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Home » Simone Denny: The Power of No! Be the Superstar! at TEDxStMaryCSSchool (Transcript)

Simone Denny: The Power of No! Be the Superstar! at TEDxStMaryCSSchool (Transcript)

Simone Denny – Canadian singer
Initially, as a kid, my interests were visual art, fashion design, and music was cultural, because my parents are from the Caribbean, they’re Guyanese. And so, it was in our home, every day, every week. Varied styles of music.

I also sang in the school choir in Catholic school, in grade school, and in high school. But if you had told me all those years ago that I’d go on to win Juno Awards and MuchMusic Awards, I would have laughed. Music was not my focus, nor my passion, nor my direction. It wasn’t until my grade school put on a talent show, and I wanted to be involved. And truthfully, when I stood on that stage, I didn’t know if I had actual vocal talent. I just wanted to be on the stage and contribute to my school.

By the time I finished singing, I got a standing ovation. And by the time I walked off that stage, music had found me and changed me forever. After that, anything that I could do to be in front of a crowd, I was there.

Flash forward a few years later, I went to Humber College for music, where I met some of Toronto’s most amazing musicians, and I immersed myself in the music community. Then I started to take this recording artist thing seriously, and I said, “You know, R&B is hot. I’m going to be an R&B singer.” Unfortunately for me, every other girl in Toronto wanted to be an R&B singer as well. A little bit challenging. I was told by one producer that no, I didn’t have the right look and the right image, and that no, I’d never be on TV, and that no, I’d never sign a recording contract or have any sort of success ever.

Then, I joined a girl group, an R&B girl group, and was told that I was too powerful vocally, and that I shouldn’t consider myself a lead vocalist, and I should be content to stay in the background and be a background vocalist. No way. It wasn’t going to happen. I was so incredibly frustrated, but despite my frustration, I went on to demo music for different producers in Toronto.

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