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The Music Movers, Powered by Uber

May 10, 2018 / Nashville
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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. Winners Vinnie, Jess, and Mel had 3 stops before the show: a custom branding session with a creative agency, a tour of a talent agency, and an incredible 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. Check out what happened when the Music Movers took over Nashville below.

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.

The winners

Mel

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.

Jess

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

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 mentor

Chase Rice

Country music maverick Chase Rice has become one of country music’s most exciting figures since arriving in Nashville, building a loyal fan base through his energetic live shows and gaining the attention of music critics and industry professionals alike with his edgy, eclectic sound. The Tar Heel State native released his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, in November 2017. Rice’s debut album, Ignite the Night, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart, and produced a pair of Top 5 hits, the platinum-certified "Ready Set Roll" and “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” After supporting Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival Tour 2015, Rice consistently sold out 2,500-to-3,000 seat venues on his JD and Jesus Tour and Everybody We Know Does Tour, and launched his Lambs & Lions Tour last fall.

The industry insiders

Eddie Kloesel

Artist Manager, Triple 8 Management

Eddie has been in the music industry since 2005. He spent the first 8 years on the road handling anything and everything for touring acts. Eddie has experience tour managing, production managing, monitor engineering, and tour accounting/administration. Since January 2012, he has worked for Triple 8 Management in an artist management role, handling artists Chase Rice, Sam Riggs, and Whiskey Myers.

Lenore Kinder

Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency

Lenore moved to Nashville in 2006 looking for personal growth and a challenge, and soon after joined AEG Live/The Messina Group, where she proved to be an invaluable part of the team. She’s curated tours for Kacey Musgraves, The Lumineers, and Kelsea Ballerini, and she recently joined Paradigm Talent Agency as co-RA for Kacey Musgraves. Accomplishments and awards include 2014 Leadership Music, 2014 nominee for Pollstar Talent Buyer of the Year, 2017 ACM Talent Buyer of the Year, and 2017 Pollstar Rising Star. Lenore is a voting member of the CMAs, ACMs and Americana Music Association.

Scott Orvold

Co-founder/talent buyer, Zero Mile Presents

Scott moved to Georgia in 2006 to focus on growing and building his career within venue shows, where he became an owner within the nationally acclaimed Georgia Theatre in Athens and helped grow it into a must-play venue for nationally touring acts. As the talent buyer for Terminal West and Variety Playhouse, Scott turned both into nationally recognized powerhouse venues. In 2017, Scott co-founded Zero Mile to produce large-scale shows in larger venues and centralize all concert operations into one company. Scott is continually recognized as one of the top independent talent buyers in the country.

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.

All event photos courtesy of ABV Agency | Zero Mile