MEET THE SEMI-FINAL ELIMINATION ROUND CONTESTANTS
The contestants chosen from Phase I will perform at a semi-final elimination round at Ike's Riverside. They'll battle in front of a live audience and will be judged by high profile music industry representatives, prior Voice and Apollo contestants, and military personnel.
Upcoming BGTS Contestants
2 MCs from Highland Falls, NY, have been childhood friends since the 80’s. They’ve both been fans of music way before they started to create their own. They grew up on many different levels & styles of music, which makes them relevant. The message they send is to “stand for yours” by doing it over today’s sound. “Hip hop, in our time & place was where art & culture came first.” Today, it has catapulted thru the ceiling, giving them a true living ability in the field. Frank Matthews & Bumpy Johnson have been holding it down, creating real rap & helping others that have striven as much as they have.
A GUY AND A GIRL
“A Guy and a Girl” all started one summer’s night when the duo first met. Nick sang part of a song that he had been working on and Annemarie inspired him to finish him. The two, who just so happen to have the same birthday, started dating and making music together. Both artists were born and raised in Yonkers, NY. Nick is a multi-talented musician and singer while Annemarie has been singing and performing since the age of 5. Both are excited to share this experience and share their life-long dream together.
Alfred Mann, aka Al, was born June 14,1957 in a little town called Mahwah, NJ. As the 8th child out of 11, he was always surrounded by music, starting with his Father who was an avid pianist. However, when Al grew up, he realized that his voice was his true talent. He is currently the lead singer in a six-piece country rock band. After winning the Best Country Band in the Hudson Valley, they performed live on local radio stations. Among many contests entered, when Al performed for NBC’s The Voice and made it to Hollywood. He has a CD out called Memories and is currently working on more original songs for his next CD.
Both growing up in a small village, Highland Falls,N.Y, the two women wrote music, sang and made their own choreography together. For Tsunamii, she realized how strong her passion for music was when her older sister, who also had a love for music, was tragically murdered at just the young age of seven. From that day forward, Tsunamii made it her mission to make sure her sisters death counted for something. The tragic event molded Tsunamii into the Artist that she is today. On the other hand, Gemini started out with a passion for dance. She spent a lot of time performing in local talent shows with friends and getting choreography ideas from her mother. On her free time, she would write music in the comfort of her own room. The idea of becoming a group began in 2008 after the first time she heard Tsunamii sing. From then on, she spent more time perfecting her writing and paying close attention to structuring songs for the group.
The image that B.B.W would like to convey to the world is, the uplifting of women while showing love to the men. You can expect a mixture of R&B, Hip Hop, and Rap being produced by the B.B.W group!
BETWEEN THE RAIN
Between the Rain is an American hard rock band formed in New York City. With band name and logo conceived, singer/guitarist Tim Donlon left the Detroit area in search of like-minded musicians, eventually landing in Brooklyn where he merged with bassist Victoria Rothman. After relocating to the Hudson Valley region of New York, the band found drummer Roddy Marchant to complete the trio.
BRIA THE ARTIST
Not your average millennial—26-year-old Bria The Artist, is a singer/songwriter, producer, painter, sketch artist and poet based in Westchester, NY… Not to mention, she makes her own beats! This renaissance woman balances music and visual arts, sometimes combining her meticulously nuanced soulful sounds with live artwork, drawing her audience out of reality and into her dimension. Having written music alongside Soul Train Award-winning Nicole Henry, Bria The Artist has also released her own album, Moon Swings in August 2019. The international artist is on a 10-city promotional tour ending in December 2019— her last stop being in Dubai.
Brianna is a 22-year old artist, born and raised in Spring Valley, New York. Finding her inspiration in her parent's album collection, she realized her love for R&B and Neo-Soul. Singing in churches and local talent shows, her talents grew, which led to the Apollo Theater where she performed as an opening act for R&B artists. Through her music, she hopes to inspire people to love themselves throughout all of life's hardships and heartaches all while having a good time.
