Dalton Harris looking for Record deal on X-Factor
Digicel Rising Stars winners Romain Virgo and Christopher Martin have become household names, launching successful music careers after walking away with the title. Another former winner is making big moves on the international scene.
Dalton Harris won the competition eight years ago at the age of 16 - the youngest-ever winner. This past weekend, he got four 'yeses', taking him to the next round in the UK-based X Factor, after impressing the judges: accomplished media producer Simon Cowell, actress Ayda Field, singer Robbie Williams, and former One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson with his soulful rendition of Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.
RISING STARS A STEPPING STONE
"I've always seen Rising Stars as a way for someone to live out their dream - no matter where they place," the show's producer Sharon Schroeter told The Gleaner. She continued: "It offers a platform for their voice. How they use it is up to them. We provide as much training as we can, we plan workshops on how to understand the industry and prepare them for a life in entertainment, if that is what they want."
Romain Virgo wanted that life. "The point I'm at, I don't see myself entering another one (competition), because there might come restrictions on trying to launch your career. Dalton had other dreams," Virgo told The Gleaner.
What Virgo refers to as restrictions, Harris may welcome as a structured approach to the development of his music career.
"It was my intent to go where I knew I could get a record deal - to have the opportunity to be exactly what you saw this weekend," the 24-year-old Harris told The Gleaner.
The young singer maintains connections to the competition which launched him (at least to a local audience) and keeps in touch with those who have made it.
Before his audition, about a month ago, Harris reached out to Virgo about his new journey. "I look at recording in Jamaica, and sometimes I think maybe it's not the industry that best suits a particular voice. And I know the kind of music he wants to do is from the heart. Based on X Factor, I think it can give him that, so I gave him some good advice - to sing from the heart," said Virgo.
Harris seems to have taken his advice. "I never had an approach in Rising Stars. I turned up and sang. For X Factor, I want to focus on vocal quality and delivery, while still grabbing the audience and connecting with them," Harris said.
"Dalton has always been special to me. He is someone we've always kept in touch with. He told me months ago that he was going to enter and he's been keeping me updated. He even sent me the link to his audition over the weekend," Schroeter said.
"I don't even know if proud can describe it, because he could have easily given up. But he knows what he wants and I know he'll do well. He will achieve what he wants to achieve," Schroeter added.