There’s a new show in town shedding light on the musical talent of Murray as well as of surrounding areas.
The show ‘Breaking Underground’ is documenting the free event The Emerging Artist Challenge. On April 3, at the Big Apple Cafe, the show hit its eighth week of filming.
Although The Big Apple Cafe serves alcohol, there is no age limit for watching the show.
The competition spans a 12-week period, starting with nine weeks of preliminary competition, two weeks of semifinals and one week for the final round.
In the first nine weeks the bands that win are granted a spot in the two weeks of semifinals.
The prize is $15,000 of studio time and publicity to help the artist(s) start their career(s).
All audience members get one poker chip to vote on their favorite band or artist. There are empty pitchers with the artist or band’s name on it in which the poker chips are placed.
For every drink or item of food purchased the waiter or waitress gives that audience member another poker chip to vote on one of up to five bands.
There is one winner selected each night who earns a spot in semifinals. The runner up is invited back for another chance to win the next week.
The pilot show aired on MSU TV11 at 6 p.m. Wednesday and again Thursday April 5.
The final round of the competition is May 1.
The launch party for the TV show was hosted at The Night Owl.
Two to five solo artists or bands can sign up each week to play and be voted on by the audience.
“We want to bring something that the people of this community have always wanted and help facilitate an environment for these young artists and entertainers to express themselves” said Tony Hoskie, senior from Murray.
This competition allows the residents of Murray to be involved in helping artists in the community pursue their music.
Jody Hicks, the host, interviewer and founder of the competition, is also the bassist and back-up vocalist for the band Halo Stereo.
Joey Skaggs, senior from Murray, has been filming the artists, conducting interviews and editing the show together.
“This area has so much raw talent and aspiring artists that the chance to give them a leg up and provide some airtime for them really means a lot,” Skaggs said.
The talent for these competitions comes from not only Murray but also Nashville, Paducah, Bowling Green and other surrounding areas.
There are different types of music performed ranging from hip hop to rap to country.
“Each showcase is different; the semifinals are starting to take place now but the first several shows consisted of all types of music from country to rap to simple singer-songwriters and last week there was even a heavy metal band that we had fun working with,” said Britney Eckles, junior from Sonora Calif.
The show encourages local talent to try and compete and get feedback from the community. This is an event for the community as much as it is for the artists, Eckles said.