Local Wal-Mart pharmacy employee Erin Sellers experienced a marvelous opportunity June 9.
“Back in February, they, Wal-Mart, put out a challenge to Wal-Mart associates for a cappella videos,” said Sellers. “I did it, not thinking it would go anywhere. A month after I posted the video, Wal-Mart contacted me. I went down to Wal-Mart Headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and recorded two songs and two music videos.”
Singing has always been a part of Sellers’ life. She sang in church as a youth and as a child participated in talent shows. She said those experiences were fun but such activities slowed as she grew up.
“I haven’t done much with it as an adult,” Sellers said. “I went to the Illinois State Fair last year, but other than that just a lot of karaoke.”
Sellers speaks highly of the opportunity provided by Wal-Mart. Even though this was the first time Wal-Mart did employee recordings, Sellers said it was well-planned.
Participants were in the recording studio the first day and had three 10-hour days of music while in Bentonville. Two days were spent in the studio recording music, and one day was devoted to making a video.
“It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be,” she said. “They had a legit recording studio, a director and everything.”
She was one of 12 Wal-Mart employees selected from across the country to record in Arkansas. The group’s members, Sellers said, came from different musical and social backgrounds.
“It was fun, we became sort of a family,” Sellers said. “We were early for dinner, waiting out on the sidewalk. Somebody started singing and we all just joined in. People even started recording.”
The bond formed by the dozen empolyees has lasted beyond their time in Arkansas. Sellers said they all talk almost every day.
A personal highlight of the experience for Sellers was working with Deke Sharon, who was the arranger and music producer for the Pitch Perfect movies. She described Sharon as professional, fun and encouraging.
“It’s cool working with someone who really knows the business, and he pushed me past what I thought I was capable of,” said Sellers. “It was a huge confidence boost for me. It also justified for me that I have talent, to be able to do something I love, and to be told I’m good at it. I believe everyone has that talent. There’s just always that voice saying you aren’t good enough.”
It is not certain if this is a one time event, or if Wal-Mart will produce more music videos featuring the employees. Those in charge of the project told the singers if the videos are well received the company may bring them back to do more productions.
One of the videos features the song “America, the Beautiful,” which Wal-Mart plans to release sometime over the July 4 holiday weekend.
“The other is something called the Wal-Mart Shuffle, which they’ll release later,” Sellers said. “They haven’t told us when yet.”