Rise To Stardom

Orphaned in the old world after taking care of his irresponsible and sick mother for years on end, Kyle finds his life turned upside down. His already dim world turns even gloomier and coupled with his trauma from losing her, Kyle felt like he had lost his purpose in life. Living day by day, akin to a soulless puppet, he struggled to keep his suicidal thoughts in check, all whilst trying to make ends meet as a cabbie. During those dark times, Kyle slowly begins to find solace in the world of music and movies. Even though it had always been there, it truly became something as a bloodline of sorts for him because, individually, both pieces of media, transported him to another world, one where he could feel happy, if even for a fleeting moment. And, as if the universe wanted even more for him, Kyle met some lovely old people, all of whom treated him as the son they never had, making him feel like he had a family after so long. This eventually, helped him let go of his trauma and turned him into the lovely soul he was always meant to be. But as fate would have it, these same people, wanted for Kyle to pursue his dreams because they saw the potential for greatness in him and the wonderous things he could go on to do, even if Kyle himself was oblivious to it. So, in an effort to make his dreams come true, they ended up gifting him a brand new chance, one that Kyle himself would only go on to realize after his untimely death in a fatal car accident. Now awake in the new world, still orphaned but with a brighter perspective on life, Kyle, armed with a System, another gift from his loved ones in the previous world, decides to take the chance to pursue his dreams of being a star, one that he was unable to pursue in his previous life due to his lack of talent. This is the story of a man who will go on to become the most versatile and renowned superstar all over the world... and it starts, just as he takes his first step into the cutthroat world of fame and fortune by registering for the popular singing reality TV competition, 'Rising Voices'. Known to be a fiercely competitive TV show, Kyle will meet with top contestants from around the world, go up against them, level up and become better, and ultimately, battle with them for the number one spot in the show as a dark horse! --- |AUTHOR NOTE| Just wanted to make it clear, that the singing competition which will be the first arc of the novel, will end around the late twenty-ish or early thirty-ish chapters. After that, you can expect so much more from the story so look forward to it! Also, although the setting is in a parallel world, all the songs, scripts and movies (although I will draw inspiration here and there), will be originals penned by yours truly (-‿◦).

Caeruleum_ · Urban
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96 Chs

First Song, First Audition

"You'll only be given three minutes to impress the judges' asides the introductions and formalities so give it your all" the production staff whom had originally called for Kyle's number said to him as he walked over.

With a subtle nod of acknowledgement, Kyle slowly walked over to the stage, his guitar in hand, and a bit of nervousness washing over him.

Although he was quite confident about how he would perform, especially since he grinded levels over the past week, there was still a certain insecurity that came with knowing he could get rejected without even getting a chance to shine.

But with a small mantra in his mind, he kept walking on, his face completely calm on the outside.

'You can do this Kyle. You can do this!'

Finally standing on stage as he stared at the three judges, Kyle gave a light smile as he watched them scrutinize him.

Realizing that the young man before them was indeed one of the most relaxed they had encountered today, one of the judges soon spoke.

"Hello. How're you today?" Jack O'Bryan had been the one to speak to Kyle first, a blank look on his fifty-year old face.

Being the Casting Director and also one of the integral judges throughout the show, he was committed to ensuring that only the most impressive contestants would move forward.

Having being a music coach for years on end, the man had produced numerous talented singers who had gone on to become global stars.

Reputed for being the hardest judge to please, Jack, with his salt-pepper hair and piercing blue eyes, usually stayed stoic with no sign of readability while listening to or judging contestants.

"I'm nervous but I'll manage" Kyle replied with a small nod.

"Ah~. Upfront with your state of mind hmm? That's good" Kiara Jones, a stunning Black-American woman with curly olive-colored hair in her early thirties smiled and said.

Better known and most renowned for by her stage name; KJ; along with her endearing charisma, charms and elegant poise, Kiara was and still is, one of the top artists and models of this generation.

Having written hit songs like [Come Home] and [All I Want] that stayed as number one on [Beat Boulevard 100] for close to six weeks, she had gained international recognition and fame.

She also seemed to be the newest judge around this year as was the case with every year when a new judge would be swapped out for the previous.

"So what's your name? Tell us a little bit about yourself" she then asked Kyle almost immediately.

"My name's Kyle Kestis. 20 years of age. Originally from Gem Lake, Minnesota. I was chanced to grab a scholarship opportunity that brought me here to Toronto, Canada. I'm an Engineering major at Maple University"

"Wow. That's quite impressive" Blake Lively, long time judge on the show along with Jack O'Bryan said and leaned forward slightly, a smile present on his face as he questioned with a gesture of his hands.

"So, what made you decide to audition for Rising Voices? I mean, we obviously don't mind but, Engineering seems like it would ensure a pretty stable life if you play your cards right no?"

Being the polar opposite to Jack's approach, Blake was a renowned vocal coach and music composer whom had composed multiple hit songs for the most widely acclaimed artists and movies.

Still in his very early forties, he really was more of a people's person.

He was warm, receptive and also expressive with his chestnut-brown colored eyes and dyed-black hair, all of which functioned to loosen the knots and ease the contestants of their nervousness.

Thinking for a short second, Kyle then opened his mouth and spoke.

"Yeah. I like engineering. I really do. But singing has always been always been a big passion of mine. You could say I'm hopelessly in love with it"

Finishing his statement, the judges noticed as Kyle's eyes lit up with a genuine passion from beneath his messy bangs and the production team also ensured to zoom in the cameras on his face and capture that very moment.

With a contented nod, same as the other judges along with a small chuckle escaping Kiara's lips, Jack was the one to speak out.

"We can see that you truly are in love that's for sure. I hope you can live up to those expectations though"

"So what song will you be performing?" Kiara then followed up almost instantaneously with an important question.

