Local musician auditions for Idol

St. Maries resident Nickole Derry, who recently auditioned for American Idol, is pictured here during a performance with her band Better Daze at Mosh in the Mountains music festival. 

It pays off to have new experiences.

St. Maries musician Nickole Derry got to experience the casting call process for the critically acclaimed TV show American Idol.

“I really wanted to see what it was like,” Ms. Derry said. “I said why not it’s just in our back yard, I drive to Spokane all the time.”

She said she drove to the Grand Hotel Davenport in Spokane at 5 a.m. When she got there, she said people were already lined up around the block. Mrs. Derry said the process took about eight hours, and her audition itself was only 90 seconds.

She said unfortunately she wasn’t picked to move on to the next round, but the overall experience was rewarding.

“You don’t usually get to see the behind the scenes of these things,” Ms. Derry said, “to watch how they do these auditions and what the other performers were doing, it made me grasp my mind around what I needed to work on.”

Ms. Derry said the experience was one that every musician should at least try once, no matter the outcome.

“I do think they look for a very specific kind of voice, they also want those characteristics that fit TV,” Ms. Derry said. “But it was worth it, I feel like I grew as a musician.”

Ms. Derry currently sings and plays bass guitar in a local group called Better Daze with friends she’s known since high school. The group put out an album earlier this year titled, “Welcome to...”

The band has toured the west coast, played festivals and put on a two different shows in local bars over Paul Bunyan Days weekend this year.

“It’s a totally different experience than when you play a gig with your band,” Ms. Derry said. “You can sing and play at 100 shows and it not be a big deal, but to stand up by yourself and sing on the spot in front of a professional is nerve racking.”

Ms. Derry said that she started to sing when she was in 6th grade, and she comes from a music oriented family.

“I’ve always loved music,” Ms. Derry said. “It’s always been a part of my life.”

Ms. Derry said she prefers to play in a musical group over being a solo artist that pursues mainstream fame.

“People are a lot more friendly at my band’s shows,” Ms. Derry said. “Plus I like being able to just be myself and do what I want to do and play what I want to play.”

She said despite the outcome of her audition, the support she received from the community was incredible.

“People were coming in to where I work and telling me good luck, and the support over social media was overwhelmingly positive,” Ms. Derry said. “I just want to thank the community of St. Maries for all the encouragement.”

You can catch Ms. Derry and her band Better Daze this month in Spokane. The group will perform at the Pin on Monday Sept. 30.

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