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Kelowna singer serenading Edmonton Oilers to Stanley Cup win

Singer Jayson Bendera is growing on social media with his new Edmonton Oilers song for the Stanley Cup Finals
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Kelowna's Jayson Bendera has created a song for the Edmonton Oilers ahead of the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals.

A local singer/songwriter is gaining traction on social media because of his fandom for the Edmonton Oilers, and hoping it leads to his big breakthrough.

"I bleed oil," Jayson Bendera told Capital News.

After the Oilers won game four in the Western Conference final against the Dallas Stars to even the series, Jayson Bendera was strumming Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues on his guitar while enjoying a drink on his porch, when he jokingly created a lyric for his beloved Oilers.

My wife told me I should write a parody, said Bendera.

A few days later, Edmonton beat Dallas in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Florida Panthers. With the finals not starting for a week, Bendera knew he had to create the song.

"You get an idea, half the time you sit on it and you don't do anything about it and the next week, someone else has the idea," said Bendera, who contacted his friend and local music producer Bob Gabelhouse.

Bendera and Gabelhouse met on Tuesday, June 5, and were in the studio for three hours where they recorded, produced, and mixed the song. When they were done, Bendera took the song file and e-mailed it to a radio station in Edmonton. The next morning, he had multiple e-mails from different Edmonton radio stations asking if they could play the song on their station.

"I was shocked," said Bendera. "I'm buzzing. I didn't know what to do, I was just sending the wave file over to people before I had it on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram."

He added on top of how cool it was to hear the song on Edmonton radio it was cool for a Dua Lipa song to be played right after.

His wife, who he met during his first stint in Kelowna and who is also a massive Oilers fan, posted the song into an Oilers fan page on Facebook that nearly 50,000 people are in. Within a couple of hours, it had 300 shares. 

"Since 2009, she's been my absolute biggest supporter. She's my manager, my promoter, my marketing assistant," said Bendera.

The 36-year-old, who was born in Edmonton and grew up in Ardrossan (20 minutes east of Edmonton), says two of his biggest passions are hockey (specifically the Oilers) and music, as he's been trying to make it in the music world, something he's worked towards his whole life.

"Life gets in the way sometimes, but I've been working on music pretty seriously," he said. "Johnny Cash is on my left shoulder and Elvis is on my right."

Bendera has music on streaming platforms, including an EP he released in 2022 called 11:11 The Wicked Hour. On that project, he got the chance to work with Walter Afanasieff, a Grammy Award-winning record producer and songwriter who's worked with the likes of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Destiny's Child, and more. Bendera has also worked on projects in Atlanta and Virginia.

"I'm a manifestation man," said Bendera. "I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can and I'm not missing steps."

Bendera was 19 years old during the Oilers cup run in 2006. Now 18 years later, he says this run reminds him of 2006, but now he gets to enjoy it with his wife and two kids.

He added his kids couldn't care less about his professional music but loved the Oilers song when they heard it for the first time after it was recorded. Additionally, his daughter has been wearing her Oilers jersey to school every game during these playoffs. In the Western Conference final against Dallas, she hid two pots under a blanket at home and when Edmonton scored, she grabbed the pots and slammed them together as she cheered. 

"It's all about my kids," added Bendera.

As for being an Oilers fan while living Kelowna? 

"It's tough," Bendera said, who added that throughout the entirety of the second-round series against the Vancouver Canucks, he kept telling his team at his day job "'I'm not worried.'"

When asked if Edmonton is 'Canada's team', Bendera said "They better be," but understands most Canucks and Calgary Flames fans won't be cheering for them. 

"It's Edmonton's team," he added.

"I'm just so excited, I think we're going to win, I can feel it," said Bendera. "I'm confident in them."

While he's hoping for a sweep, his official prediction is for the Oilers to win the Stanley Cup in six games "so they can win on home ice."

Bendera's new song about the Oilers can be found on YouTube.