BWI (Black Water Ice) is a lyricist, song writer, currently working with two separate producers (Poncho Wylin and I-Sac ya hurd) and has been working on his soon to be released first album. BWI has been songwriting for over 4 years. The end goal is to affect the youth as much as possible with a positive message.
Conor was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he attended St. Peter’s Catholic School in Hyde Park from K thru 8th grade and continued his education at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Public High School. Throughout his childhood, Conor was always occupied with sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball and lacrosse, along with being involved in school theatre, and taking guitar lessons with 2014’s International Finger-style Champion and singer-songwriter Helen Avakian. Helen was Conor’s first major outlet into pursuing music, as she taught him skills in playing guitar, singing, and songwriting. Conor is an avid believer that music is the universal language because it expresses emotions better than any other form of communication he can think of. There is a long, rich history of writing and performing music, and Conor feels lucky and honored to embrace a life in which he can be a part of that tradition.”
DANNIES FROM THE SOUTH
Dannies from the South is a Colombian duo comprised of the talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Daniel Criado and singer-songwriter Denisse Vera. As well as advanced degrees in music, they both have extensive performance experience. The duo writes songs that draw on influences from Latin American rhythms and Pan-American folk music. They are currently recording their first album “What the Mirror Knows”. Dannies from the South collaborate with flutist Lisa Andrea whose compositions and flute playing can be heard on Leon Parker’s critically acclaimed Columbia recordings. Daniel, Denisse and Lisa perform regularly with their band in the Hudson Valley.
J. Caruso is an American singer songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. Prior to his first solo release, he was a member of Alt-Rock trio Wired and a drummer/ percussionist for Americana/ Roots Rock outfit Jackson Ridge Rodeo and more. His 2016 self-titled debut record is an ode to all his favorite musical influences. Independently written, produced, recorded and released, J. performs all instruments and programming, writing and recording.
THE JAZZ KITTENS
The Jazz Kittens are a collective of musicians and artists. They specialize in jazz, but also play many different genres that range from pop to gospel music. Their goal is to encourage people on their college campus at Bard to explore different styles of music and to branch out to different cultures. In general, they want to make good music, have a good time, and share those experiences with others.
Jelani Nkoski, Empire Family, is an independent artist originally from Brooklyn, NY, raised in Upstate, NY in the 845. He loves making music. He has been rapping since the age of 12 but, took his craft seriously about 4 years ago. Within that time, he has created a lot of material. He is very creative and edits, directs and records his own short films and videos. His goal is to be successful and overcome any obstacles in his way starting with the Battleground Talent Showcase.
Jmerc is a 28-year-old gospel/hip hop rapper as well as a songwriter from Peekskill, NY. Jmerc’s love of music began early when his father, also a musician, taught him how to play conga drums. Unfortunately, his dad died when he was 5. It’s been a struggle growing up without a dad. Like his father, music became a way of expressing himself. In 2007, his mom was diagnosed with colon cancer which made him focus more on music. He found music to be soothing and healing not only for his mother, but also for himself. Jmerc is a teaching assistant at a private high school in Westchester as well as an athletic director during the summers. He also works for a non-profit organization in Peekskill where he mentors under-represented teens and uses his music to reach his students. He has performed locally and throughout other areas of New York. He hopes this opportunity will be the starting point for a music career.
Born and raised in Highland Falls, NY, Malik Johnson, known as LeekyXIV, always had a love for music. He became involved in rapping and songwriting at the age of 16. He then moved onto SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, NY, where he played college basketball and was named captain of the men’s team. He carried over the passion, discipline and work ethic developed on the court to the recording studio. In fact, his hip-hop name, LeekyXIV, and title of his debut album were inspired by his former uniform number, #14. He released his debut album, “XIV,” in early 2018 and has been consistently dropping music ever since.
