Lecky wins singing contest
Singer-songwriter Stephen Lecky forging his own path in music
Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 06:00 am
And the top dog of the inaugural Bourbon Idol is singer-songwriter Stephen Lecky.
“It was tough and I was so surprised. The competition was awesome. It was quite stiff and kept everyone on their toes,” said Lecky. “It was a lot of hard work, but it was a good marker to show I’m on the right path.
Organized by The Bourbon Room in Campbell Business Park, the competition took place over a seven-week period, culminating Wednesday, July 16. The competition started with 11 aspirants and ended with five artists competing at the finals. Each artist was required to perform two songs.
One tune Lecky chose was Summertime, a Gershwin composition that skyrocketed to fame after Ella Fitzgerald sang it. It was the high point of his act.
“I had the idea of putting sparklers in my saxophone. So basically I got three friends to light it (sax) with sparklers. I jumped off the stage and played throughout the crowd while my sax was on fire. It was an awesome moment,” Lecky said.
The former St. Albert resident just graduated from MacEwan University’s music program, but had doubts about his chosen career. Could he find gigs? Could he make a living?
To pay the bills, Lecky was busking on Whyte Avenue by Chianti Café & Restaurant, the The Billiard Club and occasionally at the St. Albert Farmers’ Market.
With a pocketful of busking money, he travelled to India on a two-week spiritual retreat in the spring, learning a new form of mediation at the Siddhanath Forest Ashram.
“I was meditating in a beautiful valley where monkeys and peacocks run around. It became a beautiful piece of heaven where about 150 people from all over the world and all walks of life came. It felt very natural.”
After re-energizing his life force, Lecky returned with a fresh, upbeat view and discovered it changed his life.
He won the idol challenge and teamed up with Benjamin Williams, 15, from Edmonton to swap support for each others’ albums.
Lecky is recording a six-song CD of his music, something he calls a little sampler.
“I just want to keep the momentum going. I’ve never worked this hard and made my own way so successfully. I’m going out there and learning to push past the doubt and get out there ‘cause there is no one who writes a paycheque for me. It’s taught me to go past my fears.”
Lecky takes home $1,000 cash from Bourbon Idol and will use it to fund a California spiritual retreat.