On this week’s episode of The Launch (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CTV), five solo artists went head to head for the opportunity to work with a dream team of mentors and release a hit single. In the end, Toronto artist Jayd Ink‘s talent and her determination to stay true to herself as a musician made her this week’s launched artist.
Joining executive producer Scott Borchetta as a mentor this week were Grammy-nominated singer songwriter Julia Michaels and songwriter and producer Ian Kirkpatrick. In a surprise twist, both mentors found themselves being serenaded with versions of songs they themselves had written, showing just how popular and pervasive their music is.
For 16-year-old Noelle Maracle from Tyendinaga, Ontario, that included Michaels’ breakout track, “Issues” and Kirkpatrick’s song, “New Rules,” which he wrote for English artist Dua Lipa. Jayd Ink also auditioned with a song co-written by Michaels, taking on Justin Bieber’s huge hit “Sorry.”
Along with Noelle and Jayd, this week’s incredible line-up of artists included Nicky MacKenzie from Salt Spring Island, B.C. and Acton, Ont. native James Marshall. Of course, only two artists can be chosen; getting the chance to record alongside Jayd Ink this week was 19-year-old Moncton, N.B., musician Zack Lane, who stunned with his incredible audition and performance of this week’s new single “Codes.” But thanks to her R&B infused remix of “Codes,” it was Toronto’s Jayd Ink who earned this week’s title of launched artist.
Just how did Jayd Ink get launched? By being a total badass and trusting her gut from note one. Let’s recap.
WHEN SHE AUDITIONED WITH “SORRY” IN FRONT OF JULIA MICHAELS
Going on an audition at any stage in your career is terrifying, and according to Julia Michaels it’s something you still must do even when you have Grammy nominations. In Jayd Ink’s case, the singer found herself face to face with Michaels, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Standing in front of someone and singing a song they’ve written must be pretty daunting, but Jayd managed to keep her cool and win over the mentors.
WHEN SHE STOOD OUT FROM THE CROWD
Jayd was barely finished auditioning before the mentors began complimenting her beautiful voice. “Your tone is so unique,” said Michaels. Following up “Sorry” with her original track “Deep Under,” the mentors were even more excited to find themselves face to face with an artist who wasn’t just a great singer, but a great writer as well. “You’re a star,” said Michaels. “You’re a damn star.”
WHEN SHE STAYED TRUE TO HERSELF AS AN ARTIST
Speaking with the mentors about her experience in the music industry, including creating a following without the help of a record label, Jayd Ink’s message of who she was as an artist was clear from the start. “You know who you are and that’s so attractive because you give me a bunch of stuff to work with,” said Kirkpatrick. “Now I can do what I’m good at.”
WHEN SHE CHANGED UP ‘CODES’ IN THE RECORDING STUDIO
With only 48 hours to audition, record an original song, and perform it in front of a live audience, the time left to make a song their own isn’t a lot for the artists on The Launch. Still, Jayd stayed true to herself as an artist and pushed to change some of the lyrics to “Codes,” ensuring it would fit her vibe and message.
WHEN SHE MADE ‘CODES’ FEEL LIKE HOME
Once it was time to rehearse “Codes,” Jayd continued to play with the track and tune it to sound like her. With the addition of a reggae beat at the top of the song thanks to Scott’s suggestion, Jayd came alive as a performer. “This feels like home,” said Jayd, who finally found the sound she was looking for with “Codes.”
WHEN SHE OWNED THE STAGE
Jayd remained calm and subdued throughout the recording process, intent on creating a song that spoke to who she was as an artist. But when it came time to hit the stage and perform in front of a live studio audience, the Toronto artist came alive and looked like a seasoned pro. “She really did make the song her own,” said Scott following Jayd’s performance. “I’m pretty blown away right now.” It was a sentiment echoed by all the mentors. “She comes up on stage and that presence is just mesmerizing,” said Michaels. “Everybody can feel it.” That includes all of us watching at home. Sing it now. “Co-o-o-odes!”
Missed the show? You can watch the entire episode right here, or see an extended director’s cut on CraveTV. The Launch is back next Wednesday on CTV at 9 p.m. ET with pop icon Boy George and producer and songwriter Stephan Moccio, who will mentor a whole new crop of Canadian singers.