With voting for the 2022 Interstate Music Awards in full swing, we wanted to go "behind the music" and share a bit about who each nominee is personally. Get to know the nominees below, and don't forget to cast your vote!
Adam Pearce — New Orleans, LA
Born and raised in Louisiana, vocalist and guitarist Adam Pearce brings a classic tone that will make any listener feel as though they’ve traveled in time. His voice has a truly “all-encompassing-rock” sound, making him a multifaceted performer with both original and cover work. With a lengthy resumé of projects with industry legends and ample work as a solo artist, Adam Pearce is surely on the rise.
- Did not begin playing until age 18
- Initially a guitarist only
- Featured on The Voice
Some highlights from our interview with Adam Pearce:
What’s your long-term goal?
“My main goal in life is Rock and Roll World Domination.”
Where did your career begin?
“I picked up guitar when I was 18, I think it was a combination of wanting to impress [my girlfriend] and also, you know, just trying to figure out exactly what you want to do in life. And I kind of had the mentality — even at that age — that whatever I decided I was going to do, I was going to be super serious about it. I was gonna be a professional about it.”
Who do you look up to in terms of musical style?
“I’m a big admirer of the two Chris’: Chris Cornell, and Chris Stapleton. Both are incredible songwriters and vocalists.”
Chesney Claire — Las Vegas, NV
While she’s lived and performed in multiple cities over the past few years, one thing has remained the same for Chesney Claire — she’s captivated audiences wherever she goes. With her bright and sweet vocal tone, she’s able to deliver a soulful melody over any genre, making her a notably versatile singer and songwriter. Her songs and vocals truly come from a place of passion, giving her music a genuine (and catchy) quality.
- Has been performing since age 15
- Owner of Zeiss Entertainment/Zeiss Records
- Looking to sign with major label in 2022
Some highlights from our interview with Chesney Claire:
Where did your career begin?
“I started performing in local bars in my hometown when I was 15. I had to be accompanied by my mom because I was so young, but every time I got on stage, I remember the whole room changing — people enjoyed what I was singing to them.”
When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music full-time?
“I went to the first recording studio I’d ever been in, in Branson. It was Atlantis Recording Studio, with a very sweet producer, Rich Brown, and he helped me produce my first five covers. After I released those, I knew that this was for certain what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
What’s your songwriting like?
“Usually what happens is I get inspiration from a beat or an instrumental, and then it’ll usually come pretty easy for me. Whatever vibe the beat is giving me, I just try to copy that, and then write things that other people can relate to.”
Ethon Dorrity & Briglyn Buckway — Ogden, UT
When lifetime church singer Briglyn Buckway wanted to finally record a song, she made a wise choice in reaching out to her friend, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Ethon Dorrity. With Briglyn carrying the vocals, and Ethon covering all of the instrumental bases, they combine to create an interesting and exceptional hard rock sound with a soft vocal complement.
- Ethon is a musician, singer, and composer
- Both only 21 years old
- Ethon is both a classical and heavy metal enthusiast
Some highlights from our interview with Ethon & Briglyn:
Briglyn, has anyone in particular been an inspiration in your music career?
“Honestly, growing up with Ethon and seeing him be able to play so many different instruments sparked my desire to become more musically inclined. Then seeing all his hard work play out in his own recording studio has inspired me the most.”
Ethon, what made this cover significant for you?
“This cover of ‘Beautiful Beautiful’ reflects my love of several styles of music including rock, orchestral, and pop. I composed a guitar solo for the song that would fit the character of the song, as well as satisfy my inner metal head.”
Ethon, how did you master so many instruments?
“Well, it started when my best friend learned to play piano really well in elementary school. I was inspired by his skills and learned to play the piano. Then in middle school I heard rock music and I loved it. I saved up and bought my first electric guitar, and learned to play some classics. I learned to play the drums in high school and competed nationally with it. I slowly learned other instruments and saved up to have an amateur recording studio.”
Hazel Bloom — Los Angeles, CA
Fueled by a genuine, burning passion for both creating and listening to music, Hazel Bloom is a rising star, forging his own style with accents of alt-rock, emo, and pop. He’s been playing and singing in bands for over a decade to date, and has recently garnered an incredibly strong fanbase on social media, placing him in a slingshot for success.
- Been playing in bands since high school
- Cover and original artist
- Gaining notoriety through TikTok
Some highlights from our interview with Hazel Bloom:
What have you learned in your career thus far?
“If you’re doing what you’re passionate about, and what you love, then the challenges don’t seem like roadblocks. Every day I’m doing exactly what I love and learning along the way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be exactly who you are, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
What inspires you in your work?
“Music as a whole inspires me most. There’s nothing more euphoric than experiencing music live, or just in general. The feeling I get when playing or seeing live music is how I know it’s what I’m meant to do.”
Could you describe your sound?
“My music is a blend of pop, emo, and alternative rock. It’s heavily influenced by 2000s emo and pop punk, as well as new age pop. That blend, I believe, helps my brand and music stick out to listeners.”
Soulpax — Miami, FL
Formed by two friends attending the Berklee College of Music, Soulpax is a neo-soul and R&B group who truly keep things groovy. Funky basslines and clean, bluesy guitar riffs create the perfect atmosphere for lead singer, Julia Camayd, to energize any tune. With the ability to create masterful original work as well as nail covers, Soulpax is a band to keep your eyes (and ears) on.
- Each member is a multi-instrumentalist
- Think of writing music as “playing a game” with each other
- Opened for The Marshall Tucker Band
Some highlights from our interview with Soulpax:
In what ways does your group’s work reflect your personalities?
“We don’t see our music as a reflection of our personalities, rather music is our personality. We eat, sleep, and breathe music. From the moment we wake up until way past the hour where we should have gone to bed we are thinking about music.”
What’s Soulpax’s goal as a group?
“We just want people to dance. You know? So even if there’s just one person dancing, we’re like, ‘Yeah!’ But obviously the best gigs for us are the ones where everyone’s dancing.”
What drives you all the most?
“We just like to play, that’s it. It’s a moment where we can come home at the end of the week, to each other.”
Remember to cast your vote once a day until April 30th!