INGLESIDE – “So here’s a broadcast from my bedroom/A lighthouse to run you aground/ I’ll sing it out on this ship if it goes down/ Because boys and girls/ It feels like the end of the world.”
The CBC Searchlight Contest for 2021 was a little different this year. In this time of Pandemic, when the venues for artists in all fields have been closed and shuttered, judges asked aspiring young musicians to submit compositions which somehow reflected this new reality. Over 2,400 musicians across Canada sent in their music videos. Contest judges and the general public were able to vote for the artists who most caught their attention.
Daniel Campoli, 29, of Ingleside, (who describes his style as “alternative rock”) is a local artist who has caught the attention of both the 2021 CBC Searchlight judges and of listeners and viewers everywhere in Canada.
Daniel made the top 100 cut in this year’s Searchlight contest, an incredible achievement in itself: he is currently awaiting news (June 18) of his final placement.
I was able to talk with Daniel about this accomplishment, and about the ideas and feelings which led to his contest composition, “Broadcast from my Bedroom.”
“To be chosen from so many was very cool,” he laughed. Daniel was particularly thrilled to learn that he had made the judges’ top 50 list. “They listened to my song, and they loved it. That was incredibly important to me.”
Daniel has been a pianist for over 20 years, and creates all his works on the piano. When the pandemic struck, his hours at his part-time job were cut back. “But this also meant that I was given more time to work in my studio, to really devote myself to writing music. My songs are very personal, introspective. I want to put down on paper the way I feel. And I want people to feel something when they hear my songs.”
“Broadcast from my Bedroom” developed out of these months of thoughtful work.
He explained that early on, he was in contact with a friend in Germany, who said to him “they are closing all the cinemas in Germany.” That phrase stayed in his head, and he found himself setting it to a melody. “Eventually I sat down and started to put my song together. I tried to include pieces from all over the world, to comment on the pandemic situation. Yet I also wanted to create a song of hope. I wanted to keep people from ‘falling off the edge of the world.’ ”
He said that he also drew inspiration from an unusual, and sad, source.
“I found myself thinking of those musicians, on the deck of the Titanic, who sat together and played for the people even though they knew they would die. They were putting their music out there. I think it was like they tried to say to people, even in the face of this disaster, that there is still hope.Well, as musicians, I think we are still putting our music out there. I wanted my song to offer hope in a troubled and scary time.”
Campoli describes music as “his whole life.” It is his ambition, as a singer-songwriter, to one day devote himself to this career full time.
He feels that contests like The CBC Searchlight are incredibly important. “A contest like Searchlight allows Canadians, even those in small towns and rural areas, to put their music out there for others to hear, and for people in the industry to hear their work too. It’s a great opportunity.The prizes for this contest are designed to help musicians too, to give them technical and professional support, to help them develop, which I think is really important. I would like to be in the producer’s chair myself one day, helping others.”
Campoli continues to write and compose, with a new song “Running When the Going Gets Tough” just released June 11. He definitely misses performing live, making that special connection with the audience: he looks forward to playing for “real people” again soon. In the meantime, he awaits news about his Searchlight entry, “Broadcast from my Bedroom,” with its message of hope even in the worst of times. “I’ll play it loud in the streets of this ghost town/ So boys and girls/ Don’t fall off the edge of the world.”