Ticket to Nashville?

Alcoa freshman’s song makes first round of CMT contest

Aaron Tracy visits the Blue Bird Café in Nashville.

Aaron Tracy visits the Blue Bird Café in Nashville.

Aaron Tracy and his father, Don, pose for a picture at an Alcoa High School football game.

Aaron Tracy and his father, Don, pose for a picture at an Alcoa High School football game.

Aaron Tracy hangs out with his friends after opening for Lost & Found at the University of Tennessee for a crowd of more than 500.

Aaron Tracy hangs out with his friends after opening for Lost & Found at the University of Tennessee for a crowd of more than 500.

Aaron Tracy is hoping Country Music Television’s “Madness” will be the beginning of a career in music for him.

Aaron and his father, Don Tracy, were surfing the Internet this summer, looking for some venues for the 15-year-old freshman at Alcoa High School to play his music.

What they found was the CMT Music City Madness video contest, asking for videos of musicians playing an original song for the contest. Aaron submitted a video of himself at the Alcoa Middle School Talent Show that was held in May.

On Oct. 20, CMT narrowed the contest to 64 first round finalist and Aaron’s “Reason to Believe” was on the list.

Now Aaron is hoping his friend, family and fans will log onto to CMT’s website and vote for his video. Representatives from record labels in Nashville chose the top 64, but public voting will be what propels the contestants to the next levels. CMT paired the videos and the top vote getter of the two in each pair advances to the next round.

“Anybody on the Internet can vote for their favorite video,” said Don. “They can vote as many times as they want. It’s like a basketball bracket, and there are five rounds to the final round. Nov. 3 is the end of the first round.

The winner will fly to Nashville to tape their own Unplugged at Studio 330 performance and for their own private showcase with A&R executives from Warner Bros. Records Nashville. Plus, Grammy-winning artist Randy Travis will mentor the winner. This is the third season for the contest.

Aaron said the talent show at the middle school where the video was made was a good performance for him. “Once I got on stage, I was really feeling it. I sang ‘A Reason to Believe,’ a song I wrote,” he said.

Aaron said he has written 15 songs and has been writing for three years. “Some people think that this is the best song I have written. I wrote it to have a very powerful message. It’s a story about a girl I know who didn’t believe in God, and, once she came to know God, it helped her get through the pain in her life brought on by abuse.”

Aaron said he wants a career in country music and getting this far in a nationwide video contest makes him optimistic about his career choice. “I’d really like to get my big break, sooner rather than later,” he said.

Don Tracy said he and Aaron’s mother are definitely proud of him. “Now the executives know he’s out here,” he said.

Don said it’s tough trying to get the attention of record companies. “You have to go to Nashville to get your music in front of them,” he said. Although he played music years ago, Don takes no credit for Aaron’s talent, insisting that he gets his musical talent from his mother.

When Aaron wants to write, he looks for inspiration camping, at the beach or with friends, he said. “Camping is great. I guess I like the scenery and the campfire and that’s where most of my writing occurs,” he said.

To vote for Aaron Tracy’s video as part of the CMT contest, go to www.cmt.com.

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