St. Albert duo scoops Northern Star Talent Search grand prize
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 06:00 am
It was a nail biting, drum rolling moment as the Northlands audience waited for Northern Star Talent Search to announce its 2012 grand prize winner.
When St. Albert’s Jessy Mossop and Stephen Lecky heard their name called, it was drowned in applause and the vocal duo’s excitement exploded.
“I was so ecstatic. I started jumping around. I was hyperventilating,” says Lecky, 21, in a telephone interview from Saskatchewan where he and Mossop, both professional and personal partners, are enjoying a well-deserved vacation.
Their heartfelt medley combining Feeling Good and I Put a Spell On You, garnered enough support to win the coveted $2,000 and a black, marble-base trophy with an acrylic star.
But the golden apple is a performance berth at the 2012 Canadian Youth Talent Competition on November 14 to 17 in Winnipeg.
Hosted annually by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFÉ), it is the largest variety competition and one of the most prestigious of its kind in Canada.
“Stephen and I represent the whole section of Northern Alberta. If we win there, it will be like Michael Bublé. He was a winner at CAFÉ,” added Mossop, 19.
No stranger to success, Mossop won AMPIA’s 2009 Rosie Award as Best Actress for her lead role in The Kois. At the St. Albert Mayor’s Gala, she carried home the Visionary College Award for Youth Artist and has landed several Futures Fest awards.
On the other hand Lecky has demonstrated his vibrant song-writing skills when Bring It On, a co-write with his father Bruce, was selected as the theme song for the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games. Lecky has also won a shelf full of awards including Futures Fest People’s Choice.
Mossop attributes part of their success at Northern Star to ignoring the other performances.
“Every year we’d watch the other performances. This year we didn’t watch them and tried to stay in our own heads.”
Lecky jumps in, saying, “We’ve been in it for the past three years. It was tough. There was so much good talent. This was the last year we could compete so we put our best foot forward.”
In stating that this was their last year to compete, he refers to the ruling that amateur competitors must be between the ages of five to 21.
After the performances, judges commented on the duo’s natural chemistry – something that went a long way in cementing their win, Mossop says.
“We made sure to pay a lot of attention to each other and what we do. We tried to show passion for the music and each other.”
Lecky also thanked and praised the volunteers for their commitment to promoting youth talent – a gesture none of the other performers offered.
“Some of the volunteers have been doing it for 20 to 25 years and they do it because they love it. When we thanked the volunteers the judges nearly had a heart attack. They were afraid we’d go over the time limit. But we stayed under. They later said it was definitely a shoe-in.”
Lecky and Mossop are in pre-production for a new album that will incorporate folky lyrics, a bluesy vocal style and catchy pop melodies. They plan to use the $2,000 to master this hybrid and hope to release it within the next six months.
Second runner-up to the grand prize is another St. Albert resident, Anisha Joshi. Additional St. Albert finalists include Dustin Olsen, Yasmeen Najmeddine, Damien Doris, Julia Nicholson, Andrew Boyd and Nicole Hoffman.