Local country singer Jamie Woodfin is thrilled to have landed a spot in the top 12 of the Project WILD program – an extensive artist development opportunity that may end with a sizable cash award.
Presented by Alberta Music and WILD 953, Project WILD is a full-fledged series of opportunities that help to meld an artist in their creative journey.
First off, each artist receives a $5,000 development award along with an invite to take part in Project WILD’s career changing music industry boot camp – an intense one-week workshop to further their skills in performance, songwriting, marketing, media strategy, music business, music accounting, tour strategy and social media.
Following a series of showcase events and public voting, the top three artists of the season will be chosen.
Awards include a $100,953 award for first place, $75,000 award for second and $50,000 award for third.
“It’s really exciting. I’ve been involved in the program once before back in 2016. It’s such a great program as far as the artist development side of things, and how they work with you.
“It’s a really good learning and mentoring program for any emerging artist that is looking to take things to the next level,” he explained.
“They take us under their wing and they mentor us, and push us – it’s a fairly extensive contest. You don’t just play one time and they judge and critique you. It’s basically begun now and it will run until the end of October.
“The final showcase for the whole thing is on the 24th of November where they award the top three.”
Getting into the program involves an application process, and he just learned last week he was selected for the top 12.
During bootcamp, it’s a pretty rigorous but creatively-rich experience, including teaming up with another artist to write and record a tune with a given theme in a given amount of time.
“They turn these dorm room areas into recording studios – and we have to record a song out there,” he explains, adding that producers are brought in as well to help guide the process along.
“Honestly, it’s really Music 101 at that professional level – how do you take your music – what you are doing now – and turn it into something more feasible as a full-time thing.”
Meanwhile, Woodfin has been carving out his own unique niche on the local music scene for a few years now, and he’s made some tremendous strides in terms of getting the word out about his talent and in just connecting so well with a growing audience.
Word has been spreading about his exceptional musical talent as showcased through several singles including Just Feels Right, We Go Together, Letting Me Go and You Were That Night.
Other highlights of the past year or so include opening for country star Toby Keith during a show in Fort McMurray, and hitting the stage several times at the Calgary Stampede.
This year, he’s got lots of gigs lined up including a stint at Westerner Days next month on July 21st, the Sundre Rodeo on June 23rd and a hockey challenge event in Viking on Aug. 11th.
Woodfin has long been drawn to making and performing music.
He first picked up the guitar when he was about 13. A penchant for the drums and a powerful singing voice soon surfaced as well. Woodfin was also only 14 or 15 years old when he started writing his own music.
Through high school, he played in a band called The Dirties that were refining their own unique punk/rock sound.
During his years with The Dirties, the band produced an EP featuring songs that were written by the group. They played consistently across Central Alberta as well.
These days, he’s balancing full-time work, his time with Project WILD and his own artistic pursuits.
“We’ve been writing a lot – we have some material that we are still mixing and working on in the studio,” he said. “We’ll try to be recording through the summer and into the fall, and I’m targeting the early fall as a release date for another single.”