Cameron reaches for the stars

Local musician Cameron Cusack is aiming for the stars after being selected as a finalist in this year's Toyota Star Maker competition.

Cameron Cusack from Nimmitabel said it was a big opportunity to get into the competition, which has a prize package of $100,000.

"It is really a boost to your career, the financial side and the contracts that go with it," Mr Cusack said.

Mr Cusack, who describes his work as contemporary country, was a finalist last year and is hoping maybe this year he will join the ranks of well-known country music artists such as James Blundell, Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan and Gina Jeffries who have won the competition previously.

Mr Cusack will be performing two songs from his recently released album, 'Cars and guitars', in front of six judges.

"I will perform one of the songs Troy Cassar-Daley wrote for my album, 'Hot rod town', and 'Immaculate to me', a song I wrote," Mr Cusack said.

Competition organiser Rural Press Events general manager Barry Harley, said Toyota has been a long time sponsor of country music and the Star Maker competition.

"Toyota has a strong bond with Australia's rural and regional community, and Toyota Star Maker continues to be a foundation of that support by providing independent artists with a highly-coveted, career-launching platform," Mr Harley said.

"Star Maker is associated with so many country music icons, including Keith Urban, James Blundell, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy and Lee and more recently new stars Travis, Samantha, Liam Brew, Luke Austen, Luke Dickens and Bob.

"With the level of talent this year, and the inclusion of audience voting, we've no doubt we'll be adding yet another great name to this already legendary list.

"One of the exciting results from the Star Maker process is not only the eventual winner but it also provides a huge step up the ladder for all contestants, mixing with the emerging elite, and with many of them using the positive experience and brand to open doors and to ultimately succeed.

"In the 34 years of Star Maker, over 600 artists have been through the process and all have gained from that experience."

The finalists now have two months to prepare for the competition.

Toyota Star Maker's talent search offers the biggest and most valuable $100,000 prize package to the winner.

Prizes include a recording contract for an album with RPE using Australia's top musicians and a leading producer, the use of a new, fully-serviced new Toyota car with a fuel card for 12 months, distribution and promotion and production of a professional video clip of one of the tracks by an award-winning director, a Maton acoustic guitar, Fender products, Jands products, media promotion including monthly exposure in Australia's monthly country music magazine Country Music Capital News, guaranteed performances, return air tickets to Nashville for the CMA Festival and a host of associated products and promotions.

Mr Cusack said he will be touring with Troy Cassar-Daley next year and performing with him at the Cooma-Ex Services Club on March 21.

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