Nadia Sirref is not just your average up and coming singer/songwriter. She has been passionate about the creative process for as long as she can remember, Nadia decided to learn beat production in 2018 in order to write and produce her own music. Through this process she developed a unique indie-pop sound intertwined with poetic lyricism and entrancing melodies. Her goal is to make music that reaches her audience as personally and intimately as music has touched her life. Nadia looks forward to the musical adventures ahead of her.
Meet 23-year-old Neverson Cadesca. Nev grew up in a small town called West Haverstraw. Nev has been singing since he was young. He taught himself how to play the guitar a few years ago and now loves to perform.
Every song tells a story, and that’s what Rosie does best. A singer-songwriter from Mahopac, NY, Rosie wrote her first song at the age of 4 on her toy keyboard. Since then, she’s evolved into an artist with a style that spans multiple genres. With lyrics that paint pictures and melodies that get stuck in your head, Rosie’s captivating songs will take you on a journey from start to finish. Her debut EP will be available Summer of 2020.
Born in Morgantown, WV, Shenendoah Thompson has been performing since he could walk. During his adolescence he worked extensively at the Morgantown Theatre Co., while simultaneously performing with community theatre companies and the West Virginia University Theatre Dept. Through this, he acted in and assisted with over a hundred various productions ranging from contemporary musical theatre such as Fiddler on the Roof, Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, Honk! High School Musical, to more operatic titles such as Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods & Pirates of Penzance. He has Directed dozens of plays and independent films. In the 2015 production of John Logan’s RED, earned a Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Ken and the Best Play Award at the West Virginia Theatre Association. As a singer-songwriter he has released two albums and three singles of his original composition. He is currently working on his third album. Always open to creative endeavors, his future includes producing his original screenplay and completing his mid-life memoir. He resides in Peekskill NY with his loving fiancé Stephanie.
Tayla Rees is a talented 19yr old young lady who draws you into her world with her sultry voice, lyrics engaging heart and tenacity for life. It is evident this Singer/Songwriter/Actress/Model has music brewing in her soul that flows through her veins since birth. She is a Pop artist with multiple “Flavas” with the gift of melody that stays with you. She has been performing since 10yrs old as both a Solo artist and with her many bands including TAJ. Tayla Rees has built her resume independently working with producers and artists recording her songs as well as other’s. She has acted, sang and performed in music videos and was an intern on set for a NYC Producer. She has been an extra on TV shows Law & Order SVU and Unforgettable and In 2015 & 2017, she performed at Bethel Woods singing with Foreigner and a local venue with Jessica Lynn. She’s currently working on her first album.
Davez is a 26-year-old male artist, producer and engineer from Poughkeepsie N.Y. He started out singing as a youth in a church choir as well as writing poetry and making beats in elementary school. In middle school he started rapping. Davez feels as though his opportunities are endless and his worth ethic matches his talents. Carica is a 25-year-old artist from Poughkeepsie N.Y. She has been singing since she was a child. Furthermore, Carica is a very ambitious young lady who strives for success and loves to help others along the way. Her dreams are endless.
Tim Kopp started singing at an early age and self-taught himself to play piano and guitar. By the age of 14 he was writing his own music. Tim has dedicated his music talents for benefits such as “Everyday Angels” “Zylophone” “Autism Society of the Hudson Valley” and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital”.
We are a mother/daughter duo- Trunda and Tiara. We are a contemporary, out of the box worship group. The songs that we write stem from real life issues with real life victories from God. We have recorded 2 Eps: Unlimited Praise & Intimacy (In To Me See), and 2 singles: No Worries & Free Your Mind. Originally from Highland Falls, NY, we now reside in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Every song that the Lord gives us has a purpose and a plan to go beyond the 4 walls of the church and reach the lost.
