BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford native Collin McLoughlins mashups and covers of pop songs like Gavin DeGraws Not Over You and Adeles Someone Like You have garnered hundreds of thousands of hits from the YouTube audience.
But McLoughlins ticket to fame beyond YouTube may come soon, in the form of Billboards Battle of the Bands contest.
Billboard selects three artists from each of six U.S. regions as finalists in the magazines online contest.
Billboard approached me to be one of the three, McLoughlin said.
Since being selected he has also stepped up his social media campaign, getting him attention from popular music blogs like goodmusicallday.com and freshnewtracks.com.
If users vote McLoughlin, 24, as the winner for the Northeast region, he will win a 2012 Chevy Cruze, which he will drive cross-country on a Billboard-sponsored tour of the U.S.
The singer/songwriter said he has used YouTube to get people interested in his original music, melodic tracks like "Keep on Sleeping" and "Chasing Dreams." People really love mashups for some reason, he said, especially right now.
Some of these (mashup videos) are just really easy ways to add interest to what youre doing, McLoughlin said. His mashup of Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine reached close to 2 million hits on YouTube.
McLoughlin, who has lived in Bedford since he was 4 and was a student at Rippowam Cisqua School, has accomplished even more in his young life as an singer. At Colgate University, McLoughlins crunk rock group Nautical Young, which he said has a sound similar to N.E.R.D., was voted by students to open for hip hop artists like Wale, Fabolous and Lupe Fiasco. He has also written electronic and acoustic songs, some of which he has sold to record labels.
McLoughlin also put in a year at NYUs Steinhardt School of Music Management, but he is putting it off right now to pursue his singing career. He said he would like to manage a label at some point in the future. In college he founded Broad Street Records, which is still in operation.
The Billboard cross-country promotional tour ends in Las Vegas, where as a winner McLoughlin would compete in the finals against five other artists from other parts of the U.S. The winner of the Vegas show will perform live at the televised Billboard Music Awards on May 20. Last years winner was Gentlemen Hall.
Today, Wednesday March 27, is the final day to vote. Go to Billboard.com/battle to vote for McLoughlin. The winner will be announced online on April 10. For more of McLoughlin, visit his YouTube channel McLoughlinMusic, check him out on Facebook and Twitter, or download his music from iTunes.
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