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Fri, Oct. 18

Paulden musician launches national songwriting contest

Courtesy photo<p>
Albert Lopez (top right) stands with his brother, Allan Lopez (top center) with Plaid Star Records producers.

Courtesy photo<p> Albert Lopez (top right) stands with his brother, Allan Lopez (top center) with Plaid Star Records producers.

Hey, aspiring songwriters - you win this contest, you're going to Nashville!Sometimes a career in the music business takes one lucky break, and one Paulden-based songwriter has launched a national contest to make it happen.Not long after Albert Lopez signed to a Nashville record label, he figured starting a national songwriting contest would not only help him in the business, but also lead to discovering other great talent."I thought, why can't I do this for somebody else, and maybe find another great artist for the label, and help them out, too?" Lopez said of the "Show Me the Music" contest co-sponsored by his label, Plaid Star Records.Lopez is accepting demo recordings for his songwriting competition through Sept. 30. The grand prize winner will get a publishing deal and travel to Nashville for two days to record a fully-produced demo of the song in one of the industry's premier studios.The contest pays for the winner to fly to Nashville and record at Dark Horse Recording, a four-studio complex set in the rural surroundings of Franklin, Tenn., about 15 miles south of Nashville, where artists including Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Neil Diamond and Big & Rich recorded platinum albums.Lopez, 33, said he landed his record deal after his brother, Allan, won the regional contest of the Colgate Country Music Showdown in California and got the attention of a talent scout.Plaid Star ended up signing his brother as a recording artist, and signed Lopez to a songwriting deal after finding out he wrote the songs his brother performed."It's been such an exciting thing this last year - three trips out to Nashville, not paying for anything - it's just been amazing," he said, adding that he's recorded at Dark Horse a few times in the past year."I realize once you make connections, so much can happen. I've been meeting some really top people in the music business. It's just been one thing after another the last year, and more and more stuff keeps happening."The contest accepts songs in all genres - rock, alternative, folk, country, pop and R&B - recorded on tape or CD, or submitted online in MP3 format. A staff of songwriters, producers and other musicians will judge all entries, Lopez said.Recording of the winning song, probably toward the end of the year, will begin with a jam session with Dark Horse studio musicians to get the feel of the song, Lopez said.For more information, visit
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