Tyson Venegas, The Little Crooner

When Tyson Venegas performed at Surrey’s Tree Lighting Festival earlier this season, he was fulfilling his ultimate goal: to make people happy with his singing.

Tyson Venegas Mini Crooner

The eight year old, from Port Moody, is an old soul in a child’s body. His greatest musical idols include Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, and Michael Jackson, according to Iris Samson, his mother. Bruno Mars and Michael Bublé are also favourites.

Although he hasn’t been around that long, Venegas is already turning heads with his musical skill. In May he won the B.C. Junior Talent Search and in August he took first place at the PNE Star Showdown – the same contest that Michael Bublé and Carly Rae Jepsen won years ago.

Since then he’s been busy with shows every weekend, said Samson. And he loves every minute of it.

“He says it all the time, ‘I want to be a singer,’” she said. And his primary objective is to make people smile.

After performing at a street festival one day, a woman who had been walking by stopped to hear him sing, and stayed for his whole show. She later came up to him and said, “You changed my mood completely. I came here and I was so down,” said Samson.

Ever since then his goal is just to make people happy.

Venegas chooses his songs and has a line up for what to learn next, makes sure his lyrics get printed out, and constantly practices by way of belting out tunes around the house.

He can play the drums and sing at the same time, is learning how to play piano and sing, and for his eighth birthday his parents’ gift to him was a trumpet, and he’ll be starting lessons for that soon, too.

“We were asking him, if you’re going to play the trumpet, are you going to sing still?” said Samson.

“And he goes, well you know when they have the instrumental part? I want to play the trumpet too! And I’m like, oh my God, that’s the part where you’re supposed to rest.”

Venegas’s musical inclination goes back to when he was just a toddler and he would jazz up his ABC’s and nursery rhymes that his parents would sing to him.

“He would sing it again but he would change it up. I don’t know how he would do that, but he started doing that when he was two,” said Samson.

It was about that time when Venegas became interested in superheroes and heard Michael Bublé’s version of “Spider-Man.” He was hooked. At four he went to a Bublé concert where the singer threw a towel directly to him.

And at the PNE Star Showdown, before the judges announced the results, the M.C. asked Venegas who his favourite singers were.

Michael Jackson and Michael Bublé, he said.

Out from the crowd came Michael Bublé, running up to introduce himself to the young star and to shake his hand, much to everyone’s amazement.

And so, when Venegas mistakenly thought he saw Bublé at the Tree Lighting Festival earlier this Christmas season, and got excited until he got closer and realized it wasn’t him, it really wouldn’t have been too serendipitous for the little crooner. For some time now he’s been busy making dreams reality and lining up the stars for his future success.

Bronwyn Scott
Bronwyn has lived in Ottawa, P.E.I., Victoria, Squamish and Surrey, B.C. She has an English degree (SFU, 2011) and a journalism degree (Langara College, 2013) and for four years worked with Sandra Djwa on Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page, which won the Governor-General’s Non-Fiction prize in 2013. She’s an adventurous spirit who loves the outdoors and all things artsy. She’s written for the Surrey Leader, the Langley Times and The Squamish Reporter.