WALKER HAYES

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boom. Walker Hayes uses the word often. “It just felt right,” the breakout country singer says of the title for his highly-anticipated new album. It’s a celebratory sort of thing, he’ll tell you. A new radio station adds his buzzing single, “You Broke Up With Me.” boom. He links up for a national tour with Thomas Rhett. boom. That rowdy performance at CMA Fest –the one that had the crowd singing every word of his music back to him? boom. It wasn’t always this way. Not by a long shot. Lately, though, Hayes has had occasion to bust out the word often. And he’s not complaining.

 

A confessional, no-nonsense singer-songwriter, and one whose voice and perspective brims with relatability, Hayes is a tried-and-true Nashville standout. He’s an original in a town all too often rife with mimicry and compromise. And, now, he has audiences flocking to him in a major way. Conversational, honest and real in song, Hayes’ forthcoming debut album is the voice of a grinder laying it bare. It’s the stories of a man who realized the songs he couldn’t help but

write — about family, struggle, vices and the sacrifices we make for a dream — were his and his alone. “It startles some people. Like, ‘Wow, he’s really putting it out there,’” Hayes says of the raw songwriting that characterizes boom. and last year’s two break-out 8 Tracks releases. “But, that’s what my heroes did,” he says referencing the Willie’s and Waylon’s and Merle’s of the world. “I can only write something if I truly feel it.”

And if the Mobile, Alabama native has learned anything over more than a decade spent in Nashville, it’s that he can only be himself. His music — from the unflinching and honest “Beer in the Fridge,” to the spare and tender love song “Beautiful,” to “Craig,” boom.’s gripping album closer that documents a friend who came to his family’s aid in a time of need — is entirely Hayes’ own, even if it’s not always pretty. Nothing thrills him more than having no rules and no restriction on his creativity. “As an artist that was so freeing,” he says of the flexibility from his label, the recently revamped Monument Records, to be his own man. “That was like somebody telling you to write for no other reason than to just write.”

 

This father of six, who moved to Nashville on a hunch 12 years ago and for years and struggled to make it work, relishes his current moment. He’d been dropped from multiple record labels and admits there was a time he wondered how he’d feed his growing family. Not until he began peeling back the layers to his own life and subsequently documenting it in song did everything fall into place. In due time, he linked up with RareSpark Media Group and ace songwriter and GRAMMY award-winning producer Shane McAnally, who signed Hayes to his SMACKSongs publishing company in a co-venture with RareSpark and soon released two volumes of Hayes’ music for free online — 8 Tracks, Vol. 1: Good Shit and 8 Tracks, Vol. 2: Break the Internet. As if without warning, the music quickly attracted a massive swell of popularity.

 

“It’s when you almost lose that you really realize that maybe you were born to do this no matter what,” Hayes says. “It’s not about success or anything — it’s where you belong.”

 

And now, with boom., Hayes is ready to pull back the curtain entirely and give all of himself to his music, his fans, his family –everyone who has stuck with him on this long and sometimes painful journey. Says the singer of the road ahead: “I’m just going to continue finding out who exactly I am.”

VICTORIA BANKS

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“This is an artist you absolutely need to pay attention to. Recommended without reservation.”  - Robert Oermann, MusicRow

 

“A powerful singer...a very impressive songwriter...definitely a name to look out for.” - Maverick Magazine (UK)

 

Victoria Banks has been nominated for 11 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2010. She has been labeled “one of the best songwriters in the business” by Nashville’s MusicRow magazine.

In addition to releasing three albums and touring with artists from Reba to Wynonna, Banks - who hails from Muskoka, Canada - has written ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA and Covenant-award-winning songs for more than 50 artists.

Her cuts include Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record- breaking single “Come On Over,” Sara Evans’ solo-written hit “Saints & Angels” and duet “Can’t Stop Loving You” (featuring Isaac Slade of The Fray), Lauren Alaina’s “Queen of Hearts,” and many more. In 2016, Banks performed with the Nashville Ballet as part of their Attitude program, for which several of her songs were choreographed including the program’s title song, “City of Dreams.”

PARK CHISOLM

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Park Chisolm grew up in Newnan, Ga. and moved to Nashville in 1996 to pursue songwriting and front his own band. Chisolm found work as a multi-instrumentalist on the road and in the studio with artists from all across the musical spectrum.  Recent songwriting credits include a track on Blake Shelton's chart-topping studio album, If I'm Honest.

