While she didn’t start her musical journey in country music, one Wetaskiwin youth is making a name for herself in the industry now, earning the place of first runner up in the Global Country Star Search 2017 singing competition.
Julie Sellin, 17, participated in the 13 to 17 years old age group for Global Country Star Search 2017, held in Edmonton at the Chateau NOVA Hotel and Convention Centre on May 6.
Along with the first place winner, Sellin was awarded the opportunity to travel to Nashville, TN, in March of next year and compete in the North American Music Association’s International Competitions, held in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Sellin has been developing her singing skills for the last eight years and is no stranger to music competitions.
“I started out singing opera,” said Sellin, who can perform in the genre in four languages. Eventually Sellin found her interests moving toward pop music.
“Recently throughout the year I started listening to country music, and then this came along,” said Sellin.
Sellin’s uncle knows Global Country executive director Maryanne Gibson and was able to help secure Sellin her audition for the competition, which took place in her living room in Wetaskiwin.
“It was just kind of meant to be,” said Sellin’s mother Kathy.
For her audition Sellin chose to perform Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood and I Need You by Leann Rimes.
“I was pretty nervous,” said Sellin. However, she added it was relaxing, knowing how many people were supporting her.
For her final performance of the competition — in which performers were able to choose songs from any genre that speaks most to them — Sellin decided to sing Runnin’ by Beyonce and Stay by Rihanna.
On picking songs to sing during the competition Sellin says, “I listened to a couple and picked ones that would fit my voice better.”
“Julie has been taking (writing) lessons and writing quite seriously for the last year,” said Kathy.
“If you want to stand out you basically have to start writing your own stuff,” said Sellin’s father Gord Sellin.
While she did not perform any original pieces during the Global Country Star Search 2017 competition, writing original material is something Sellin intends to work hard on before travelling to Nashville.
The experience of singing in Global Country Star Search 2017 has also inspired Sellin to learn guitar, as most of her competitors played.
“It was an amazing experience for sure. I got to meet really cool people. They were really lovely people, they gave me tips and points,” said Sellin.
Before travelling to Nashville Sellin will use the next year to mentor under Gibson.
Along with singing in the North American Music Associations International Competitions, Sellin’s win with Global Country gives her the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of Nashville’s sights, a glimpse behind the scenes of the music industry and a prize pack to attend Country Music Week in Saskatoon, SK, September, 2017.