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One More From Last Year

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(I’m still slowly finding articles that were posted on NashvilleHype! and posting them on this new server. I won’t retreive them all, but this one I thought was an important one because it told a little of the operating philosophy of NashvilleHype!)

Posted Dec 21, 2007 by Paul
Filed under: Behind The Scenes

2007 is just about over so I thought I should take a look back at some of the most promising artists I’ve covered. These artists are set to have a breakthrough year in 2008. These are artist I’ve felt have what it takes to move on to the next level in their careers.

NashvilleHype! is often the first press a lot of these artists have. And even more often than not, the artists I have on site I’ve discovered myself – they don’t come to me – I go to them.

Something else that a lot of people don’t realise is, I not only have artists on NashvilleHype!, I work hard for them by doing everything I can to make industry contacts for them, have industry people out to see them live, get them even more press, or just advise them in their career if they already have a lot going on and are working with people. No other weblog or news organization can say that and that’s part of the reason NashvilleHype! is the premier weblog covering entertainment in Nashville. I simply go above and beyond what anyone else is willing to do, or maybe can. I’m happy that in 2007, artist that I’ve featured on site like Lady Antebellum, Jesse Lee, Ashley Gearing, and KingBilly have been signed and are working on their albums. These artists all worked very hard, I’m not taking credit for their success, but I am happy to have been a small part in letting more people know about them.

Rachel Farley

I first wrote about Rachel on Oct. 5th. At the time she was coming to Nashville to do a taping of the NashvilleOnstage show. She wasn’t able to do it due to the unfortunate death of the man who ran it. But she was able to perform at Tootsie’s for the first time, and they loved her so much they let her play two sets. I said at the time Rachel has a great future in Nashville and she does. I would love to tell you one of the people she has in her corner as a producer, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy – but as I’ve alluded, he’s a multi-Grammy award nominated producer and he has numerous Dove awards as well. As a hint, he’s produced one of the artists I’ve had on site about a half-dozen times or more – an artists I simply love because she didn’t ‘forget’.

2008 will be a huge year in Rachel’s career, and I’m thrilled and honored to have her as a friend, and to be a part of her musical journey.

Kelsey Skaggs

The picture above is of Kelsey onstage at the 60th annual Toys for Tots campaign at the Opry Mills Mall. In the middle of her set this little girl just walked up on stage to get an autograph. It was an awesome moment because it brought the show to a halt for a few minutes.

Kelsey is the most recent artists to make it on NashvilleHype! – and the last for the year. But she may be the true breakout star in 2008 if I have anything to do with it. Her song ‘Facebook Admirer’ is an absolute pop hit, and Kelsey’s voice is so cool on it. I wrote a producer friend who’s worked with Sarah McLaughlan and Leigh Nash and he said she has a ‘great voice’ – and she does.

In 2008 I predict Kelsey will sign a record deal – if that’s what she chooses to do. I believe by mid-summer ‘Facebook Admirer’ will be one of the most popular and written about songs on the internet. And Kelsey will be well on her way.

The Hewitt Sisters

Things are chugging right along for Ashlee and Katrice – soon there will be an announcement of them signing a record deal. I predicted these girls would be signed, though I didn’t know at the time, just how serious the various labels looking at them were. When I met them I wasn’t aware anyone was looking at them – but I was bound and determined someone would. Turns out, they were going to do fine regardless.

I came across the sisters by way of the myspace rabbit trail – just kept clicking till I found something interesting. What I found was two beautiful girls who had a lot of talent and one GREAT song – ‘Girl in a Car’. It takes a song – you can be the best singer in the world and it won’t matter one bit here – this is a song town, and ‘Girl in a Car’ is a monster hit.

It didn’t hurt that the girls had played over 100 shows a year for 5 years before even moving to town to give it a try – like I said then, some artists could take a lesson from that. And it also didn’t hurt that the vocals are tight and yes, unique – instantly recognizable (geez, I can’t stress sounding like yourself enough)

So where are the guys you say? Well, I’m wondering that myself. I’ve featured several on site and only one – Kelly Ray Davis – has kept in touch and kept working hard, and as a result, is finding success. He’s been writing a lot of songs and performing every week. He recently had a song cut by Randy Kohrs, a Grammy nominated producer and bluegrass artists who has his pick of the best songs in town – which means Kelly is writing some pretty good songs.

Kelly has been shopping labels. I’m thinking 2008 is going to be his year to finally prove to everyone else what I’ve known since the first time I wrote about him – he rocks. He’ll have a showcase or two in town next year – I’ll keep you updated so you can catch him live.

In the end, 2007 was a pretty good year for NashvilleHype! finding and helping talented artist. As a side note, I never ask for anything in return. I don’t ask for the publishing, don’t ask to manage, don’t ask to produce, don’t ask to write songs with people, and don’t pitch songs either – unless of course, I’m asked to do so – then I’m more than willing. I just try to help however I can. As of yet, I’m not making a dime off anyone, and I don’t stand to make any money either. I ‘hype’ for the sake of genuine talent – not for the sake of my wallet. Just wanted to make that clear.

I’m looking forward to 2008 – and I thank all the loyal readers, industry friends and artists of NashvilleHype!

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