 

In 2006, he started working with actor Kevin Costner and his band Modern West as a songwriter and guitarist. The band has recorded and released five albums to date and toured worldwide. Chisolm co-produced the band’s most recent album, Famous For Killing Each Other, a project containing songs written for and inspired by the critically acclaimed History channel miniseries, “Hatfields & McCoys.”

 

Signed to a publishing deal with RareSpark Media Group since January 2015, Chisolm continues to write and produce projects with a variety of artists. Recent projects include Indigo, an album produced for 2010 CCMA Artist of the Year Victoria Banks, an as-yet-untitled Modern West album, and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Adam Wright’s forthcoming album.

BRIAN LAYSON

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Hailing from Macon, Ga., Brian Layson is a songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist whose work has been featured on albums by Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Will Hoge and multiple independent singer/songwriter projects. He moved to Nashville in 1999 and performed as Hoge’s lead guitarist until 2005, also co-writing “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” from Hoge’s Blackbird on a Lonely Wire and Man Who Killed Love albums, respectively. “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” is also featured on award-winning country music trio Lady Antebellum’s 2013 release, Golden.

 

In 2006, Layson joined pop-country entertainer Julianne Hough’s band as lead guitarist and musical director, fulfilling those roles until he signed on with Chuck Wicks in the same capacity in 2008. Layson performed in Wicks’ band through 2009, before he was tapped as lead guitarist by country music superstar, Dierks Bentley.

From 2010-2016, Layson completed several national tours with Bentley and appeared on multiple national television shows with the band, ultimately deciding to retire from the road life in 2016 to spend more time with his family and pursue his passion for songwriting. Layson signed on as a writer with RareSpark Media Group in 2017.

 
 
 
 

PAST WRITERS

 

WALKER HAYES

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boom. Walker Hayes uses the word often. “It just felt right,” the breakout country singer says of the title for his highly-anticipated new album. It’s a celebratory sort of thing, he’ll tell you. A new radio station adds his buzzing single, “You Broke Up With Me.” boom. He links up for a national tour with Thomas Rhett. boom. That rowdy performance at CMA Fest –the one that had the crowd singing every word of his music back to him? boom. It wasn’t always this way. Not by a long shot. Lately, though, Hayes has had occasion to bust out the word often. And he’s not complaining.

 

A confessional, no-nonsense singer-songwriter, and one whose voice and perspective brims with relatability, Hayes is a tried-and-true Nashville standout. He’s an original in a town all too often rife with mimicry and compromise. And, now, he has audiences flocking to him in a major way. Conversational, honest and real in song, Hayes’ forthcoming debut album is the voice of a grinder laying it bare. It’s the stories of a man who realized the songs he couldn’t help but

write — about family, struggle, vices and the sacrifices we make for a dream — were his and his alone. “It startles some people. Like, ‘Wow, he’s really putting it out there,’” Hayes says of the raw songwriting that characterizes boom. and last year’s two break-out 8 Tracks releases. “But, that’s what my heroes did,” he says referencing the Willie’s and Waylon’s and Merle’s of the world. “I can only write something if I truly feel it.”

And if the Mobile, Alabama native has learned anything over more than a decade spent in Nashville, it’s that he can only be himself. His music — from the unflinching and honest “Beer in the Fridge,” to the spare and tender love song “Beautiful,” to “Craig,” boom.’s gripping album closer that documents a friend who came to his family’s aid in a time of need — is entirely Hayes’ own, even if it’s not always pretty. Nothing thrills him more than having no rules and no restriction on his creativity. “As an artist that was so freeing,” he says of the flexibility from his label, the recently revamped Monument Records, to be his own man. “That was like somebody telling you to write for no other reason than to just write.”

 

This father of six, who moved to Nashville on a hunch 12 years ago and for years and struggled to make it work, relishes his current moment. He’d been dropped from multiple record labels and admits there was a time he wondered how he’d feed his growing family. Not until he began peeling back the layers to his own life and subsequently documenting it in song did everything fall into place. In due time, he linked up with RareSpark Media Group and ace songwriter and GRAMMY award-winning producer Shane McAnally, who signed Hayes to his SMACKSongs publishing company in a co-venture with RareSpark and soon released two volumes of Hayes’ music for free online — 8 Tracks, Vol. 1: Good Shit and 8 Tracks, Vol. 2: Break the Internet. As if without warning, the music quickly attracted a massive swell of popularity.

