Feb. 27, 2015 07:10 AM

Local artist Derek Toomey is a finalist in the NSAI Song Contest
Photo submitted

Alexandria native and former Lafayette resident Derek Toomey has been selected as one of the top 10 finalists in the 15th Annual Nashville Songwriters Association International Song Contest presented by CMT for his contemporary country song “Drink It In.”

"Sometimes it feels like doors into the music industry are locked pretty tight, but having this song picked to be one of the 10 finalists offers a great opportunity to build relationships with Nashville music industry experts," says Toomey, who wrote "Drink It In" with longtime co-writer Jeff Silver.

Toomey, who worked as a reporter and anchor at KLFY TV in the 1990s while he lived in Lafayette, now lives in Atlanta, where he says he is trying to hone his craft and discover what it takes to create a hit song.

“I’ve been playing and writing music for most of my adult life,” says Toomey. “Mostly it’s kind of been a hobby, but within the last seven years or so I’ve started to get a little more serious about it and tried to realize what makes a hit song a hit song. But I wouldn’t call myself a singer; I’m just trying to strictly be a songwriter.”

While the finalists for the NSAI Song Contest were chosen out of more than 2,000 entries by a panel of judges comprised of industry experts, the winner will be decided by popular choice and announced via CMT in March.

The grand prize includes a mentoring session with Warner Music Nashville recording artist Charlie Worsham, a one-year single song contract with Little Louder Music Publishing and several meetings with additional Nashville publishers and other music industry movers and shakers.

Voting for the NSAI Song Contest is currently under way and runs through Saturday, Feb. 28. Listen to “Drink It In” by Derek Toomey below and cast your vote at NSAI.CMT.com.


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