The West Michigan rock band won out over 10 other acts competing earlier this month in Louisiana, part of the week-long Prize Fest event. Details and videos at Local Spins.
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Jacob Betts, frontman for The American Hotel System, called it the culmination of “a crazy year” for the Grand Rapids rock band.
As part of the national Music Prize competition that drew entries from more than 1,100 bands — eventually narrowing things down to 11 finalists who performed before a panel of judges in Louisiana — The American Hotel System won the grand prize last weekend, taking home a $10,000 check.
“Moving forward, this prize money will allow us to up our production quality by investing into studio time and a producer that were previously cost prohibitive,” Betts said of the band that was formed in 2017. “My hope is that this will also allow us to have long-term connections with the individuals and professionals that we networked with at Prize Fest.”
The annual, week-long Prize Fest in Shreveport, La., also features submissions and competition in separate film, food, fashion and comedy categories.
It’s the second year that The American Hotel System moved up the ranks to compete as a finalist in the Music Fest event, but the group didn’t make the top three in 2021.
“After last year, we took all of the advice we received and decided to enter again this year,” Betts told Local Spins, noting the band initially submitted a single performance video recorded at Grand Rapids’ Dogtown Studio.
The competition began via ReverbNation back in June with more than 1,100 band entries. The American Hotel System first was named to the Top 50, then the Top 30 after submitting another Dogtown Studio video. In July, the public was invited to vote on their favorites with the Top 5 moving on, along with six other bands selected by a panel of judges.
All 11 finalists performed showcases for judges last week in Louisiana before the top prizes were awarded.
Virginia hip hop artist Octavia the Great came in second to collect a $2,000 prize, with Texas band Rococo Disco and Louisiana indie-folk act Benedetto each receiving $1,000.
“Needless to say, it’s been a crazy year for us,” said Betts, adding that the band also released two albums and got a chance to open for Bon Jovi in 2022. “We want to take the energy and excitement from this year and pour it into our next studio project that we hope to be able to start talking about in early 2023.”
This summer, the five-piece band – Betts, Hailey Petty, Jake LaMotte, C.T. McCallister and Samuel Overman — unveiled the live album, “Where My Soul Has Been,” which followed the 12-track, “Interrobang,” released earlier in the year.
Read more about American Hotel System at Local Spins here, and watch two of their videos below.
VIDEO: “The Feeling,” The American Hotel System
VIDEO: “Fire,” The American Hotel System
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