On this week’s episode of The Launch (Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CTV), five solo artists stunned with their incredible vocal performances of both original and cover songs.
Executive producer Scott Borchetta was joined this week by pop superstar Fergie, along with Canadian producer Stephan Moccio, to determine which talented artist would have the original song “Soldier of Love” launched at the end of the episode. While the performances featured in each episode of The Launch have continually blown us away, seeing the progression of one musician in particular during this week’s episode highlighted just how important supportive and knowledgeable mentors are to artists who are still finding their voice in the music world.
Rothesay, N.B., musician Jaryd Stanley and London, Ont. singer Sariyah Hines have amazing voices, but weren’t the right fit for “Soldier of Love” (watch their auditions now in the special director’s cut episode of The Launch on CraveTV). Also from London, solo artist Faiza impressed the mentors with her cover of Aalyiah’s “Are You That Somebody” and her original song “Body Babe,” but in a tough decision was not asked to record the new single.
This week, the mentors found two unique artists to record the original song. Ezra Jordan is a 23-year-old singer and pianist from Toronto with a musical family and a falsetto voice that stunned the mentors. Joining him in the recording studio was 22-year-old Ancaster, Ont., singer POESY, who at times sounded like Florence Welch, Amy Lee and the late Dolores O’Riordan all rolled into one. We were hooked.
In the end, POESY’s incredible transformation from unassuming aspiring artist to full blown rock star earned her the title of this week’s launched artist. Here’s exactly how the incredible progression took place.
1. THE UNCERTAINTY OF FINDING HER VOICE WITH ‘CREEP’
For her audition, POESY delivered a dramatic performance of Radiohead’s “Creep,” admitting that she chose the song after feeling awkward and out of place during her teen years. What began as a way to help the singer cope with insecurities about her height and looks brought out an incredible cover. “I’m tearing up, I got chills all over my body,” said Fergie.
2. SEEING WHAT MAKES HER DIFFERENT AS WHAT MAKES HER BEAUTIFUL
Producer Stephan Moccio was also blown away by POESY’s vocals, with the songwriter seeing past the nerves and recognizing an artist on the verge of something huge. “There’s something haunting and beautiful about you,” said Moccio following POESY’s audition. In the music world, setting yourself apart is key, and that’s exactly what POESY did with her audition.
3. FIGHTING THROUGH THE RECORDING PROCESS
Still unsure of herself, POESY’s time in the recording booth was a rocky road. With Moccio coaching her every step of the way, it appeared at times that the team may not make the tight recording deadline. Scott was concerned over POESY’s lack of confidence, with Stephan adding “My concern with POESY is can she handle the bigness of the record, the bigness of the song.” Echoed Scott, “She has got to become bigger than she thinks she is to fully pull off the kind of production that Stephan has in mind.”
4. THE BREAKTHROUGH
After some uncertain takes and a few moments of self-doubt, POESY listened to the encouragement of her mentors and found her second wind, erupting in a stunning vocal performance of “Soldier of Love.” “POESY has found another gear,” said Scott. “The vocal quality is more than Stephan or I could have expected. We captured her energy. I think we captured a lot of her personality.”
5. FINDING HER SPIRIT ANIMAL
With POESY still somewhat unsure of herself on stage, it was up to mentor Fergie, a seasoned performer, to bring out POESY’s spirit animal. “POESY is a thinker, so I’m just encouraging her to bring out the lion in her,” said Fergie. “With POESY, it’s just fighting past those nerves and unleashing that beast within her.”
6. HER PERFORMANCE
There’s a reason that Fergie is one of the biggest performers in the pop world. She knows what she’s doing. Zoning in on the aspects of POESY’s performance that are unique to the singer, including her delicate hand movements, Fergie encouraged POESY to go even deeper. Still, it’s unlikely that even Fergie could have predicted the powerhouse performance POESY gave on stage while performing “Soldier of Love.” Looking like a seasoned vet, it was a 180 from the woman who only 48 hours earlier was unsure of whether she had the goods to stand in front of the mentors. Update – she’s got the goods and more.
7. THE REACTION
Unable to contain his reaction, Stephan spent most of POESY’s performance out of his seat, with Fergie and Scott in shock. “You can’t take your eyes off an artist like that,” said Stephan. “They’re mesmerizing.” But it was POESY’s reaction at the end of her performance that we loved the most. “I think that’s how you get brave. You just do things even though you’re scared.” Sing it, POESY.
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 superstar Julia Michaels and producer and songwriter Ian Kirkpatrick, who will mentor a whole new crop of Canadian singers.