'The Voice' of Strauss

Few folks know, but local Kelowna musician, Norm Strauss, played at the very first Parks Alive! show (which was at that time called Kelowna Pride). His singer/songwriter, folk music filled lifestyle has taken Norm on many adventures in life, but one of his recent experiences was being featured on the German version of ‘The Voice’. Part-time Dresden (Germany) / Kelowna resident, he has built a solid career as a house concert touring musician, and has weaved in and out of Kelowna's live music scene for a couple of decades. 

Check out his live performance and the positive response to it on the German ‘The Voice’: http://bit.ly/1k9EjME

I caught up with Norm this week to ask about the experience. Here’s our conversation: 

RD: Why did you audition?

NS: Normally there is quite a lengthy pre-audition process to get onto the show, involving at least 3 'pre-scout' auditions that take place in various cites in Germany. I had never heard of the show, and did not apply or take place in the pre-scouts. They contacted me by email in May, just out of the blue, and asked if I would consider taking part in the show. At first I actually thought it was a scam.

It took me a little while to investigate the show, and finally I agreed to meet with them in Berlin. I sang a couple songs in front of some Universal Music execs, and some other music industry people in a small room in Adlershof, Berlin.

Next thing I knew they handed me a huge contract to look over. Long story short, I ended up coming to Berlin after much agonizing over whether or not to be on this show. I even called past contestants to ask about their experience.

RD: What are your hopes with your involvement with the show?

NS: My final decision was based on the exposure I would get, and the fact that I represent a humanitarian project in Romania http://www.newhorizonromania.com/ which I talk about in all of my concerts. I thought this would be a great way to get the work of this project more widely known.

RD: How has the response been?

NS: The response has been immediate. When the show aired on Friday evening (German time), I happened to be sitting in front of my computer, logged into Facebook. It lit up like a Christmas tree, and hasn't stopped since. I tried to keep up to all the emails and FB messages, but at least on Friday, this was impossible. Monday I finally caught up. The messages still keep coming. 90%, of course, from Germany.

About 75% of my concerts in the last two years have been house concerts, which I love doing. I am in the Kelowna area now for the next few months and am available for some gigs. 

For more information about Norm Strauss: http://www.normstrauss.com/house-concerts

We have been listening to Norm's music for a long time at our house. His songs are the theme song for many and various moments in my life. Here is a video of my daughter’s favourite song, Unbreakable:

Ryan Donn Norm Strauss singing 'Unbreakable'

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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