Emily Orescanin on Her Duet with Hedley
Emily Orescanin, a 17 year old Moose Javian songwriter, recently had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She got to sing a duet, onstage, in front of thousands of screaming fans at Mosaic Place, with Hedley, one of Canada's most popular musical acts.
She won the opportunity after uploading a cover rendition of Hedley's hit single, "Better Days" to her Twitter account.
"I had a lot of fun with the experience". She said. "It was a little nerve-racking beforehand because there was no rehearsal and I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen! I watched the show in the crowd with everyone else before and after I was onstage."
Like a true performer, Emily's nerves disappeared as soon as she hit the stage and despite the limited organization, Emily nailed her performance.
"Weirdly enough," she said, "the least scary part of the night was the performance itself. I think I assumed that it would be more difficult performing for a larger audience but once I got up there everything felt very easy and natural."
It was undoubtedly something she will remember for the rest of her life and it was also a pivotal and important learning experience for her, as it would be for any aspiring musician. Any opportunity to play in front of a crowd that big, with a band that talented and with technology and sound that impressive would be.
"I fully enjoyed being able to sing on that scale and I had a great time" she said.
But only just hours after the show, Hedley was dropped by their management team because of allegations of sexual misconduct.
Some of the stories released about the band prior to these allegations are downright revolting. If true and if they were convicted of them, the band could easily be facing lengthy prison sentences. One particular story claims they had been investigated for drugging and possibly assaulting and underage girl, after a concert, in London Ontario.
Neon Dreams, one of their supporting acts, pulled out of the tour. Their appearance at the Juno Awards was cancelled and some of the charities they work with cut ties with them. The fallout was swift and decisive.
It's almost impossible to think that Hedley hadn't been made aware of the allegations before the show. The potential fallout from it was likely running through their minds as Emily was on stage with them.
"I never actually met the band or talked to them before or after the show, so I can’t comment too much on what they were like. That being said, I was met with kindness onstage and was given lots of freedom to perform how I wanted to" Emily stated.
But the allegations bother Emily. They have tinted the experience with a negative lens, for her. Emily's response to it was thoughtful, well-spoken and indicative of someone wise beyond her years.
"All of this is very disappointing as someone who enjoyed their music" she said, adding, "my heart goes out to those who have been negatively affected. I think we need to work together to make sure the music industry is safe for women and young fans and I hope that we can create a society where people feel there is enough support in their communities to speak up when something happens. I will always enjoy the experience of performing in that type of energetic setting. It is somewhat comforting to know that victims do not always have to suffer in silence and that the accused can defend their actions in a legal setting. Both of these are important mechanisms in our society and it is important to exercise them when things like this happen."
It was an unfortunate end to a wonderful experience. But she will continue to do what she does. write music, play songs and focus on her own future.
Emily's most recent single, "Head Strong" was produced right here in Moose Jaw, at Nebulus Entertainment. You can find it on ITunes, Spotify and GooglePlay.