Local electrified Fredericton band The Arka Teks competitor in Mobile Artist

Tom Bateman/AQ file photo

It’s a lifelong dream of Tyler Lombard’s to have a deal with a major record label.

This week, he’ll find out if he’s one step closer to that dream.

Lombard, a member of Fredericton electronic trio The Arka Teks, said the band will likely know by the end of this week whether they’ll move one step further in the Mobile Artist Community competition.

Thirty bands are competing for the ultimate prize – a single released by EMI Music.

But first, the 30 bands will be narrowed down to 10, who will travel to Toronto to play next week. Who makes the trip is decided by people who vote in the competition online or via texting.

“It would be huge, absolutely huge,” Lombard said of a record deal’s impact on The Arka Teks’ career.

“Marketing-wise, it’s just huge because [EMI is] a company that has a lot of money to put behind an artist they want to push.”

While the Internet has made it possible for any band or musician to get noticed, Lombard said it still helps to be attached to a label.

“It can make all the difference. It can get you into a certain TV show, it can put you into a certain audience online that you may not be able to reach otherwise.”

After the performance in Toronto, the top 10 will become a top five. Those competitors will perform in front of top EMI brass, who will decide the winner.

The competition started a year ago and has been a long haul for Lombard and his bandmates, Nick Fowler and Ryan Eatman.

“Once we found out we were picked [to move to the second round], I think it was last May, we kind of took a break from letting people know about it because to try to get people to vote every day for a year is quite a bit.

“Once we realized they were going to have a top 30 and making cuts from there, we kind of ramped up again.”

Since then, the band has been encouraging its supporters to vote by giving away iTunes gift cards and using Facebook posts and videos to tell people how much the record deal would mean to them.

In the meantime, the band is tightening up its live show in case they are called to play in Toronto. They’ll also be in the Toronto area for two Canadian Music Week showcases on March 22 and 23.

“We’re hoping to have as tight a set as we can. We’ve bought controllers for a light show to really step things up. We’d like to make an impression for sure with whatever exposure we can [get] for a showcase like that [during Canadian Music Week].”

While some may think The Arka Teks’ live show is just an iPod plugged into big speakers, Lombard said it’s much more interactive than that.

The live show has a party atmosphere. Throughout, the band throws out bags full of random things found at the Dollar Store, for example.

In the last year, they’ve also added drummer Eatman to the band to enhance their live show.

“He’s a great performer too, on top of being a great drummer.”

Winning the competition and a deal from EMI would help Lombard and his bandmates take their live show – and their careers – to the next level.

“We’re definitely in it to win it. I’m confident that if we can make the next round, then we’ve got a real chance to go all the way with this thing.”

To vote for The Arka Teks, visit www.moartist.com or text thearkateks to 79999. You can vote once a day online and once a day via text.

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