Teen Musician Wins GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Teens Make Music Contest
Teen musician Brittaney Brannock has been selected as the winner of the fourth annual GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Teens Make Music Contest for her creative interpretation of the consequences and impact of drug and alcohol use. Second and third place winners have also been chosen. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, the two nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy , in collaboration with The Partnership at Drugfree.org, will honor all the winners this month with exclusive Grammy experiences and prizes.
The contest asked young musicians, ages 1418, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that explored, encouraged and celebrated a healthy lifestyle or accurately depicted a story about drug abuse. All winners will attend the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that takes place while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards.
First-place winner Brannock, a recent graduate of Melrose High School in Massachusetts, submitted What I'll Never Get. The song encapsulates the pain and loss she feels having a specific loved one unavailable to her emotionally and physically due to his addiction, as illustrated in lyrics: "But what I didn't get, no what I'll never get, is your hand down the aisle, or a promise that's kept/You left your whole family, without one regret/How many sorrys before you believe it's true/Another I love you."
"It is an honor to once again partner with two exceptional organizations, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, to showcase inspiring teen musicians" said Steve Pasierb, president of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "As we continue this successful program, The Partnership is excited to recognize individuals who creatively illuminate the devastating effects substance use and addiction can have on teens while also showing that individuals can and do regain their power over the grip of drugs and alcohol."
California-based teens of the band "Slater," Paige Augusta, a freshman at Agoura High School, and Alex Arnaout, a sophomore at Westlake High School, are the second-place winners for Believe In Me. The lyrics, "Can't help but pray for change/Wishing I was someone else/Can hardly say my name/And I wish I could see myself like they see me/And I wish II wish Ibelieved in me," describe the difficulties some teens experience in coping with their insecurities and the need to believe in themselves in order to rise above the influence of peer pressure and drugs, alcohol and self-harm.
Third-place winners Isaac Horn and Evan Pierce, seniors at Valley View High School in Arkansas, wrote, performed and produced Master. Their song shines a light on how powerless one can become when abusing drugs and how important it is to learn that you really are the master of your own life: "I know it's hard admitting we're disasters/When our addictions pound us down, when they are master/It seems their hold on us is stronger than our will to move/Ain't that a shame/It's a shame we don't know our own strength."
The first-place winner receives a $500 cash award and two tickets to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The second-place winners receive $250; and the third-place winners receive $100 courtesy of the Visions Adolescent Treatment Center in Malibu, Calif. All winners are invited to attend the GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience, a special backstage tour that takes place while artists rehearse for the live GRAMMY Awards. They will also join a guided tour of The Village Recording Studio, and have their musical entries posted on www.grammyfoundation.org, www.musicares.org and the Vans Warped Tour website. In addition, prizes include iPads with the GarageBand app and an opportunity to release a record with Clarity Way, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Hanover, Pa. A certificate from the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares will be given to all winners acknowledging their role in the dissemination of health information about substance abuse.
Honorable mentions go to Sarabeth Weszely of Oak Park, Ill., for her song, "Then I Found Drugs;" Kennedi Lykken of Spicer, Minn., for her song, "Baby Girl;" and sisters Alison and Josephine Jones of Kenai, Alaska, for their song, "Bright Then Blue."