If this year’s Rising Stars performers wonder where the talent search can lead, they can just ask two-time finalist Chloe Louise. The Madison singer recently signed with the independent music label Sunday Night Records.
“I performed in the Rising Stars talent search in both 2015 and 2016,” Louise said. “The first year I did it, a friend of my mom’s sent me the link. I just thought it was a great opportunity.”
Registration is now free and open for the fourth season of Rising Stars, with a $1,000 grand prize for the winner in the final round and a chance to perform at the Overture Center next season. Auditions will be held on August 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and again on August 19 at the at the Overture in Rotunda Studio. The finals will be held on September 9, in Capitol Theater. For those interested in learning more or signing up for the talent search, full directions are provided at overture.org/risingstars.
Having an opportunity to do anything with the Overture Center is awesome, Chloe Louise said. The theater is beautiful, and the singer said of the things that pushed her to do it was the opportunity to meet some great people in the process.
Louise performed an original song in the Rising Stars talent search and made it to the final round both times. As someone who was used to performing in front of friends, family, and a tight fan base, standing before the judges and audience at the Overture-sponsored program was a nerve-racking experience for the singer.
Most recently, Louise performed at the July 13 Madison Night Market on State Street at Lisa Link Peace Park. The singer will also be sharing the stage with five other SNR musicians as part of a showcase for the label on Saturday at North Street Cabaret, the new music venue at 610 North St.
Louise describes her music as “pop/alternative” with a little country in the mix. In that sense her sound stems from multiple influences, covering music from Bob Dylan to modern hip/hop artist Drake and everything in between, she said.
As an aspiring musician in the Madison DIY art scene, the 25-year-old local musician took to the stage in the Overture Center’s Rising Stars talent competition because she wanted to challenge herself.
Since then, Louise said she's connected with like-minded individuals in the Madison music scene who are creating an environment for artists to thrive and have access to the resources of a label, without having to navigate the complexities of a mainstream record deal.
That independent, or self represented-artist route is growing more and more popular. Chicago native and recent Grammy award winner Chance the Rapper paved his way without signing with a major label. Chance now stands as a popular model for the “Do-It-Yourself” spirit in the conversation surrounding artists, record deals, and what it takes to be independent but equally successful without the backing of a major label.
With SNR (Sunday Night Records), the independent label now behind Chloe Louise, the singer said she gets the added benefit of working with friends who have supported her music from the get-go.
“Sunday Night Records was started by a few of my friends who are also musicians,” Louise said. “They decided just this past year that they wanted a label that would support local artists and local music. They wanted to really do something special that was completely just about the music and the artists. I am lucky enough that when they decided to start this label, they asked me to be a part of it.”
She is currently working on her debut album with Sunday Night Records. The project started out as a short EP, but the artist and her label decided to go for a full body of work for her debut, which she is excited to unveil as a bonafide artist of the SNR label.