It’s been an amazing run for gifted local singer/songwriter Ryan Langlois, who has landed two nominations for the Red Deer Entertainment Awards plus two nominations for the Alberta Country Music Awards.
He also took second place in the annual Project WILD event.
That honour came with a whopping $75,000 cash prize he can now use towards his dream recording project.
With Project WILD, Langlois had already landed the third spot guaranteeing him an award of $50,000. That was incredible enough, but of course taking the second spot was and is extremely gratifying.
“It’s pretty amazing to finish second,” he said, adding that a bit of extra competitiveness did kick in after that which no doubt helped propel him to number two.
“That extra money does mean a whole lot, too.”
Langlois will be a busy guy come January, with studio time already booked for later in the month here in the City.
“We actually started pre-production the week after I won, and we go into the studio on January 19th,” he explained. “For me, it’s going to be like my ‘statement’ record. Me as a solo artist saying this is what I have to say and this is how I want to say it musically. We’ve been talking about it, and it’s going to be a heartfelt, kind of weighty and hopeful record,” he added.
“I’ve really enjoyed the pre-production process because you sit down, drink coffee and just go over the songs and pore over arrangements – what should stand out and what shouldn’t,” he said, adding that he expects to drop the first single at the end of February with the CD set for release in March – just in time for the Canadian Country Music Award nominations.
Presented by Alberta Music and WILD 953, Project WILD is a full-fledged series of opportunities that help to meld an artist in their creative journey.
Each artist participating receives a $5,000 development award along with an invite to take part in Project WILD’s career-changing music industry boot camp – an intense one-week workshop to further their skills in performance, songwriting, marketing, media strategy, music business, music accounting, tour strategy and social media.
Following a series of showcase events and public voting, the top three artists of the season are eventually chosen.
Hearing he had been nominated in two categories for the Alberta Country Music Awards was also a terrific way to bring a close to 2018.
“It’s an absolute honour. It’s been an incredible year. The ACMAS – that’s my peer group; you are being nominated by them. To be recognized in the Male Artist of the Year category is amazing. I’m also particularly thankful for the ‘Song of the Year’ nomination for Light & Dark because, as I’ve been telling people, if I had never written another song I would be content with that one. That’s my song.”
Indeed. The honest, raw and very heartfelt tune resonates with a striking poignancy. It also showcases Langlois’s voice in all its strength and compelling authenticity. Langlois, via so many of his tunes, shows such a gift for not just performing, but for storytelling as well. It’s no surprise that over the years, he has been described as the kind of artist who can, “Turn ordinary moments into lessons in wisdom and grace.”
An interest in music came early on but he didn’t really pick up a guitar until his early 20s.
“I really wanted to be a songwriter and to perform onstage,” he said during an earlier chat. “From the very beginning, I learned a few songs by some of my heroes and then started writing right away. I was also taking every opportunity I could to perform.”