The 2017 Nash Next challenge is down to 10 finalists, and in the lead-up to the announcement of the champion on Nov. 1, NCD will be profiling each of the 10 finalists.
Today, we are getting to know finalist Alexis Gomez.
In May, Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group invited aspiring country artists and bands to participate in Nash Next 2017, a grassroots talent search and artist development program for country music. Sponsored nationally by Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, the winner of the competition will receive a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group and garner substantial exposure, commensurate with a major-label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.
The 10 finalists were selected by a panel of country radio professionals and will be judged in the finale by a group that includes Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks and Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group. The 10 finalists will perform at the 2017 Nash Next finale event at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public
Home Market: Nashville & Centerville, Ohio
How did you get started in music?
My dad was a musician. He taught me to sing and play guitar and piano. I even wrote my first song with him. My dad, brother, sister and I played in a family band growing up. My very first show was at a coffee shop when I was 8 years old. I also started singing at my church when I was in elementary school.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
One of the very first shows I performed was at a homeless shelter in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, when I was 8 years old. I sang Martina McBride’s “Love’s the Only House.” I was so nervous. I got up there and messed up the words. It was terrible. I walked offstage so disappointed, but at that same moment, a woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and thanked me for singing that song and told me how much she needed to hear those words in her life that morning. It was then that I realized the amazing power music can have on a person. Even when I don’t get it perfect, the words, the music and the stories speak through all of it. I feel that God gave me a gift and I want to work hard at it and use it to touch as many people as I can.
Who are your musical influences?
My dad turned me on to people like Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks. As I got older, I really fell in love with Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry. As I look back through the music I have written over the years, it’s so cool to hear the changes in my style as my influences started to grow and evolve.
What three words describe you?
Goofy. Passionate. Hardworking.
What is unique about your sound?
Most people can’t tell by looking at me, but I am part Mexican and I would love to be a country artist who can help bridge the gap into the Latino community. I put my own Hispanic twist on some of my originals and even some of the covers that I perform!
What three albums would you take with you to a deserted island?
Martina McBride’s Greatest Hits, Taylor Swift’s Fearless and Hillsong Untited’s Zion.
What’s a song you wish you had written?
I wish I had written “Oceans” by Hillsong United. This song has such a cool message and has touched and changed so many lives across the world. I can only dream of writing something so powerful one day.
What was the first concert you attended?
Kendall Payne, a Christian artist that I loved to listen to when I was little. My first country concert was Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
What’s the last song you heard that blew you away?
Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem.” There is something so captivating and catchy about this song and it is so unique in country music right now. I can’t get it out of my head.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.
What’s the first thing you do after a show?
I love to go straight to my merchandise table and meet the fans and people in the audience. I want them to know how much I love getting to know them and want them to always have the chance to get to know me after a show.
What’s been your most exciting or unusual fan encounter?
My most unusual fan encounter was when a man told me that God told him we were meant to get married. I’m still single [laughing].
What’s your favorite song to cover?
“Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done onstage?
I got the chance to open for Montgomery Gentry, and while I was onstage my skirt came untied and I semi-flashed the audience. I didn’t even notice until the last song of the show. Thank goodness my daddy always told me to wear spanks.
What was your reaction when you learned you were one of 10 Nash Next 2017 finalists?
I was so shocked and excited. I woke up and saw the phone call and email and immediately woke up everyone in my house and made a million phone calls. My family is so supportive, so we all cheered and celebrated together. After making it to the finals of Nash Next 2016, I wasn’t sure if they would give me another chance to prove myself. I am so thankful.
Why do you want to be the Nash Next 2017 champion?
I want to have a chance to take the music I write and sing and use it to touch peoples’ lives around this country. I think this is what God made me to do, and I am ready—now more than ever—to show that to everyone.