Nashville-born Jasper Hollis, a resident of Sydney, Australia, has been announced as one of 20 Toyota Star Maker finalists. He will be competing against some of the country’s best up-and-coming country artists, and if he wins, will join Keith Urban, Samantha McClymont and Lee Kernaghan who all previously won the title and helped launch their careers.
“The old saying is true, you never know where life may take you,” says Hollis. “Coming from my home in the south, Music City USA, and living in the big smoke of Sydney, Australia has been a wild rollercoaster of experiences. Not a day goes by I don’t miss home, but I have come to love the sun burnt country of Australia, and there ain’t no law against a man having two home sweet homes!”
Toyota Star Maker is in its 33rd year and considered Australia’s oldest country music talent search. The event takes place every January as part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival celebrations. This year’s Star Maker winner earns an album deal and recording session, as well as a new Toyota vehicle. The Grand Final will commence at Sunday, January 22 at the Tamworth Country Theatre and Kernaghan will perform to commemorate his 30 year Star Maker anniversary.
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A little closer to home, Nashville-based folk rocker Josh Doyle is one of the top 10 finalists for Guitar Center’s Singer Songwriter competition. The finalists were selected by Grammy winning producer John Shanks and will compete Feb. 18 at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. One winner will get to record an EP with Shanks, as well as take home tons of swag from Fender, Taylor, Shure, and Ernie Ball. More info here.
Guitar Center’s Singer Songwriter Finalists:
Ashlee Willis (Los Angeles, CA)
Josh Doyle (Antioch, TN)
Paulina Faith (Durango, CO)
Maria Zouroudis (Pembroke Pines, FL)
Madilyn Bailey (Boyceville, WI)
Jacob Caraballo (Saint Cloud, FL)
Sarah Bella (Rochester Hills, MI)
Caleb McGinn (Sedgwick, KS)
Rocky Gunderson (Troutdale, OR)
Jocelyn Scofield (Los Angeles, CA)