Teen wows judges with original song on route to C-R Next Talent victory

Anil Jhalli
Teen wows judges with original song on route to C-R Next Talent victory
(Photo : Photo provided)

When she was announced as the winner of the 2024 Clarence-Rockland Next Talent competition, Ariel Shaw just couldn’t believe it.  

“I was just shocked,” said the 17-year-old teenager from Rockland. “I wasn’t expecting it all, and at the time, it just wasn’t registering what was happening.” 

Shaw, who is attending Canterbury High School in Ottawa as she pursues her lifelong dream of becoming a full-time musician, was one of nine participating acts for this year’s talent search, an event created by the City of Clarence-Rockland in 2023.  

The 2024 Clarence-Rockland Next Talent competition was held on Sunday, May 5, at the Optimiste Performance Hall.  

“We were amazed by the talented people we have here in our community,” said Christine Sarault, the City of Clarence-Rockland’s community and cultural activities coordinator, who helped spearhead the talent show. “We were really happy with the turnout this year and just really impressed with what we saw here today.” 

Shaw performed an original song called ‘The Rain’, which deals with a young person’s mental health struggles.  

Her performance earned rave reviews and blew away the judging panel and sees this opportunity as a first step to jumpstarting a career in music.  

“I feel really good right now, this is such an amazing opportunity,” said Shaw, who lists Joni Mitchell, Billie Eilish and Noah Kahan as her biggest musical influences. “Winning this competition is such a big confidence boost and, hopefully, it will lead to that big break for me in my future musical career.” 

Shaw auditioned for Canada’s Got Talent, but was cut just before the tv auditions.  

Now that she has won Clarence-Rockland’s Next Talent competition, she hopes that it will give her more exposure as she looks to take part in Canada’s Got Talent in the future.  

“I am definitely ready for what comes next,” she said. 

Shaw won $1,000 and will perform on the main stage during Clarence-Rockland Canada Day celebrations at Parc Simon.  

The judges panel for the 2024 Clarence-Rockland Next Talent Competition included Audrey Faucon, part of the group Pop Rocks who won the inaugural talent show in 2023, singer-songwriter North Easton and Clarence-Rockland Mayor Mario Zanth.  

“I don’t care about being rich or famous,” said Shaw. “I just want to earn a living full-time making music where I can live comfortably.” 

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