The last minute loan of a three-year-old’s keyboard bailed singer-songwriter Dale Bennett out of a tricky spot and helped him secure a place in the regional final of a prestigious songwriting competition.
The 22-year-old is now heading to the Marconi Social Club in Chelmsford for the final of the Future Music Songwriting Competition on March 22 having impressed at an audition at the same venue on February 15.
Dale, of Calford Drive, Haverhill, had burned a backing track on to a CD for his self-penned song, Stay Away - taken from his 2013 debut album Make My Own Breaks - for the audition, but it failed to work in the CD player.
It left him having to ask one of the other singers auditioning if he could borrow his keyboard, which belonged to his three year-old daughter.
Dale said: “I said ‘hi, can I use your keyboard’, kind of thing. Because I didn’t think I would be playing it on a keyboard that day I had not run through it on a keyboard.
“They seemed to receive it well. They put me through to the final. I think it went pretty well, but it was eventful.”
Rising young stars of the music scene such as Birdy and Lucy Spraggan have performed in the Future Music final and Dale hopes his appearance will open doors for him too.
In 2013 Stay Away scored 9/10 in the UK Songwriting Contest, making it to the final, but he believes this competition could be more beneficial to him.
“There was no direct exposure for that one,” said Dale. “You get some good feedback and stuff but this one you get A&R and decision makers from Warner and Sony and basically major record labels going to watch and the final (at Dingwalls in Camden Town) is at the heart of the music scene where people like Ellie Goulding and Foo Fighters have played.
“They had 50 to 60 audition and they probably sent about ten through. It made me a bit more nervous but it’s a bit encouraging I got through, hearing that.
“I’m looking forward to it. Let’s take it step by step and see how it goes.
“At the end of the day it’s all exposure and getting in front of the right people.”
Dale, who graduated from University Suffolk Campus last summer with a first in Music Production, is currently recording his new six track EP, Love Stages.
If you would like to support Dale at the Future Music final you can do so via a link found on the News Page of his website, www.dalebennettmusic.com.