â€œAll the cameras were probably the toughest part,â€ said Dorchester native Erin Lyder about her experience on national television. Lyder is a finalist on the Gospel Channelâ€™s Gospel Dream talent search. The 24-year old vocalist and Berklee graduate drove with her parents for two days to the audition in Atlanta before advancing to the top ten.
â€œWhen I got there, there were so many talented people and I had a background in R&B and Urban. It was intimidating, but I just had to focus on God,â€ Lyder said.
Lyder, who started singing at age 2, began to sing gospel seriously after she was the victim of a violent carjacking in Dorchester. She started singing in local churches at Morning Star Baptist Church and Global Ministries Christian Church, eventually leading the praise team and singing for a WEZE 590 A.M., a religious radio station.
â€œI tried out for American Idol so many times!â€ said Lyder â€œYou just have to believe in yourself and trust in God. I can do all things through Christ.â€
Lyderâ€™s influences include Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams and Aaliyah. She bases her unique fashion sense on stars such as Prince and the late Michael Jackson.
Gospel Dream airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Gospel channel.