The Top Ten: Undiscovered Artists Series at MadLife

On April 11, 2018 MadLife Stage and Studios hosted the Undiscovered Artists- Quarter Finals and the audience was treated performances by the top ten finalists. Each of the finalists had made it through previous rounds of competitions and were invited back to compete for cash prizes and the grand prize of a days’ worth of recording time in the MadLife state of the art recording studio with Grammy nominated sound engineer, Steven Morrison

Each artist or band could sing two songs in the beginning of the evening and then the judges picked their top three selections.  The audience would round out the finalists by helping choose the fourth “audience choice” finalist by decibel meter. The four finalists then were able to perform one more time to hopefully secure the judges’ vote. 

The evening was hosted by singer/songwriter, Greg Shaddix, who treated to the audience to two of his original songs while the judges deliberated.  

Undiscovered Artist Quarter Finalists

In performance order…

1. The Jesse Williams Band
2. Josh Sellers
3. Cat Carter
4. Will Tipton
5. Ian Calk (of Brighter Light)
6. Sweet Soul Sister
7. Garrett Collins
8. Ashley Carson
9. Luke Sadecky
10. Wyatt Espalin


The three finalists were Ian Calk, Wyatt Espalin, Jesse Williams, and the audience choice was Will Tipton. 

Ian Calk walked away as the evening’s overall winner.  Check out his latest single “Wishing I Was Somebody Else” here.   

“I’m not sure what was more impressive, the artists who put on the show, or the MadLife staff that put on the show. It was just incredibly humbling.  And hearing how talented everyone was made me a complete nervous wreck the entire night.”  The prize money will go toward the Brighter Light funds, the studio time will be put toward some of our newer songs that we need to record.” —Ian Calk

Ian shared with me how he came to write the love song “Silver.”

“So most of my songs are about my wife. But Silver is a special one. My wife and I were dating and I broke up with her because I was immature and had a bit of growing up to do. But then I realized I had made a huge mistake and ruined something with someone very special and so I wrote Silver as a kind of love letter to her to try to win her back. And we’re married now so I guess it worked!” —Ian Calk

Check out the official lyric video of “Silver” by Brighter Light:

 The Undiscovered Artist Showcase is an evening dedicated to local and regional artists, aspiring and professionals alike, giving them the opportunity to take the stage and present their performance and songwriting talents to an audience comprised of people who truly appreciate musicians, original music and live performances.  Local artists that are interested in competing in the next round of the Undiscovered Artists Series should contact MadLife Stage and Studios or see their Frequently Asked Questions about the series listed here: Madlife Stage & Studios | Undiscovered

Carey Hood Written by: