Richard Flohil

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Life after ‘Instant Star’: singer Alexz Johnson kickstarts her solo career

Imagine starring in a hit teen series, writing your own songs and being able to sing them on TV. Next, imagine being signed by a music label, and being about to finally release a CD when the company decides to end your contract. Imagine deciding that the only thing you can do to realize your dream is to start all over and go to the Internet for help.
That’s what Alexz Johnson, an actor, singer and songwriter from New Westminster, B.C., did.

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An inheritance of music

t was like finding treasure. It happened one day when Whitney Ross-Barris, 33, was riding a Toronto streetcar. She was listening to the songs on her iPod repeatedly. Suddenly, she recognized the singer as her grandfather. “Something in the way the singer said a certain word or a couple of words together,” she said, remembering the moment.