Round One | February 27th
Anna Vaus is a singer/songwriter who draws from her roots. "I'm guilty-as-charged when it comes to writing songs about my hometown," Vaus says, "so many different stories and emotions come from this microcosm of where I grew up. I find a dark humor in a lot of them. All of my songs tend to be a little bit true, and a little bit twisted." But being deeply planted in her roots hasn't stopped her from finding wings in Nashville. In 2016, Vaus was chosen by Miranda Lambert as the first recipient of the Miranda Lambert Women Creators Fund, awarding a female singer/songwriter forty-thousand dollars to attend Belmont University. She's opened for artists like Hunter Hayes, and played venues like The Bluebird Café. But no matter where she plays or who it's with, for Vaus, it's about the song.
“Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle
To create that habit, Cristopher Stayton has spent the past four years studying songwriting at Belmont University. Hailing from the great city of Indianapolis, IN, Cristopher grew up listening to a healthy yet peculiar blend of 80s one-hit-wonders and Christian pop-punk. Cristopher found that his favorite musicians had fun while they were creating their music—songs full of energy and laughter. Striving to share that same sense of joy in his music, Cristopher continues his journey to hone his craft through writing songs that can be distinguished by clever lyrics and catchy, anthemic melodies. He strives to be a positive influence on the music industry, writing music that make people tap their feet and start to smile.
Aubrey Holden was born in Nashville, Tennessee, but grew up on the banks of the Tennessee river in Florence, Alabama. He is 21 years old, studying commercial voice at Belmont. As a songwriter, he draws inspiration from great country and pop songwriters and artists alike; such as Charlie Worsham, Steven Olsen, Brett James, The Weeknd, and Majid Jordan.
Somewhere between LA pop and Texas songwriting is Daniel Ethridge. His notable lyrics and commercially viable melodies make it hard not to become an immediate fan. Writing about the ins and outs of love, Daniel draws influence from artists like Chris Stapleton, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, & Steve Moakler. He started playing piano at just 3 years old, the cello at 8, and guitar at 11, which goes to show that music has been a part of him his whole life.
Daniel's talent combined with his enviable work ethic is a force to be reckoned with. He has been selected for writers retreats through BMI and Sony, as well as the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association, and has even more exciting plans for the future. When he's not writing or performing, Daniel enjoys spending time with his dog & his family, keeping up with the Lakers & the Dodgers, Jeeps, and long walks on the beach. You can find his music on Soundcloud as well as Facebook and Instagram.
Round two | March 2nd
Noreen Prunier is a graduating senior, and recently finished the ASCAP GPS program where she made connections with several publishers around Nashville. She is currently recording an album with Chase Coy and Seth Jones, as well as writing for other artist's projects.
Inspired by classic songwriters like Don Henley and Paul McCartney, along with more recent artists like John Mayer and Bruno Mars, Brad Blackburn has been developing his own style of writing and performing since he was 12 years old. He started playing out at bars, restaurants, weddings, and parties at the age of 14 and continued to do so throughout high school, entertaining the weekend (and week) crowds with hours of cover & original material. Now a senior at Belmont University, Brad frequently plays around Nashville at venues like the Bluebird Café and Listening Room Café. Some more notable performances include CMA Fest, Belmont’s Best of the Best Showcase (2 years in a row), the 18th Annual Grammy Block Party, and the Live Wholly Festival. He has won a total of 6 songwriting contests since relocating from San Antonio to Nashville. In fact, his songwriting ability earned him the ASCAP Songwriting Scholarship Award in 2015, and $10,000 for winning the Wholly Guacamole LiveWhollyTour in 2016. Moving forward, Brad plans to tour, record, and nurture his love for the studio and the stage.
He is currently recording his new album, BLACK&WHITE, due December 2016. Singles, “Good Go Bad” and “Burns Good”, are available now on iTunes and Spotify.
Nick Boyd was born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois, a small town on the border of Illinois and Iowa, in the heart of the Midwest. Nick currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, working as a singer/songwriter. Nick’s ability to capture an audience with his robust voice, dynamic tambour, and congenial demeanor is both refreshing and distinctive, leaving people wanting more. Nick currently is pursuing a degree in Commercial Voice and Music Business from Belmont University.
Jordan is a Key West native who moved to Nashville in 2014. Influenced by the brokenness in her family and hardships growing up, she taught herself how to play guitar and started writing songs. Though her passion falls in a lot of different areas of music, her main ones are for songwriting and worship ministry. She loves journaling, New Girl marathons, and avocados.