 

“It’s when you almost lose that you really realize that maybe you were born to do this no matter what,” Hayes says. “It’s not about success or anything — it’s where you belong.”

 

And now, with boom., Hayes is ready to pull back the curtain entirely and give all of himself to his music, his fans, his family –everyone who has stuck with him on this long and sometimes painful journey. Says the singer of the road ahead: “I’m just going to continue finding out who exactly I am.”

VICTORIA BANKS

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“This is an artist you absolutely need to pay attention to. Recommended without reservation.”  - Robert Oermann, MusicRow

 

“A powerful singer...a very impressive songwriter...definitely a name to look out for.” - Maverick Magazine (UK)

 

Victoria Banks has been nominated for 11 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2010. She has been labeled “one of the best songwriters in the business” by Nashville’s MusicRow magazine.

In addition to releasing three albums and touring with artists from Reba to Wynonna, Banks - who hails from Muskoka, Canada - has written ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA and Covenant-award-winning songs for more than 50 artists.

Her cuts include Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record- breaking single “Come On Over,” Sara Evans’ solo-written hit “Saints & Angels” and duet “Can’t Stop Loving You” (featuring Isaac Slade of The Fray), Lauren Alaina’s “Queen of Hearts,” and many more. In 2016, Banks performed with the Nashville Ballet as part of their Attitude program, for which several of her songs were choreographed including the program’s title song, “City of Dreams.”

DAVE TURNBULL

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Dave Turnbull is an acclaimed songwriter who scored his first Top 10 country hit in 2004 with Darryl Worley's "If Something Should Happen." That same year, Trace Adkins recorded the hauntingly beautiful ballad "Arlington," which ultimately became a Top 15 hit on the country charts. Since then, Turnbull has penned four No. 1 singles, including Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall,” Montgomery Gentry’s “Lucky Man,” and Brad Paisley’s “Old Alabama” and “Anything Like Me,” and he recently scored another hit with “Outskirts of Heaven,” which he co-wrote with recording artist Craig Campbell. Turnbull has had numerous other works recorded by artists such as Gary Allan, Jeff Bates, Mark Chesnutt, Sheryl Crow, Craig Morgan, Jake Owen, Randy Owen, Mo Pitney, Blake Shelton, Chuck Wicks, and Trent Willmon, as well as up-and-coming entertainers including Jordan Brooker and Mitch Rossell. 

BRIAN LAYSON

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Hailing from Macon, Ga., Brian Layson is a songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist whose work has been featured on albums by Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Will Hoge and multiple independent singer/songwriter projects. He moved to Nashville in 1999 and performed as Hoge’s lead guitarist until 2005, also co-writing “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” from Hoge’s Blackbird on a Lonely Wire and Man Who Killed Love albums, respectively. “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” is also featured on award-winning country music trio Lady Antebellum’s 2013 release, Golden.

 

In 2006, Layson joined pop-country entertainer Julianne Hough’s band as lead guitarist and musical director, fulfilling those roles until he signed on with Chuck Wicks in the same capacity in 2008. Layson performed in Wicks’ band through 2009, before he was tapped as lead guitarist by country music superstar, Dierks Bentley.

From 2010-2016, Layson completed several national tours with Bentley and appeared on multiple national television shows with the band, ultimately deciding to retire from the road life in 2016 to spend more time with his family and pursue his passion for songwriting. Layson signed on as a writer with RareSpark Media Group in 2017.

JASON AFABLE

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The product of a military family, Jason Afable moved around constantly throughout his life, though his deepest roots are in Oxnard, Calif. and Garrett County, Md. where he spent much of his childhood. After graduating college and serving a stint in the Peace Corps, he spent several years teaching abroad before moving to Nashville in 2013 to pursue a career in music.

A multi-instrumentalist, Afable grew up singing harmonies in church and listening to country music along with rock, hip hop, and R&B, dividing his time between playing in bands and making beats in Fruity Loops (which he still uses, although it's now called FL Studio).

As a songwriter and producer, Afable has had a number of cuts with independent artists. In 2015, he produced rising country artist Kalie Shorr's single “Fight Like a Girl,” which was released in early 2016 and tapped as a "Highway Find" by Sirius XM's The Highway. More recently, he has written with artists including Lee Brice, Florida Georgia Line, and Jerrod Niemann, and he is currently producing projects for artists Heidi Raye and Savannah Keyes. He signed his first publishing deal with RareSpark Media Group in May 2018.

 

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