St. Albert singer-songwriter Hailey Benedict, 17, is one of 10 finalists for My United Way Voice and she is asking fans to log on to their computer and vote for her.
My United Way Voice is a competition that invites singers, rappers and spoken word artists to share their thoughts and voices on poverty through the power of their music.
“As an artist it’s cool to create songs. It’s not just about money, but it’s about helping to change things through my voice. Being an artist gives us a platform to help people and that’s very special,” said Benedict.
The Grade 11 Paul Kane High student submitted a newly penned song, Cold Hands Warm Heart, a tune that seeks compassion and understanding for individuals caught in the spiral of poverty.
“There are a lot of people struggling in poverty and helping out can make a big difference in their lives. The United Way is there to help and spread awareness. Some people lose their jobs. Some people have mental illness. And then there are single mothers raising kids. People can be one paycheque away from losing everything,” Benedict said.
The rising country star and musical theatre aficionado’s writing style is to paint a picture through story songs.
“In my song, I tell different stories of people. A man on a street begging for change. A single mother raising a family. And I sing about how we can do better and give. It can be about money. It can also be about volunteering and helping out yourself. We’re all in this together.”
Voting is permitted once every 24 hours at myunitedwayvoice.ca until Friday, June 21. On that day, the Top 3 will be selected at a showcase starting at 6 p.m. at Visionary Centre for Performing Arts, 2804 Calgary Trail.
A second showcase takes place at Soundtrack Music Festival on June 22 at Kinsmen Field House where the winner is announced.
The $20,000 grand prize includes cash, a professional music video and song, gear package, photo shoot and a styling gift certificate.