P.E.I. musician Dylan Menzie finalist on new TV talent show

P.E.I. musician Dylan Menzie is going to start 2018 off right — starring in a new national television talent show on CTV called The Launch.

'I tried to play it cool,' says Menzie of meeting man who discovered Taylor Swift

Dylan Menzie is the only P.E.I. artist to be featured on the new CTV show The Launch, which will debut in January. (CTV/Bell Media)

P.E.I. musician Dylan Menzie is going to start 2018 off right — starring in a new national television talent show on CTV called The Launch.

Menzie is one of 30 artists chosen from 10,000 applicants to participate in the six-part musical series.

If Scott Borchetta knows my name, you can't put a price on that.— Dylan Menzie

"When I heard about it I thought — why wouldn't you do it?" Menzie said. 

"It just seems like it would be a great opportunity to meet some influencers and gain some new fans across the country."

Menzie is not a stranger to TV talent shows — he was one of four finalists in CBC's nationally televised Searchlight contest in 2016, with his breakout single Kenya.

The competition

Here's how The Launch works: each episode features a new, original song written by a world-famous songwriter/producer. Five musicians or acts per episode audition for a panel of celebrity mentors, then two are selected to record the song in a professional studio and sing it live in front of a studio audience. 

At the end of each episode, one artist walks away with a contract to record the song — which producers believe has a high potential of becoming a hit.  

"Following the conclusion of each episode, the chosen song is immediately released/available and promoted across the country through a multitude of radio and digital platforms/properties," said CTV's Natalie Cole. 

"The chosen artist is supported through an intensive marketing/publicity campaign, appearing on marquee national news and talk programs, a radio junket, etc. Essentially being 'launched' overnight."

"Getting to go on the show and just play music for incredible people as well as the audience that's watching," will be beneficial, said Menzie. 

'Can't say anything'

Taping of The Launch has already wrapped up in Toronto, but Menzie and the other contestants have been sworn to secrecy about the outcome. 

Menzie can't even reveal which of the show's celebrity mentors he worked with — they included Fergie, Boy George, Nikki Sixx and Shania Twain.   

"I can't say anything about it, so I'm going to have to leave you in the dark," he said with a smile, adding, "It was a really positive environment — everybody was really there for the music, to ... push you further."

But Menzie could reveal he met the show's star and executive producer, music mogul Scott Borchetta — the man who discovered Taylor Swift and other notable acts including Florida Georgia Line. Borchetta also worked for a couple of years on American Idol. 

"It was pretty nerve-wracking — I tried to play it cool," Menzie said.

"If Scott Borchetta knows my name, you can't put a price on that."

'Love and time'

Menzie is fresh off a two-week tour of Australia and is heading out on a 10-date solo tour of Ontario, before returning to P.E.I. for a Christmas show at The Mack Dec. 8. It's a fundraiser for the local food bank, and will feature several special yet-to-be-announced guests, he said.

Dylan Menzie on the set of The Launch earlier this fall. (CTV/Bell Media)

Besides enjoying whatever fame The Launch will bring him, Menzie is planning this winter to release As the Clock Rewinds, a collection of reworked cuts from his second album Adolescent Nature, plus a bonus track. 

The release will buy Menzie time to work on his third album, which he said will explore "connections," and be ready late 2018 or early 2019.  

"I really want to make that new record something really special, and I feel like I want to have more time to do it and give these songs the love and time they deserve," Menzie said. 


Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a bachelor of journalism (honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email