And the nominees are…

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First Posted: 8/25/2014

Steamtown Music Awards Hip Hop Act of the Year nominee Brandon Stuch may not have the most inspirational story behind why he got involved with music, but what he lacks in sentiment is made up in humor.

“When I was 15 I started making remixes with my friends about my buddy’s girlfriend who we all thought was a whore,” laughed the 24-year old aspiring artist of Wilkes-Barre.

That’s how Stuch found out he enjoyed writing music.

After the unexpected death of his mother in 2011, Stuch found himself taking music more seriously than when he was messing around with his buddies in high school.

“My mom was my biggest supporter,” Stuch said. “She would always encourage me to keep going. Even today, when I find myself steering away from music for a while, I think of how much she would want me to keep going.”

Thrilled to be recognized with the nomination at the inaugural Scranton music awards ceremony, Sturch said he is surprised about the nomination because “there are about 30 or so out there.”

“It’s crazy to think I’m nominated alongside people who have been doing this a lot longer than me,” he said.

“I think back to when Gino Lispi, who is also nominated with Abstract Peoples, helped me along the way. He taught me a lot. He stopped me from making bad rap,” Stuch said.

Lispi, nominated as a member of Abstract Peoples, rounds out Stuch’s competition alongside nominees Bee Ez, Chris Fields and Joey Crimzen.

“I think this award show is going to keep local artists hungrier and on their toes. Just knowing they can get this recognition will give everyone something to look forward to. Sort of how artists like Eminem and Beyonce look forward to the VMA’s,” Stuch said.

Country will not ‘shake it off’

While country music may have said goodbye to Taylor Swift, the same cannot be said for saying goodbye to NEPA.

Alongside hip hop artists, local country music artists will also be recognized at the inaugural SMA’s.

“There is so much musical talent in NEPA. Musicians. Songwriters. Singers. We have it all here,” said ‘Big John’ Davis, lead singer of Iron Cowboy.

“I’m a singer, a musician and a songwriter, but above all, I am a huge fan of music,” Davis said.

The Iron Cowboy frontman is always a fan of his fellow nominees.

Also nominated for Country Act of the Year is Chixie Dix, the Jeanne Zano Band, Timmy Gunz and Whiskey Tango.

“They’re all so talented. I think we are in great company,” Davis said.

When it comes to the night of the award show, Davis is looking forward to seeing old friends and hopefully making new ones.

“It’s a rare occasion we get to see each other. We are usually all playing gigs on weekends,” Davis said.

For more information on the nominees leading up to the event, read Weekender every Wednesday.