Colin Brennan – a story of autism and awesomeness!

Pro Photos Colin at 2015 AAV“I really enjoy singing and making people feel good inside!”

Here at Torchlight Talent we are especially inspired by talented young artists who overcome adversity with their art. By these standards, Colin Brennan’s story is the definition of inspiration!

Colin was first featured on Torchlight Talent (as Rivenmaster’s Place) when he was only 8 years old and was already tearing up the music scene in Canada! Check out that article here.

A blossoming career

Colin in choir

Colin’s dad sent me a staggering list of his now 13-year-old son’s achievements since then. Among them: singing a duet with singer/songwriter Justin Hines at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre in Oakville, Ontario, being ranked in the Top 16 out of 4000 other children in the Next Star TV competition, and performing at ‘The Genius of Autism’ event in Times Square just one block off Broadway, New York, at the Historic Edison Ballroom. This is just a sample! Colin sings all the time in a range of styles and and to a vast variety of audiences. 

In Colin’s own words:

“I like music and singing because it is my life.”

Dad and Colin in NYC 2012Colin’s achievements are a testament to the power to transform lives and give motivation and purpose in situations which might otherwise have been characterised by frustration and helplessness. That said, music is a only a tool – a beautiful and powerful tool – but a tool nonetheless. It is the courage and passion of people like Colin and his family that are the essential ingredient in unleashing this untold potential.

Living with autism

I personally found myself deeply moved reading Colin’s story as an important part of my own professional work is using music in working with children and adults with severe and complex needs. I can recount many joyful experiences where non-verbal children have felt empowered to communicate through rhythm or paralysed children have been able to use their voices to join in music making. There have also been some bitter sweet moments like giving a terminally ill boy his last concert.

Colin as Andrew in Pigment cast pageHowever, far from viewing his autism as a disability, Colin embraces it wholeheartedly! He even views it as a gift, recognising that, despite the challenges, he is also blessed with some amazing abilities:

“Just before I sing at any event, I visualize what I am going to do in my head and then I get very excited just before I actually sing because I know what I am going to do, I know how I am going to sing everything. By the way, I want you to know also that I never get nervous before I sing. It doesn’t matter how many people I sing to, 1 or 10,000 I never get nervous. I get excited, yes, but not nervous. It’s because I really enjoy singing and making people feel good inside!”

I would add to this that Colin also has perfect pitch and has the ability to work for long hours when recording without losing focus. In his Resume we read:

The owner of the River 16 Studio (Rob Lackie) was so impressed at how easy it was to work many long hours with Colin during his studio recording times. “He’s no Diva” he said, and “believe me I’ve met my fair share of Divas in this business!”

Onwards and upwards

Colin with his medalsColin’s recent significant events have been performing in the Spring Concert at his church, Walton United, singing with his Youth Choir, singing for his Provincial Premier, Kathleen Wynne, and singing to Mayor Hazel McCallion.

Colin has also and sung with the amazing young Canadian singing sensation Johnny “O” (Orlando.) who is fast becoming a global hit. Other events include singing for Dr. Temple Grandin in Chicago, singing at The Oakville Prayer Breakfast, (700+ people), singing at The All Stars Award Gala, and singing at The Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA)… the list goes on!

Colin and JohnnyO

Colin has been a vocal student for three years at the Cross Vocal Academy with an amazing vocal coach called Gregory Cross. Gregory is exploring many singing techniques with Colin and introducing him to many new genres of music. Mr. Cross appeared as M. Firmin in the award winning Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera and on London’s West End in Miss Saigon and has over 38 years experience as a professional vocalist.

Ultimately, Colin also aspires to be a professional singer and is already acutely aware of the practicalities of being a professional musician!

“I have already been paid money for some of my performances, and I hope that when I am married with my own family, I will be able to still be paid to sing!”

As a working musician, I can assure you, Colin, that you are not alone in that hope! Seriously though, you have the dedication, the skills and, most importantly, the passion which are the beginning of a long and exciting career.

