A 21-year-old Nelson singer-songwriter has made it to the second round of CBC’s Searchlight talent competition. Dylann Heidi is now one of ten contestants still in the running from the interior and northern region of BC. She got there through a combination of votes from a judging panel and online public voting.
The next round of voting and judging will narrow it down to one winner for each of 25 regions in the country. Online voting for this round closes at noon on Friday.
“The competition is fierce,” Dylann says. “It is eye-opening (to look online at all the other contestants) because it is so diverse. How could a judge pick between those? But when I got into the second round I found out I was a judge’s pick, and that was humbling.”
Dylann was born in Nelson and was “a very arts-based child.” She is a veteran of such Nelson talent incubators as the Capitol Theatre summer theatre program, the Corazón choir, and the Selkirk music program.
“My music is raw and from the heart,” she says. “I write about my life and things that have happened to me or family or friends. Songs on my last CD, Blood, were about coping through transitions in life, about me transitioning into womanhood, and the struggles that you have to go through. So for me my music is like my journal, it is me putting out how I am feeling. When I get on stage to perform, I want at least one person feel they can connect, they can think, ‘That song was written for me.’”
Dylann spent the last year studying office administration in Kelowna as a backup career, and she says the experience has only reinforced her desire to work as a musician.
“I am too creative to be in an office every day.”
And she is glad to get back to Nelson.
“There is not really a music scene in Kelowna. There is way more in Nelson.”
Dylann will be performing at the Tiny Lights Festival this summer. And she’s out looking for other opportunities to perform in Nelson while she works on a second album, Real Love.
Photos by Bill Metcalfe