One of the Island’s top young talents has hit the big stage.
Raymond Salgado has found his rhythm. The 24-year-old singer is set to perform in the finals of Canada’s Got Talent.
He’s gotten a ton of support throughout his time on the show and spoke of his journey to get there.
“I was a very quiet person, and once I discovered that I had a talent and that this is something that I loved doing for myself, I found my voice through music,” Salgado told My Comox Valley Now.
The Nanaimo native says he struggled with his identity growing up.
As a member of the LGBTQ community and a Filipino-Canadian, Salgado didn’t exactly fit the small-town mould.
“Sexuality and being who you were wasn’t really talked about at that time yet,” said Salgado. “A lot of the time, I felt like I had to camouflage myself and to be like everybody else.”
Growing comfortable with standing out from a crowd was a process for him, and singing was one of the first forms of self-expression he really resonated with.
His first singing coach, Andrea Bertram, saw something in him after watching him compete in a local competition.
He has continued to work with her for over a decade, practicing his public performances in local gigs and school musicals.
In 2021, he auditioned for American Idol, but received his first big rejection.
He didn’t give up, though. He’s continued to perfect his craft over the past two years.
After receiving some motivational words from famed singer-songwriter Boy George, he decided it was time to try again on Canada’s Got Talent.
Obviously, it was a risk that paid off.
“I encourage those who have a dream to pursue it, especially when they have the opportunity,” he said.
Now he’s seeing how far he can take his talent.
“It’s been quite the rush of emotions because, first of all, I’m representing Vancouver Island and British Columbia, and I’m the only one,” said Salgado.
He may be the only one, but he’s representing Islanders well.
He thanked everyone who has supported his journey so far, especially Islanders, the Filipino community and his hometown Nanaimo.
If you’d like to tune in and support his next performance, the finale will be held on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Voting opportunities will decide the winner.