A gospel group from Alberta now has a Terrace voice leading it.
Landon Andrei signed with The Banksons late last year and will be recording an album with his two new friends.
He is the new lead singer of the trio, joining Kelton and Corrie Bankson.
“It’s really cool what happened actually,” he said last week.
Two years ago, Andrei posted a video on YouTube and they saw it while looking for a new lead singer.
“When they heard it, they said ‘we need to get ahold of this guy.’ They got ahold of me and it all happened from there,” he said.
The pair first asked Andrei to audition with them but after talking with them and getting to know each other better, instead they asked him when he was joining the group.
Andrei also sent them new recordings – the YouTube video was two years old – and they decided he was the guy they were looking for.
He flew down to meet them, do a photo shoot and some recording.
A natural singer, Andrei never took any singing lessons but started singing when he was young with his dad and younger brother as a trio.
“I’ve just always been singing since I was a little kid and it’s always something I wanted to do,” he said.
With a good microphone he bought here and hooked to his laptop, Andrei used the Garage Band program on his computer to sing all four parts of a song himself.
“I would just harmonize on top of myself and it sounds like a quartet,” he said.
He sent those demos to the Banksons.
Joining the gospel group is in keeping with Andrei’s aspirations to have a singing career.
“In my grad yearbook, it said ‘what do you see yourself doing in the future?’ I put southern gospel singer and now I’m doing it,” he said.
“It’s pretty awesome, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Even though the Banksons live in Calgary, Andrei likely won’t be moving, instead they’ll be flying him in as needed.
But that wont’ interfere with their rehearsals.
“Especially when people hear recordings and stuff I do, they’ll say to me ‘wow it must’ve taken you such a long time and you must’ve practised for hours’ and the thing is when you have an ear for music you don’t really practise for hours and hours and hours,” said Andrei.
“The only time you really need to practise is to get together with the group and maybe it takes 20 minutes to get into the place where you understand where everybody is at.”
When he went to Calgary to sing with them, he started singing ’Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus.’
“It was the first song we’d sung together and boom, they just started singing the harmony parts. Man, it was just wonderful,” he said.
Andrei has written a song of his own too and the Banksons liked it.
When they were driving him back from the airport, they were showing him different songs and he started singing his song.
He played them the recording of it later and they asked where he got the song.
“I said ‘I wrote that,’ he goes ‘what’ and he said ‘we got to use that’ so we’re actually going to get it sent to a recording studio in the states and they make recording tracks for it with music and instruments,” said Andrei, adding he’s not sure on the name yet but he will likely call it “We’re gonna shout.”
Joining this group, Andrei is in good company.
“Corrie is a phenomenal song writer, she’s unbelievable. The last album they did, she wrote all the songs on that album except for maybe three,” he said.
So the two parts of being a trio are working well: they sound good together and their personalities work well together.
“We all get along quite nicely,” said Andrei.
“I’m quoting Kelton here, he says “it feels like I’ve known Landon for years,” said Andrei.
Andrei heads down to Alberta again for three concerts with the Banksons in the Edmonton and Calgary area this month.
Afterward, the trio will be touring Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC and plan to perform here too in future.