The first week, he went as a spectator. The second week, he performed. By the third week, Josh Dean was invited into the recording studio.
“It has been such short time, I don’t know if it would happen to everyone at the speed this has,” said the 20-year-old.
Dean is among the emerging musicians who have been taking part in Music Nova Scotia’s Open Mic nights at The Seahorse Tavern. It is an opportunity for singers and songwriters to perform their original creations — and meet other members of the music industry.
“It’s not like an open mic where people get drunk and listen to whoever is up there,” said Dean. “There are other musicians you are listening to, other musicians you play with. It has actually gotten more popular.”
It was after his second performance at the Tuesday night event that Dean had the opportunity to meet with people from Codapop, a local recording studio. They began working together, and Dean is now getting ready to release an EP.
Laura Simpson is one of the organizers of the event. She said the event was started earlier this year as a way to get musicians networking with each other.
“We look at him as text book progression,” said the Music Nova Scotia employee said about Josh. “This is a place people can go and meet people of like minded interest.
“It’s like a matchmaker service.”
Simpson said the atmosphere is relaxed and supportive — and different than other open mics. People are there to listen and to try out new material.
“People need more stage time in a city where there are venues closing down,” she said. “That is the reason, to really give stage time to performers who need to start getting it because they haven’t had that before.”
Dean said the event is encouraging, and knowing someone wants to hear you perform makes you want to write more, and get on stage again.
“Every Tuesday night is a reason to have more ideas, more songs going,” he said.