Rylan Wheeler has become pretty good at keeping a secret.
The Grade 10 student at Penticton Secondary School has kept a major one bottled up for months. It
all started with a YouTube video of him covering the song Say Something and led to him signing a contract with Cleopatra Records, based in Los Angeles.
“The past few months have been crazy for me. I only had one friend, well, besides my family, that knew about it for five months,” said Wheeler. “It recently made its way around school and there has been lots of people coming up to me and wanting to take pictures with me. It has been pretty cool, but not many people know about what exactly is going on just yet.”
It all started with his father while out on a fishing trip.
Looking to tap into Wheeler’s social media connections they came up with an idea that would eventually get him noticed by the record company.
Wheeler’s brother has a YouTube channel targeted towards Minecraft gamers which has generated his own piece of fame with just over 650,000 followers.
“When this all started happening I had so many emotions that were going through my head. I sat down and wrote everything I was thinking and that became my song Dreams,” said Wheeler who has guest violinist Ali Varaska
and guitarist Tavis Weir also playing on the single. “It is about my dreams coming true. In that moment I was thinking people need to strive for their dreams and work hard. I just wrote it all down. This whole thing has been so crazy. There was times I was wondering if it was real.”
It very much is. Five months after that initial contact from Cleopatra Records his song Dreams (the original, a remix and acoustic version) is due to be released on Dec. 25 on iTunes, Google Play, IHeartRadio, Amazon and Spotify.
Cleopatra Records was founded in 1992 by a young entrepreneur named Brian Perera who began his career by making and marketing T-shirts and swag in his Southern California garage for rising stars like Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction. He quickly learned the ins and outs of the record industry growing the company into what it is today, which includes household name artists. Wheeler said one artist after hearing Dreams, reached out to him through the company looking to possibly do a collaboration down the road.
Wheelers family, which includes his siblings, who helped with marketing via social media and shoot the photo for his Dreams album cover ,will be sitting right beside him on Christmas Day.
“I’m sure we will be having a dance party,” said Wheeler’s step-mother Alanna Wheeler.
The young musician said his biggest live show has been in front of about 200 people so he is excited what the future could hold.
“Really though, the whole world has been my audience through YouTube,” said Rylan. “All I hope is that one day I will be making full albums, touring and inspiring people with my music. I hope I can make a difference in their life through music.”
Find Wheeler on social media:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulj1MDiubn4zsWlFEVbLeg