Aiming for the big timeDan Sederstrom is building a pretty solid music career based almost entirely on contests.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
Dan Sederstrom is building a pretty solid music career based almost entirely on contests.
A year ago the 2005 Rosemount High School graduate was preparing for an appearance with hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, an opportunity he won with an online video of himself and a friend performing a cover of one of Jean’s songs.
These days Sederstrom is hard at work as a member of Select Three, a band he joined after winning a spot in a national talent search run by Shakopee-based music manager Wally Schmelz. One of Schmelz’s talent scouts spotted Sederstrom auditioning to perform at Bonfire restaurants and directed him to the competition’s Web site. An online audition and a few in-person performances later, Sederstrom was in.
Schmelz chose Sederstrom and his two bandmates from among more than 5,000 applicants and more than 250 musicians who were called in for auditions.
“He had a very, very unique voice and just incredible vocals,” Schmelz said of Sederstrom. “He’s a very talented musician as well. When you see him perform he never even looks at his guitar.”
Sederstrom’s been busy in the months since he was chosen. The band has spent a lot of time in the studio recording a CD Schmelz hopes to have out by the end of the month. The songs on the CD come from songwriters Schmelz describes as platinum award winners. The band had a half-hour interview and performance on the Lori & Julia show on radio station 107.1 FM.
“It was really fun,” Sederstrom said. “Obviously I’ve never done that before.
“It’s definitely a cool feeling to hear yourself played on the radio,” he said. “The way you come out sounding is so different and it feels really cool. You’re like, ‘Is that me?’”
The band has also produced two music videos, both of which are available on the video sharing site YouTube.com. Creating one of the videos meant playing onstage at Minneapolis club First Avenue while a crowd of teens screamed for them.
“It felt like an actual concert,” Sederstrom said.
It’s all a long way from the YouTube videos that started Sederstrom down this path. His cover versions of popular songs have been viewed thousands of time online, but being part of a band is a new experience. The other members of Select Three, Bloomington resident Brent Rice and Patrick Sieben of Hastings, were strangers before they were chosen for the band but they’ve become friends and even performed together on a few of Sederstrom’s informal videos.
Sederstrom isn’t sure what to make of all this. His parents were a little wary at first, but Schmelz has a good track record. He promoted popular Minneapolis band Limited Warranty in the ’80s and got that group a deal with Atlantic Records.
If nothing else, it’s a good introduction to the music industry. It’s also a good distraction as the recent University of Minnesota graduate looks for a hard-to-find architecture job.
Select Three is scheduled to play a benefit concert next month at Eastview High School and there’s been talk of playing at a show sponsored by radio station KDWB. The band is already building a following on YouTube. Both of their videos have been viewed several thousand times since they were posted earlier this month.
Nobody knows where the band will go from here, but Sederstrom’s managers have been telling him to spend as much time as possible with his friends because they might not have much chance later.
“It’d be cool to see your CD in Best Buy or Target,” Sederstrom said. “We’re shooting pretty high.
“Right now it’s more, ‘Put in the work and who knows where it could go,’” he said. “We’re all cool with that.”