Local singers vying for Kootenay title

Colin Lindren and Katie Loughlin recently advanced from the Trail’s Best Singer to the Kootenays Best Singer in Cranbrook this weekend.

Two local singers are about to go up against the best in the Kootenays this weekend.

Colin Lindren and Katie Loughlin recently advanced from the Trail’s Best Singer to the Kootenays Best Singer competition in Cranbrook this weekend.

“The talent I’ve seen in the Kootenays has been absolutely amazing,” said music producer Vern Gorham.

Gorham traveled to 14 communities over two months to gear up for the Kootenays’ Best Singer Contest 2012. The final competition will place in Cranbrook’s Alliance Church, behind the Tamarack Mall, on Saturday.

Lindren placed first at the Trail event on May 31 topping the list of 16 performers with a song he wrote and performed on acoustic guitar. He credits his childhood in Montrose for creating a unique sound.

“It’s kind of like rock (music),” said Lindren. “With a bit of pop. . .growing up in the Kootenays showed me a slower way of life and it’s very family oriented so a lot of my songs are about my relationships.”

The importance of family life is one aspect that Lindren values. He spent roughly two and a half years working in a recording studio with musicians in Greater Toronto and moved back home to help his parents build a new house. Lindren uses his free time to write songs and play guitar.

“I have performed a lot,” said Lindren. “But strangely, I was actually kind of nervous at this competition. It’s the first time I’ve performed in front my family—my immediate family has obviously heard me sing a lot, but my (extended family) came out too because I’m back in Trail.”

He said the competition in Trail was a lot of fun and that there were a lot of strong performances.

“I was surprised that I won,” said Lindren. “A couple of the girls were really good.”

Katie Loughlin was one of those and placed second in the Trail competition.

“I was probably 14 when I started writing and I’ve been involved in guitar since I was 12,” said Loughlin. “I have a variety of songs and they’re about all kinds of things, I write songs because for me it’s a creative outlet.”

Loughlin was raised in Fruitvale and spent most of her spare time consumed by writing music. She was nervous about the competition in Trail, but said being nervous “helps” her performances.

“Once the adrenaline starts pumping it’s just natural,” said Loughlin.