On Wednesday night Raymond Salgado and his family gathered together to watch the latest episode of the CTV reality show The Launch, and he saw a familiar face smiling back.
The Lantzville singer was a contestant on the program, in which up-and-coming singers from across Canada get to audition in front of music industry experts for a chance to record a new song.
“It was so weird watching myself on TV and everything. It was really weird,” he said.
“There was a lot of emotions going on through my head. I did this way back like six months ago, so it was just really weird seeing myself six months [ago] and now looking to where I am now, still doing my thing and working harder for my dream.”
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During his segment, Salgado stood before composer and songwriter Stephan Moccio, record executive Scott Borchetta and singer Boy George and belted out a pair of pop tunes from two of his favouite artists: Attention by Charlie Puth and Lay Me Down by Sam Smith.
“Sam Smith is one of my ultimate inspirations because he was just a voice on a dance track and now he’s one of the biggest male artists of our generation,” Salgado said.
Salgado was up against four singers from Toronto for the honour of recording a new single, but ultimately did not make the cut.
“It was really nerve-racking for sure. I remember, even before the show, I had a lot of [tension], especially in my jaw, so I was trying my best to just enjoy the moment and just have it as a learning experience,” he said, looking back on his performance.
“Even thought I was upset with my results on that day I try to look back and just tell myself how lucky I was to perform in front of three people who work in the industry. Not a lot of people have that opportunity.”
Although Salgado did not advance, the judges still had good things to say about his performance and he said he values the feedback he received.
“It meant really a lot, especially hearing a particular comment from Stephan Moccio saying how ‘freakish’ my voice is because he said something about how it’s very common that singers use auto-tune nowadays … and he said there were some moments where my pitch was really perfect so that was a huge compliment,” he said.
“And also performing in front of Boy George was crazy.”
Salgado said the experience on The Launch will help him as he continues to pursue a career in music. In an field as competitive as the entertainment industry, he said it’s important to be able to take a hit and keep moving forward.
“I think having that rejection really helps you become thick-skinned…” he said.
“I think getting that ‘no’ helped me to work harder and be tough and keep doing my thing.”