Penticton musicans vying for votes in CBC competition

Penticton’s Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole (left and right) are vying for the CBC Searchlight title and are asking for online votes to put them through to the national portion of the competition. - Courtesy of Kay Photos
Penticton’s Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole (left and right) are vying for the CBC Searchlight title and are asking for online votes to put them through to the national portion of the competition.
— image credit: Courtesy of Kay Photos

Penticton’s Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole are walking around like rock stars these days.

“Kind of. It is really weird getting all this attention because really we are just dorky Aidan and Mandy,” said Cole.

The two music teachers have booked a spot in the summer music festival Boonstock being held on the Penticton Indian Band land, are still basking in the success of their debut EP Hello Hercules, top five in B.C.’s Emerging Artist Contest by Music B.C., were given the Penticton Art Council Music award and now are vying for the top spot in CBC’s Searchlight competition.

CBC Music and CBC Radio One are looking for Canada’s best new artist in their Searchlight competition that connects artists with fans in their community and across the country.

The public is encouraged to vote for three acts per region per day to decide which acts make it to the regional finals.

Cole, who is a music teacher with the Okanagan Skaha school district, and Mayes, who is a teacher at the Maeve Lily School of Music, have a surge of young fans behind them.

“The kids are really getting on board and are really excited. They think it is American Idol or something. They talk to me like I’m a superstar, which I am not, but its how kids think. It is very cute,” said Cole. “The really neat part is seeing the kids listening to different artists. I walked into the computer lab today and the kids were all listening to the other Searchlight artists. It was really cool for me to see them getting exposed to different music that they wouldn’t hear all the time.”

Fans can go to www.music.cbc.ca/#/Searchlight-Radio-West to listen to the Penticton duo’s songs, as well as other nominees, and vote for up to three artists per day. Mayes and Cole have been spreading the word via social media, to friends and anyone who listens.

“Friends, random strangers, we even bugged our server at Earl’s the other day to take out his phone and vote for us. We feel like we are bugging people but everyone seems to be supportive of it. We do get a little self conscious about it,” admitted Cole. “We are both so community involved though and voting has been catching on like wildfire.”

While both of the musicians have been in the industry for a long time, they only found each other three years ago. Playing at the Penticton Farmer’s Market for fun quickly moved into something more serious.

“It has been kismet for us,” said Cole, who is performing with Mayes at the Bufflehead in the Penticton Lakeside Resort on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. “It has been a snowball effect and we are loving all these good vibes that are coming to us.”

The pair have just finished recording two new tracks and a music video for Summer Song. It is one of the their most requested tunes at live shows and they are excited to be releasing it in a few weeks.

“It is pretty catchy. There is a lot of push for that song to get out on the radio and I think we will get a lot of great support with it,” said Cole.

Osoyoos’ Kansas Lee is also in the hunt to become the region’s top artist and continue on to the national level.

CBC Searchlight is offering a grand prize including $20,000 worth of Yamaha Canada music equipment from, a professional recording with CBC Music, and a spot on the bill with Tegan and Sara, and Spoon at the CBCMusic.ca Festival held in Vancouver.

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