Rock Rising: Cumulus Extends “Next” Franchise With Scott Borchetta, Steve Jones, Gavin Rossdale, Desmond Child

Expanding on Cumulus Media’s NASH Next music competition to find country music’s next big star, Cumulus Media has launched the second installment with its neXt2rock 2017 contest, a local and national grassroots search to discover rock talent.

Music producer Bob Ezrin; musician, songwriter and producer Desmond Child; Sex Pistols’ rock guitarist Steve Jones; Gavin Rossdale; and Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta will serve as mentor judges for the competition’s finale

The winner of the four-month long competition will receive a label deal with the newly-launched joint venture between Big Machine and John Varvatos Records, as well as exposure on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

Sixty-one Cumulus stations in 47 markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Minneapolis, will conduct searches. Local artists can enter via participating local station websites, which include Chattanooga’s KZ106, Memphis’ 98.1 The Max, and Tri-Cities 101.5 in Tennessee.

Three local music industry professionals will judge each competitor’s fan-rated original song. Local markets will then host live events or select their finalist by judging contestants in a video performance of that original song. Local winners will move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video showcasing their best original song, with the top five artists selected by rock industry professionals.

Those national finalists will then compete at a live concert event, hosted at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on Dec. 12, where the panel of celebrity mentor judges will select the neXt2rock 2017 winner.

Cumulus Media, which reaches more than 245 million listeners each week, is home to iconic rock stations including KLOS, KQRS, WLUp, KATT, KSAN, and WGRF.

“By launching neXt2rock under Cumulus Media’s “Next” franchise, we are putting a stake in the ground to support the next generation of music talent, further signaling to listeners, advertisers and business partners that Cumulus is invested in the future of music and radio,” said Mary Berner, CEO and President, Cumulus Media. She added, “With the renewed interest in the rock genre among Millennials and Gen Xers, Cumulus has even more opportunities for growth, providing expanded exclusive content and programming for fans, and an even larger audience for America’s newest rock star.”

Rossdale said, “The process of being discovered has changed a lot over the years but one thing is for certain – my career wouldn’t have gone the way it has without the support of radio. It plays a big role in every artist’s music career and has been an amazing partner for me over the past two plus decades. When my friends at Cumulus asked if I would be interested in lending my voice and support to help find a hard-working, aspiring artist fulfill a dream to be in this business, how could I say no? I had so many people help me in my early days when I was trying to launch my career, and I consider it an honor to be part of this unique talent search that is delivering what no one else out there does – national airplay across Cumulus rock stations, a major recording contract, and all the incredible exposure that comes with that. Good luck!”

Borchetta said, “Rock never dies…it’s the recoiled cobra snake that waits for its moment and then strikes with a vengeance. I’ve been seeing the resurgence of a new generation of young rockers around the fringes of the mainstream who are ready for a new national platform. It’s irreverent…like it’s supposed to be…it’s loud like it’s supposed to be…it’s got a new attitude, and it’s gaining an underground audience…like it’s supposed to…and now we’re going to expose it coast to coast and enable these new young rock stars to connect with a national audience and hotwire the scene. Count this as a warning.”


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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