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 

Lyric Dubee Young and Restless and enjoying Success!

Lyric-logo-Lyric Coming SoonOne of the greatest advantages of being the founder of Rivenmaster’s Place is that I have been privileged to watch so many young artists begin their careers. A number of them had not yet produced their first music video or even had a photo shoot prior to my first contact with their parent or manager.

A few on the other hand were well on their way to success even at the tender age of just 12. Such is the case of Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Lyric Dubee. In fact, he was working on his second album at the time, on an unfinished song called Perfection!  

We are proud to have that EXCLUSIVE VIDEO which was posted on that introductory article!

While I was provided the opportunity to meet with Lyric in person in Hollywood CA this past summer, I was also privileged to attend his latest CD release party which was held on September 19th in his home town of Barrie, Canada. Although it meant driving more than 6 hours, it proved to be more than a worthwhile trip.






In case you haven’t been following Lyric or his music, Lyric just released 2 full length CDs. His 3rd album had a planned release for 2014 but was put on hold after the 1st single “Black Ice” (Watch Music Video) dropped and caught the attention of Legendary Rock & Roll Photographer Robert M Knight of Nevada.

Robert signed Lyric in September of 2014 and put Lyric in the studio with Grammy Award Winning Producer “Warren Huart” (Aerosmith, The Fray, James Blunt).

Black Ice was of course one of the songs that I could not wait to hear live at Lyric’s concert and I have to tell you, “The song sounded even better live than it did on the studio recording.”

For those who may not know, Lyric did all the instrumentation on his studio recordings which even further proves just what an amazing musician he is!





Lyric Dubee 09-19-15sm

Lyric Live at CD Release Party 9/19/15

The entire evening of music and socializing with Lyric’s fans was a great experience! Anticipation continued to grow as the sold out crowd waiting for Lyric and his new band members to take the stage. Something that I noticed right away was the diversity of the crowd that gathered. Lyric has fans from all age groups and backgrounds. Both young school age kids, teens his own age, Mom’s and Dad’s with small children and the older set as well, all made their way into the concert hall. Lyric’s merchandise table, displaying his CD’s, T-shirts, Photos and miscellaneous items was being met with a flurry of young people trying to get their share of the fan merchandise

Even though Lyric’s new band members had only been together less than a month for practice these guys sounded like a band that had been together for years. They opened the concert with the band’s new Music Video for Lyric’s new hit single “Young and Restless” following it up with another Lyric original bringing the audience to their feet with cheers and applause!

Lyric Dubee Young and Restless

Watch new hit single by Lyric Dubee “Young and Restless”

Continue reading “Lyric Dubee Young and Restless and enjoying Success!”