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Music Prize to showcase top national talent at Prize Fest

On Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, Prize Fest announced its top 10 musical acts that will compete for...
On Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, Prize Fest announced its top 10 musical acts that will compete for the $10,000 grand prize.(Prize Fest)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 1:01 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - It’s the 10-year anniversary of Prize Fest! The event will return to the streets of Shreveport this year for a two-weekend festival.

One of the most entertaining parts of Prize Fest is the Music Prize competition. KSLA News 12′s Adria Goins spoke with two of the top finalists in this year’s Music Prize, as well as Gregory Kallenberg with Prize Foundation, to get a better understanding of what this competition entails.

These musicians are two of the best in the contest: Lance Thompson who was the 2020 Music Prize winner and Candace Devine who started a new band during the pandemic and recorded an album. However — she is no stranger to the music industry.

“I started my career as a backup singer to Christina Aguilera and then released a solo record that did pretty well. Then had a duo that was signed and toured and opened for Adam Lambert and Boys to Men and Michelle Branch. I sang on Ringo Starr’s record.”

Devine, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, lives in Prescott, Arizona. Her band, Ponderosa Grove, released its first album in June and it’s seen plenty of success so far.

She heard about Music Prize from a friend living in Arizona who was originally from Shreveport.

“We submitted to see if we could do Prize Fest and we made it in,” Devine said. “So it’s just been this really exciting, fun collaboration that’s blossomed into a beautiful thing.”

Thompson categorizes his musical style as contemporary R&B.

“You’ll get a lot of soul and a lot of love songs, but you’ll also get a lot of pop feel too,” he said. “So you’ll get your Usher, Chris Brown, as well as your John Legend.”

Thompson admitted he was feeling the pressure after claiming the title of Music Prize champion last year.

“It’s humbling. I got an opportunity to look at the 45 semifinalists and everyone in their own right was amazing. To see my city of Shreveport, Louisiana holding a competition that are showcasing artists that are not just in Shreveport or even the surrounding areas — it’s inviting people from all over the country — I thought that was amazing.”

Kallenberg said the audience wouldn’t even see one of the most important parts of Music Prize this year, but it would help generate growth in the music industry in the area.

“Music Prize has a conference attached to it called MP-Con where we’re bringing in industry professionals from around the country that have been specifically curated to help people like Candace and Lance...” he said. “They’re going to be interfacing with those professionals with the hopes that those connections and those musicians can find the success they want. Some just might want to tour or some might just want to put out an album and we’re going to help them do that.”

For Prize Fest’s 10th anniversary, the audience will get to witness something special.

“It’s something that we have created for the community, for the world, and we are so excited to put these musical acts on stage, get people back in front of live music and you need to be there what’s going to occur because it’s going to be magical.”

Prize Fest will get underway on the first weekend on September 24th with Fashion and Music Prize. Film, Food, and Comedy Prize will be held the following weekend.

Remember Prize Fest wants to make sure everyone is safe this year, so they’re asking for a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination from everyone. Events will be streamed online.

For more on Music Prize, tap or click here.

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