To celebrate what drives the musicians in the Uber community, we offered aspiring country artists from both the driver front seat and the rider back seat a shot at the spotlight in Nashville during the week of CMA Fest.
The Music Movers contest enabled musicians to enter their original songs for the chance to win an awesome prize package. When the contest closed, we combed through hundreds of amazing entries and narrowed it down to 6 finalists, who auditioned live in Nashville in front of a panel of industry insiders. The panel of judges selected 3 winners based on creativity, technical skill, and stage presence. Winners Vinnie, Jess, and Mel had 3 stops before the show: a custom branding session with creative agency ABV, a tour of talent agency Red 11 Music, and an incredible one-on-one coaching session with platinum-selling country star and touring musician Chase Rice.
And on June 8, the 3 winners performed alongside Chase Rice at the Music Movers, our exclusive free show in downtown Nashville.
Learn more about the winners and check out shots from the event below, and celebrate the music that moves you by tuning into CMA Fest, August 8 at 8|7c on ABC. For more info, visit cmafest.com.
Mel Washington was born and raised in Charleston, SC. A singer-songwriter since 18, he’s played venues across the US and Europe. Washington has pursued his career relentlessly and without exception to his principles; he believes music to be profoundly healing and that it should be shared with an open heart and mind. His life experience has been marked by the usual trappings of a traveling musician, the charm of Southern religion, and even a stint of homelessness. Aside from his talents on the stage, Washington is a gifted conversationalist able to get to the heart of any story through his emotional range and intelligence, and he brings a genuine warmth to conversation that evokes great storytelling.
As the title of her debut EP, New Heart/Old Soul, boldly claims, Jess Jocoy is a young creator with a knack for storytelling far beyond her years. Raised south of Seattle, Jess always felt that, while her house was in Washington, her home, and her heart, were in Tennessee. A graduate of Belmont University, Jocoy earned her degree in songwriting, minoring in music business. While she understands that songwriting will not make her a millionaire tomorrow (or ever, given the times), Jess has equipped herself with practical knowledge of the music industry. In 2013, her father, having been diagnosed with lung cancer, passed as she was finishing up her AA degree. Rather than letting the music die, Jess found a new heart amid the sadness and an old soul having tasted real life. New Heart/Old Soul is available everywhere.
Vinnie Paolizzi is an Americana singer/songwriter from Philadelphia. He stole his sister’s guitar at age 11 and, after he learned “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers, she never got it back. Paolizzi played over 600 shows in bars and coffee shops around Philadelphia to pay his way through college at Temple University and along the way, released two EPs and completed regional tours. After a few trips to Nashville, he knew he had found his new home, and in late 2017, he headed south. Between writers’ rounds and recording sessions, Vinnie drove with Uber to pay the bills and learn how to navigate his new home. A job that Vinnie thought would just hold him over quickly became an amazing networking opportunity and showed him the best spots in town for live music. Vinnie continues to write and perform, and keep a 5-star driver rating!
The industry insiders
The Music Movers
More than 300 country music fans lined up outside The Valentine on Broadway to listen to the winners open for Chase Rice. Together, attendees celebrated the music that moves them with live music, food, and beverages.
Check out shots from the event below.