When she’s not mastering the likes of Leonard Cohen covers, local performing artist Ainsley Elisa is busy writing and recording her own music.
The talented young H.J. Cody student is set to hit the national spotlight this week as her latest single, ‘One More Day’ enters the ring as a contender in CBC’s Searchlight.
The competition opened for online voting on Tuesday, February 14 to artists across the country. Elisa, now 15, entered Searchlight in 2016 where she placed in the top ten regional finalists. This year the local singer/songwriter hopes her track will breach the top spot in hopes of moving up to the national semi-finals.
The competition consists of four rounds with regional semi-finals taking place in 23 geographical areas of Canada. An online voting process helps to select the regional finalists who then move onto national semi-finals with the hopes of reaching the national finals stage in Toronto.
Residents of Sylvan Lake and area can vote for Ainsley Elisa once per day during the regional semi-finals voting period. Round one videos will also be evaluated by a judging panel comprised of CBC Music representatives.
Elisa couldn’t be happier to enter ‘One More Day’ into the competition, as she explained the song holds a special place in her heart. Earlier this year the young artist faced the loss of her grandmother.
“It was a tough time for me and for our family,” said Elisa. “But what I love about writing music is it allows me an outlet to channel those feelings and emotions into.”
The track’s stunning lyricism are combined with a poignant piano accompaniment to display a sense of maturity in Elisa’s songwriting which far surpasses her age.
The track’s third verse, “Darling, look around you, see that you’re never alone my dear. Even when you’re far away, we’re always near so go chase those dreams and follow your heart. All that you need is all that you are,” beautifully showcases Elisa’s emotions when writing the song with the entire single standing as a testament to her talent.
Elisa chose to film her latest music video for ‘One More Day’ to scenes from around Sylvan Lake. She explained, “I really wanted to be able to showcase my hometown and where I come from on that national platform as we are required to have a video for our track with our submission.”
The music video features shots of the Sylvan Lake Lighthouse and trails along the waterfront in addition to shots of Elisa performing her track on a classic grand piano.
Ainsley Elisa’s love for music began at a young age. Her mother and father, Lisa and James McCallum, explained she has been moving and grooving since before she left her mother’s womb.
“I was about eight months pregnant when we went and saw Tina Turner in Edmonton,” said the artist’s mother. “I’ll never forget the way she bounced around dancing away that night in my tummy. We could’ve guessed after that she would be interested in music.”
As a child Elisa found herself frequenting voice lessons at the House of Music where her passion blossomed. She has since performed on a local level at the Leaders of Tomorrow Conference and the Yuletide Festival in addition to performing the national anthem at this past season’s football games. On a provincial level, Elisa has performed at the Scotty’s Tournament of Hearts as well as Big Valley Jamboree and a number of charity concerts in collaboration with Pure Artists.
Elisa credits much of her success to mentorship from the team at Pure Artists - a collective of young performers from across Alberta working together to support their communities. The artists work with a mandate to support non-profit or community minded initiatives with their music. In turn, Pure Artists are afforded the opportunity to perform at numerous local galas and events providing them with valuable exposure and experience.
She explained her latest track was mixed and mastered by Wes Inaba, founder of Pure Artists. Inaba also filmed and compiled her latest music video.
Ainsley Elisa is looking forward to the next few weeks of voting which will last until Monday, February 27. She asks residents of Sylvan Lake and area to help support her in her musical journey by voting once per day for her track, ‘One More Day’.
The local singer/songwriter will be performing this Thursday at Timber Coffee Co. in Sylvan Lake as part of an acoustic showcase from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. among many other talented local artists.
To vote for Ainsley Elisa’s latest track, ‘One More Day’ in the CBC Searchlight competition visit www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight/249