When asked to sing, Red Deer’s Jase Nelson will smoothly belt out a classic like Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, a song and performance mature beyond his eight years of age.
The aspiring crooner’s musical talent and delicate features caught the eye of a number of scouts at an international talent show in Los Angeles in early July.
“We just never expected for him to get five awards,” said Maggie Hewitt, Jase’s grandmother.
Jase spent four days auditioning as a singer, actor and model at the International Presentation of Performers, which is known as iPOP.
He was the first runner-up swim wear model, third runner-up formal wear model, fifth place overall model, second runner-up in vocal arrangement and earned an honourable mention for his monologues.
He was the most decorated of the 29 Canadians performing alongside the 800 others representing 12 countries at the biannual talent search.
But Jase brought home more than the awards shaped like vintage microphones.
“I think it would be the confidence and the experience,” he said when asked what he gained from the auditions.
Jase also feels one step closer to his dream of performing on Broadway.
Hewitt noted a Broadway producer from New York was one of the 11 agents who expressed an interest in working with Jase after seeing his performances at iPOP.
Hewitt and Jase’s mother, Andy Nelson, will spend the summer familiarizing themselves with the 11 agencies before deciding which one may be the best fit for Jase.
For now, Jase will spend the summer having fun performing — something he’s been keen to do since the age of four.
He sang 19 songs from the likes of country legends Hanks Williams and Ian Tyson in a 45-minute solo act at the Windows on the West showcase at the Calgary Stampede, and had two shows at the Peace River rodeo.
Jase will also audition for Canada’s Got Talent in Edmonton in September.