A few weeks ago someone shared a video on Facebook. It kept popping up in my news feed for days and days so I finally watched it. And I am so glad I did.
It was the clip of little Grace Vanderwaal singing her original song (and playing the frickin’ ukulele!) on America’s Got Talent.
I don’t normally watch the umpteen dozen talent shows on TV. In fact, I find them very tiresome. But every once in a while we stumble across these incredible talents. These shining stars that, until the development of social media shares such as Facebook and YouTube, we might never have seen.
So, to that end I’m going to share with you my top 3 (unknown) stars. The first, of course, being the incredible Grace VanderWaal.
I can’t get enough of her. There is something so unique in her sound – like you can hear the Dutch ancestry coming out only in music. And that look Howie Mandel gives her the moment she starts singing is the same way I feel every time I hear her – like it’s shocking that this girl is so.damn.talented. Each time I watch the clip (which has been a lot!) I teary eyed and goose bumpy. I am constantly singing her song and cannot wait for this kid to put out a record because I am just so enamored with her. She is a huge talent (did I mention that she writes her own songs and plays the ukulele???) in this tiny vessel. She is charismatic and innocent and there is something just so special about her. We need more innocence in today’s musical word of Britney Spears (*barf*) and Beyonce (*barf* squared). I am predicting big things for Grace.
Last summer my friend Jesse said “You have to watch this video”. I did. Over and over and over and over. Now you watch it.
This video let the world fall in love with “Backpack Girl”. I’m not kidding. After I watched it I Googled and Googled and found out the rest of the internet world was trying to discover the identity of this group of gorgeous singers and Backpack Girl. Turns out, these lovely ladies are from the island of Grenada and this little minute-and-a-half video of theirs sparked an insane internet sensation to “Find Backpack Girl.” Yes! Talent like this should not be kept from us.
Backpack Girl’s name is Jasmine Murray and she’s coming out of her shell. Check out this remix of the same song at a local function.
OMG That Voice!!
Last, but not least, is Shaheen Jafargholi who I discovered after Michael Jackson’s death when we were YouTubing a bunch of Michael’s songs. This kid was on Britain’s Got Talent years ago and started off singing some shitty Amy Winehouse song. Simon Cowell stopped him in the middle of his performance and told him to basically try again. Thank goodness he did. Shaheen’s next song choice was “Who’s Loving You” by MJ, and man, what a performance.
This little dude embodies the old, bluesy, soulful music of old-time blues and jazz clubs we can now only hear about or see in the movies. And he’s got that big voice and those little dimples. I love Simon’s smirks throughout Shaheen’s performance – so much well-deserved cockiness (Simon knows his shit!). This appearance has led to some big things for Shaheen – including singing at Michael Jackson’s memorial.
With all of this talent in only three videos, I can only imagine the sea of ‘undiscovereds’ out there. Like millions of acres of unclaimed land in the world, there is an multitude of oceans of beautiful voices just waiting to be heard.
If you’re Canadian (and semi-old like me) you
might should remember Mr. Dressup. If you don’t…then you’ve been, what? Living under a rock maybe?
Mr. Dressup was a CBC classic that ran from 1967 to 1996, and the title character, Mr. D himself, was played by Ernie Coombs. Mr. Dressup is iconic in Canadian history. His show was directed at preschoolers – teaching preschool subjects, playing games with Casey & Finegan (and anyone else who happened to stop by), singing songs and reaching into the Tickle Trunk to find a cool costume to dress Up in.
Mr. Dressup was a kind man and each day my brother and I would settle in to watch and see what events would occur or what games would be played or what lesson we would learn. Each episode was a fulfilling experience.
Today, November 27th, 2012, would have been Ernie Coombs’ 85th birthday. (Sadly, Mr. Coombs died in 2001 from a stroke.) In his honor and memory, Google Canada’s search bar today was the following:
What a nice surprise for Canadians using Google today….to see such a tribute. I’m sure it brought back wonderful memories from childhood for many people. In a time where Internet, Smart phones and iPads are a way of life, isn’t it nice to reflect on simpler (and happier) times? However, I hope Mr. Dressup gets to live on via Youtube*.
*Just a note, Ernie Coombs did not like to use a computer. All of his fan letters were written by hand. Warms your heart, doesn’t it?
Friday morning my co-worker Ashley played the following video for me (and then shared it to my Facebook page). It’s hilarious…..and it makes me wanna A) dance B) play baseball (a la my junior high school years) C) visit Harvard.