Colin is currently fundraising for his upcoming trip to London, England to sing on stage at The Mermaid Theatre for May 7th, 2016. The Host who invited him to sing is paying for all the Hotel costs but Colin has to pay for the flight. Please consider supporting Colin through his

Go Fund Me account

Colin with his albums

As always, your encouragement goes a long way. Please follow and support Colin through his social media:


Official Facebook 

Colin’s Website 

Anthony Gargiula Productive Past Producing Promising Future!

Anthony G LogoAnthony G 2015Only a handful of young artists share the same longevity on this site as New York Teen pop artist Anthony Gargiula. Anthony was the first to be interviewed on this site for The Skykid Radio program and enjoyed his first feature back in July of 2010 entitled Anthony Gargiula 11 year old showstopper.

Now more than 5 years later Anthony has grown into an amazing performer and recording artist with a resume that includes performances with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. In fact if you have been following this site you already know that Anthony appeared on Ellen numerous times, his first appearance when he was just 7 years old.

Anthony has also been showcased on other major network programs like NBC’s Today Show and CBS Early Show. He has opened shows for The Jonas Brothers, Lady Antebellum, Jordan Pruitt, The Outlaws, The Temptations, Four Tops, Kellie Pickler just to name a few!


Anthony Gargiula



Anthony is also known for his truly amazing performances of the National Anthem for major sporting events and Professional Sports. In fact, five of these performances were held at Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks. In addition he has opened games for The Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Twins, LA Dogers and others…


Anthony_Gargiula_Cover 125x125His first CD called “Finally Done” and the title song with the same name remains one of my favorites yet today. Knowing how that song was inspired helps in our understanding to why Anthony started the nonprofit organization called “Bowling Against Bullying”. Anthony has performed for numerous events for this organization with over $10,000 in proceeds raised going towards the anti-bullying projects of local school districts and anti-bullying charities. This alone says much about his character and desire for his music to make a difference in the world.

Naturally Anthony’s voice has matured and strengthened since that first CD project, but even back then Anthony had that special quality to his voice that could not be denied!




In January of this year Anthony signed on with Cheiron Records where he has been creating new music for what I’m sure will eventually become a full CD. Making countless trips to Florida where Cheiron is based, Anthony has been recording new music, attending dance rehearsals, having photo shoots, shooting videos, and more. This upcoming year is promised to be the most exciting and productive yet for Gargiula!Anthony G CD Cover

Anthony Gargiula Releases Single,  “So I Don’t Drown”

Released just two weeks ago, the third single Anthony has put out with Cheiron Records, “So I Don’t Drown”  hit Number One in New Artist category on the iTunes chart it’s first week running. This makes a loud statement of just where Anthony’s recording career is heading. I also highly recommend that after purchasing his new hit single you will also want to add DNA and Barricade. his previous two releases to your AG collection.


I asked Anthony to describe his new song and give us a little behind the scenes remarks regarding the making of his latest single. “So I Don’t Drown”  

“So I Don’t Drown” is one of my favorite songs that I have ever recorded. I recorded it with an amazing producer named Tim Coons. He has had so much success in this business with people like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. It was an honor to have worked with him.  

My brother, Louis was a big part of the song also, he wrote most of it with a little help from me here and there on some of the melodies and verses. Louis, Tim, and I had so much fun producing this song and making music in the studio. 

The lyrics of the song are really neat! The song has the word “drown” in the title, and throughout the song there are a ton of references to waves, water, and tides. This is such a fun song to dance to and I hope everyone enjoys it! ”      -Anthony




Nobody can predict the future; however there is no doubt that Anthony Gargiula will continue to be extremely successful as he makes his way to the top of the entertainment industry.


For more about Anthony Gargiula visit:


“Congratulations Anthony Gargiula not only on your PAST and PRESENT accomplishments, but on what we know you’re going to achieve in the FUTURE!”   – Rivenmaster