Grade 8 to Grade 12. She studied first with Dorothy Scott, then a year later came home to Robson and studied with Cheryl Hodge in Nelson, whom she still considers her mentor.
Then she met Yanive Feiner, of Castlegar’s SuperCats – the two worked together writing and recording, and she eventually came on as the Studio’s first vocal teacher – which remains her job, along with part-time work at Central City Shoes.
She eventually ended up connecting with producer Mark Zubek, owner of Zedd Records in Toronto, and recording the single that’s brought her acclaim via CBC’s Searchlight Competition.
“It would be huge if I won,” she said. “It would be a hard climb and a huge challenge, because there are indie bands that have been touring and have huge fan bases, but I’m totally up for the ride.”
Winning means a set at Toronto Music Week, $20,000 of Yamaha equipment, and a ton of exposure – her song is now a part of CBC’s playlist for the year.
She says that no matter how it plays out, she has won.
“I felt like I won last night, before I knew I made it to the second round,” she said. “This is icing on the cake.”
To vote go to http://m.music.cbc.ca/play/artist/Nina-Amelio/Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are … You can vote every day.
Stayed tuned to the Source for updates on Amelio’s progress.