Although singing is only a hobby to her, local singer Alyssa Waser has reached near the top of the karaoke ladder.
Last month, she was named the BC Provincial Karaoke Championship winner, at the Vancouver-hosted competition, placing first of around 43 participants.
This week, she’s heading back to Vancouver for the Karaoke World Championship National Finals.
The accomplished singer said that she’s simply always held music and singing close to her heart.
“I’ve been singing since I was three,” she said. “I started in church in the Northwest Territories.”
Her family moved to Lake Cowichan when she was 10, staying here for three years, and then jumping back and forth between Lake Cowichan and the Northwest Territories for the rest of her adolescence.
She graduated from Lake Cowichan Secondary School in 2005.
“In high school I did a lot of singing for assemblies and for grad,” she said. “Now I do a lot of singing at karaoke. I’ve also been doing wedding singing since I was 16.”
A few years ago, Waser even competed in Canadian Idol.
Continuing to catch every chance she can find to sing, she was one of two winners named in a preliminary karaoke contest in Duncan, alongside Trevor Dunn. Both singers were neck to neck in the provincial finals.
“I went out there with really low expectations,” Waser said.
Having brought no-one with her, as she wasn’t anticipating a win, her mother watched the competition on the internet, as the winner was announced.
Competing against Dunn – a singer she very much respects – Waser was surprised when her name was called out as the competition’s winner.
Her winning performance had her singing the Janis Joplin song Cry Baby; a performance she tested out beforehand during Lake Cowichan’s June 10 Lake Cowichan Idol.
“It was awful,” she said, of her well-received Lake Cowichan performance, adding that she was getting over a bronchial infection at the time.
Her vocal chords were better off during her winning performance in the subsequent week’s provincial championships.
Now, in addition to preparing for nationals, Waser is getting ready to record a music video, and a single; both of which area components of her provincial first-place win.
A trick to her pursuing musical endeavours is fitting it into her already busy schedule.
Waser currently resides in Lake Cowichan, and works as the manager of Duncan’s Shoe Warehouse.
The Gazette will catch up with Waser following her Thursday, July 21, Canadian National Championships performance, to see how well she did.
The winner will receive more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, and a chance to represent Canada against competitors in 20 other countires in the Karaoke World Championships in Killarney, Ireland.
A few songs Waser co-wrote with fellow Lake Cowichan musician Peter Mitchell are available on the internet, through a search of “Alyssa Waser” on www.youtube.com.