SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Not too long ago it may have seemed impossible for Parker Corriveau, a Grade 11 student from Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, to stand on stage and perform one of his original rap songs in front of a crowd.
“When I wrote my first song my mind was all over the place. It was between an abusive relationship and a job that drained me, doing bad at school while actually trying, and it was just a lot of stuff that actually got to me,” he shared.
But when the 17-year-old performed for the first time in front of his peers during the school’s Relay for Life event held on Wednesday, May 16, the reaction was a surprise.
“All the kids never thought I could do it because at school I’m shy if I’m not with my group of friends, so when I held the microphone I was trembling,” said Corriveau. “Then I started to rap and after the first verse people were dancing, and after the second verse people were chanting.
“It was in that moment I thought, ‘this is why I do it.”
Jennifer Corriveau said it’s been both a difficult and empowering journey for her son, who performs under the stage name “Lizleo.”
“He’s come a long way. He had a really hard time in the beginning because people just constantly picked on him and said he could never make it anywhere. Then when he performed at school there were kids all around the stage enjoying his music.”
One song by Corriveau called “Insane Mentality” has been picked up by an international record label company based in New York.
Bentley Records is owned and operated by an award-winning R&B recording artist and songwriter, Luca Dayz.
“They emailed me after listening to my song (shared through social media) and said they wanted to sign me for a one-year recording deal," he explained.
“I've been recording my music from home and once I’m happy with the recording I send it to them for mixing and mastering. They will then send the finished product back to me, as well as distribute it to around 280 stores worldwide, and play it on the radio stations."
The deal will see Corriveau pen his first album called “Killer Kings,” as well as see several songs released by the company in June.
“It’s going to be huge, and will further my career as a rapper,” he remarked.
Corriveau, who admits that American rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. helped influence his music style, says he is excited to be signed with a label like Bentley.
He concluded with some sage words of advice for his peers that may sometimes struggle with self-doubt too.
“If you are passionate about something and you want to make a career out of it, go for it. Practice makes perfect. I practiced for three years to get to this stage, so stick to your dreams.”