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Sequim grad entering singing competition

Robbie Walden walks into The Buzz coffee shop in Sequim, puts down his two guitar cases and takes a glance around, savoring the familiarity of the town.

“Sequim is home,” Walden said, settling down in the coffee shop’s oversized red couch. “I love it here.”

Walden now lives in Tacoma with his wife, fellow Sequim High School graduate Lyndsey, and works in the construction industry. During his free time, however, Walden is pursuing the pastime he loves the most — his music.

“I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was a kid,” Walden explained.

He said he enjoyed music when he was growing up in Sequim but he started getting serious about it around 2003, when, while serving in the Army, he got shot in Iraq and received a medical discharge.

“I saw it as sort of a sign that I should really go for music,” Walden said. He began singing in Tacoma. After a cross-country trip to Florida to sing at an event, Walden said he caught the eye of producers and began working with a few. He said they later separated because of creative differences.

That didn’t stop Walden, who said music is in his blood.

“I grew up on country and gospel music,” he said, adding that both his grandfathers were pastors. “But I love all music. I sing country music, but I’m not really straight country. I’m kind of a collision of pop, rock, anything.”

Walden’s passion and talent landed him high in the numbers after he entered online singing competition Famecast.

The contest, an “American Idol” type competition in which contestants post videos in one of several categories and visitors vote, has produced several winners who not only received $10,000 but have gone on to get record deals, Walden said. For the first round, anyone could submit entries, and the contestants were whittled down to 50, then 25, then 10, five and finally, one. At one point, Walden was voted first in both of the categories he entered, country singer and singer/songwriter, but he was bumped to a still-respectable second place in the singer/songwriter category.

Walden also has been getting plenty of exposure from his MySpace page, which he said has worked out really well.

The musician said he gets his inspiration from everywhere and anywhere. He thinks his biggest forte is his songwriting ability.

“A lot of (the music) is from experience, and a lot of it is when I try to envision myself in someone else’s shoes,” he said.

Perhaps the song that’s closest to his heart is one he wrote after his brother Jesse Marunde died this past July. Walden said he was adopted into the Marunde family as a child and was very close to Jesse.

“I wrote it for Gigi (Jesse’s mother),” Walden said of ‘Don’t Cry Down There for Me.’ It’s from his perspective, looking down on all of us.”

After posting the song online, Walden said he began receiving e-mails from all over the world from people who had lost loved ones.

“That’s my favorite thing about music, to write something that can touch someone else’s emotions,” Walden said. “I want it to be relatable … even if people don’t normally like country. Everyone’s fallen in love and everyone’s had a broken heart and everyone’s lost someone they love.”



A star from Sequim

To watch Robbie Walden’s Famecast video or to get the opportunity to vote, visit www.famecast.com. To learn more about Walden and his music, visit his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/robbiewaldenmusic.



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