"I'll be performing my original song titled [Spark]" Kyle replied with a gentle smile.

Kyle himself knew that he was taking a very big risk by performing an original instead of a popular song but he still wanted to do it regardless.

He really wanted to spread his own music to the world and this was the very first step he needed to achieve that.

'An original hmm? We've certainly heard some today but none was particularly good. I doubt his would be any different' Blake thought to himself and then gestured with his hands almost immediately.

"Well then. Let's hear it. The stage's yours"

"Thanks" Kyle replied and then got comfortable as he held his guitar in his hands.

Honestly, he had expected himself to be even more nervous when he was about to play but his conversation with the judges had really eased the tension.

And so, with a light strum of his guitar, a lone acoustic sound gently played, its tone melancholic and introspective.

🎸 ♪

When the days are dark,

And the light's gone dim,

And your dreams wane,

Feel like they're slipping away…

🎸 ♪

As Kyle's song unfolded with a half of its first verse, the judges were mildly surprised by how good the lyrics of the song was.

It accurately painted a picture of a very dark time in one's life and as Kyle sang the second verse, his somberly soulful yet gentle voice cascaded around the room.

🎸 ♪

When it all comes tumbling,

Crashing down on you,

Feel like you're so lost,

With no way to be saved…

🎸 ♪

Hearing the second verse, the judges felt as it further amplified those adverse times in one's life and they listened intently, awaiting the next part from Kyle.

🎸 ♪

Search… for a little spark

And let it… fly you away,

Don't stay trapped inside that cage,

Because the best, is yet to come.

🎸 ♪

Singing the chorus, the tempo of the song slowly yet gradually quickened, signaling a subtle shift into a brighter tone as Kyle began the second verse.

🎸 ♪

Failure may become an obstacle,

But you can push through it all,

Be a believer and stay strong,

Take that first step, keep moving on…

🎸 ♪

Though much shorter than the first, the second verse gave a perfectly seamless transition from a somber to a bright perspective and immediately after, he sang the chorus again.

🎸 ♪

Search… for a little spark

And let it… fly you away,

Don't stay trapped inside that cage,

Because the best, is yet to come.

🎸 ♪

Having sang the chorus with a quickened tempo, Kyle gradually reduced the song's tempo this time, his gentle and calm voice having a much more uplifting tone as he sang the outro, without the guitar accompaniment this time.

You're no artist, believe me,

Completely clueless, same as me,

It's a work-in-progress, trust me,

But I'm sure, you've got this…

Finishing the song, Kyle slowly opened his eyes which he had closed from the moment he started the song.

Staring at the judges who were staring back at him, quite impressed by his performance, Kyle gave a light smile.

Now, standing before them, despite how well he felt he had performed, another wave of nervousness slowly creeped in as he awaited their verdict.

"You know, I was not expecting much when you said you were going to sing an original, especially since most from other contestants have been quite disappointing today" Jack was the first to speak, his eyes focused on the young man as he gave his verdict.

"But Kyle, despite how much work your voice still needs, that was the best original song I've heard all day. A YES from me" he calmly declared and for the first time since Kyle realized he was in this new world, he grinned.

"It was a beautiful song and I could clearly see the amount of thought you put in it. That was so inspiring to hear Kyle. It's also a YES from me!" Kiara gave her own verdict and Kyle sheepishly smiled, a little blush on his cheeks.

Then, moving his eyes over, he stared at Blake from behind the frame of his glasses, a glimmer of hope in his eyes.

"Before I give my verdict, I'd like to ask you Kyle. One composer to the other" Blake asked instead, his expression curious.

"Ask away sir" Kyle gently replied.

"What was the inspiration behind you writing this song?" the judge curiously questioned.

Thinking for a bit, Kyle placed a few of his fingers on his chin and then decided to just go with the truth.

"I wanted the song to inspire not just me but other people too"

"I wanted it to give them a bright outlook on life. To tell them that even when things are immensely tough, there's always a promise for a better tomorrow as long as they can persevere"

Completing his statement with a very mature expression on his young features, Blake, genuinely satisfied with Kyle's answer, then gave his verdict finally.

"Well, I hope I can look forward to more of your originals from now on then. See you next week Kyle. And by that, I also mean I'm giving you a big fat YES!"

With that final declaration from Blake, Kyle let out a happy sigh of relief and then offered a small, polite, appreciation to the man.

"Thank you sir!"

"No. You earned it. You should be proud of yourself. Take a bow" Kiara spoke this time with a light smile.

Offering a small polite bow in appreciation just as she said, Kyle soon happily walked off the stage and went through the other door that served as the exit.

As he left, the production team's staff member already calling for the next contestant, Kiara asked her co-judges.

"What do you guys think of him?"

"Well, like I said, his actual voice needs a lot of work. It might be soulfully gentle and calm, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary" Jack objectively said.

"His song however… Now that, that was quite good" he added.

"That's high praise coming from you Jack" Blake looked over and said but having being a composer himself, he knew that that was actually the truth.

[Spark] was a song he believed was well thought out and had really strong lyrics that could resonate with anyone.

Even the production team staying in the corners of the room, looked to have found some good footage they could air in the premier, judging by how pleased they had been when Kyle had been singing.

"Well I hope he does improve in the vocal department. It'd be a shame to have him eliminated so early" he said out loud, already turning over to face the stage while expecting the next contestant.

Really, Blake could only hope that Kyle was able to improve well enough as he progressed through the show because he really was looking forward to hopefully hearing more originals from him.

Song of the day;

Be Kind by Marshmello & Halsey

Drop a comment or two... or three if you're feeling particularly sprightly. I won't judge.

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