GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Blending music and agriculture together, The North Carolina Department of Agriculture has created an initiative tailored to help aspiring singer/songwriters, while also using it as a platform to share opportunities in agriculture for young students and adults.
The Ag Star Home-Grown Voice Talent Search traveled around the state, opening the door for 13 to 22-year-olds to audition and chance to win a Yamaha guitar, a professional songwriting session, one song recorded and produced by a top Nashville studio producer, training from industry professionals, and exclusive Got to Be NC performance opportunities.
Paige King Johnson has been at the forefront of this program, as she was named the first ambassador for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. She says it all started when she was performing for a 4-H group over zoom during the COVID-19 lockdown, watching her perform and listening to her experiences growing up an “ag girl.”
Since then, she has traveled trying to reach the younger generation of those wanting to work in the business, be a voice for those ranching, farming, and working in agro-business, and help those aspiring to be a singer/ songwriter full time.
Ag Star Home-Grown Voice Talent Search had vocalists audition from 42 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. Through the process, four finalists have been selected and two of those are from Greenville.
Marye Amanda and Trenice Atkinson are part of the final four competing for the opportunity to go to Nashville. Marye Amanda was able to come into the studio to talk about her career and experience in the competition.
She graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in communications and spent lots of time her time at the radio station interviewing and debuting singer/songwriters. She says she would go back to helping other artists get exposure if she wasn’t striving to perform herself.
Marye Amanda found the Ag Star talent search through an ad on Facebook and auditioned with two of her original songs, “Settled for a Small Town,” and “The Other Girl.” She says she writes from her experiences and is excited to share them with everyone.
To catch Marye Amanda, Paige King Johnson, and Trenice Atkinson, head to the North Carolina Fair Grounds. They and others are performing. All information and tickets can be found here.