February 8 Contestants
My name is Brian Louis and I’m a singer/songwriter. An electrician by trade as well. I was born in New Orleans in 1978 premature. I was in an incubator for a long time and then put in an orphanage. My mother was running the streets and on drugs. She left me in the hospital and told my family I died so they wouldn’t go get me. My father was her pimp and he told her to leave me in the hospital. My mother was shot the day I was born and that caused my early birth. I was adopted in 1980 and move to New Rochelle NY. Not much of a childhood to say the least. A lot of violence and abandonment as well as being raped and molested. Music has always been therapeutic for me, so I started singing along with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson albums. I’m currently an electrician and have my own company with high hopes of finally getting my musical break.
Dave Diedrich is a Singer-Songwriter living in Peekskill NY. His unique style and versatility have enabled him to create music in multiple genres. Dave has recorded everything from musical comedy, blues, pop/rock albums to children’s music albums. Dave also does work for non-profit organizations like “Music That Heals” which has allowed him to play music for Children at Maimonides Medical Center, ADAPT (formally United Cerebral Palsy Foundation), Howard Haber Early Learning Center and Elizabeth Seton Children’s Pediatric Center. Dave is also a full time Realtor, so when he’s not selling music, he is selling houses.
This is Jasia. Awkward on many different levels, music has always been her escape. Growing up with 60's soul and spoken word. In high school philharmonic and wind ensemble, Jasia rediscovered her love through classical music as a percussionist. Finding the balance between freedom of expression and technique, hrt style flows in its own lane. As a 26-year-old singer/song writer most of Jasia's music has yet to be heard until recently.
JamesEarlWoodz CEO and Artist of Beat Taggaz™ Record Label/ Rap Group which was started as a group of friends who rapped in a basement, to now internationally-selling music. Everything this team does is with pride in doing ourselves, with very limited outsourcing. James does most of the promotion, booking of shows/management, clothing design and do all graphic design for Beat Taggaz™with help from his business partner and artist Farka$.On hand, they have 4 different music studios including mine in Beacon, and 3 others which can be located in Pleasant Valley, Hyde Park, and Pennsylvania. They have 3 music producers including JamesEarlWoodz , Verdictbeatz(DJ Verict) and IamHimbeats(Jonzkid), 4 music engineers including Farka$, DJ Verdict, Jonzkid and myself and all together are a group of 6. JamesEarlWoodz is currently working on a debut Ep called South Hills and is looking to further his brand by any means necessary. JamesEarlWoodz is not just a rapper he is an entrepreneur and developed a sound that combines the heart of hip hop lyrics mixed with the current sound of today's hip hop.
Jaquon Welch born February 22, 1991 in Albany, NY and was raised in Peekskill, NY. He has been singing and performing since the tender age of 3. His musical background started out in church and he continued to grow and flourish from there. He then began singing in school choruses and professional choirs. He has placed in talent shows, made through many auditions for various shows such as X-Factor, American Idol, The Voice, and Sunday's Best. He was also a part of “The Dean’s List Tour” where he had the privilege to travel around different cities and colleges performing his own original
Music. He recently made it to the Super Top Dog competition for Amateur Night at the Apollo, where he placed 1st many times. Now he is currently working towards a music career perfecting the styles of R&B/Soul/Pop and Gospel. He is in the studio writing and recording his own songs and hopes to make it big and won’t stop until he makes it.
RAQUEL & THE WILDFLOWERS
A high-energy blend of Classic Rock and Current Country, Raquel & The Wildflowers is an original band based out of the Hudson Valley. Their music is a reminiscent of classics like The Eagles and Queen, while staying true to today’s country styles, like Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church, Gretchen Wilson and Brad Paisley. The magic began when Raquel’s first song, “Run Towards the Highway”, charted #32 on DRT top 50 Country Airplay charts in 2018. In 2019, the band made its public debut and since then, they’ve been going nonstop. This past summer, the band opened for multi-platinum artist Andy Grammer, award winning band Skeeter Creek and performed at NashSkill Music Festival. Next summer they will be hitting the road on their first tour to perform at Country Fest 2020, featuring Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Brothers Osborne, and more. This fun and friendly close-knit crew is only getting started, and they can’t wait for what comes next!
Arnold A.G. Gordon