Nfld. & Labrador

Corner Brook's got talent: Girls nab top spot in NewFound Talent Contest

Dahlia Waller and Bridget Swift are singing some happy tunes, after the duo's big win at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival this past weekend.

Dahlia Waller and Bridget Swift performed at the N.L. Folk Fest as part of their prize

Dahlia Waller, left, and Bridget Swift are this year's winner of the NewFound Talent Contest. (Brian McHugh/CBC)

A young Corner Brook folk duo has won the Statoil NewFound Talent Contest and got to perform on the main stage of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in St. John's this past weekend.

Bridget Swift and Dahlia Waller are still pinching themselves about the experience.

"We were freaking out. It was surreal," Waller told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

"We thought, well, if we're going to win anything, it's probably going to be fourth place because there were a lot of really good contestants," added Swift.

The teenagers won after performing their original song Castle, a sparse, ghostly song carried by their soaring harmonies.

"We picked the one with what we thought was a good story. Because it's a folk festival, people like something that they can relate to," said Waller.

"We spent a lot of time just practicing that one song, and doing it over and over and perfecting it."

Playing to thousands

The duo played to a crowd of thousands at Bannerman Park as part of their win.

"Right before we went on we were just freaking out — 'what it's going to look like from the stage?' — because it was so many people," said Waller.

"We were pretty nervous when we were about to go on, but when we started singing it was really cool," said Swift.

They aren't the first Corner Brookers to win the contest. Emma Peckford captured the same title three years ago, and had a little bit of advice for the new stars.

Emma Peckford won the same contest three years ago, and says that started her music career. (Dean Peckford photo)

"My biggest advice would be to stay true to yourself, and it kind of seems a little cheesy to say 'be you,' but I think its really really important," said Peckford, who has gone on to record numerous songs and win a national contest.

"What's gotten them this far is their amazing songwriting and their amazing talent, which is all a part of them. So if they stay true to that, they'll go as far as they can."

The contest, run by Music NL, is open to performers under 19 years of age. The winners receive a prize package that includes a professional recording session for a two-song demo, a music video and other musical perks.

With files from The Corner Brook Morning Show