Radio Romance, the four-member band that made local headlines with the October video release of “Sounds of a Quiet Town” featuring images of Chillicothe, took top honors in the 2017 Nash Next competition Wednesday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Radio Romance, the four-member band that made local headlines with the October video release of “Sounds of a Quiet Town” featuring images of Chillicothe, took top honors in the 2017 Nash Next competition Wednesday night in Nashville, Tenn. Nearly 1,500 artists had entered the talent competition providing the winner coveted nationwide airplay – the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career. NASH Next is considered a grassroots competition that concludes with naming country music’s next big star. “We are beyond excited and blessed to be in this position,” said Sam Hayes, who provides lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar for the band. Last month, the band released its video for “Sounds of a Quiet Town.” The video was filmed by Dylan Rucker, a 2014 Tina-Avalon graduate. Most of the footage for the video was taken in Chillicothe. Hayes told the Constitution-Tribune at the time of the release that the footage of Chillicothe made the band members (who are all from small towns), reminisce about their own hometowns. In a text message to the Constitution-Tribune Thursday afternoon, Hayes said that the band had just spent the last eight hours in Nashville radio stations broadcasting their song all across the country and doing interviews that will be aired nationwide in the coming weeks. The band also had just signed a record deal with Big Machine Label Group, an independent record label and home to superstar artists including Taylor Swift and Brantley Gilbert. In a news release issued Wednesday evening, Hayes stated: “We woke up this morning and we didn’t have a record label or a booking agency. All we had was our one manager. But, we are going to bed tonight with a record deal. We can’t thank our fans and family enough for all the support they have given us that got us here tonight.” In the text message to the C-T, Hayes indicated that Chillicothe will be on the band’s radar for a future stop. “We look forward to our journey ahead and, of course, can’t wait to meet all the wonderful folks in Chillicothe one day and thank each person individually for sharing and watching and liking our video, Sounds of a Quiet Town,” he said. Hayes also gave a “shout-out” to videographer Rucker, who just got engaged to his sweetheart, Lexi Yung. “So happy for both of you and so thankful to have him on our team,” he said. Cumulus Media announced Radio Romance as the grand prize winner. The final competition event took place at the Wildhorse Saloon with live performances from the Top 10 national finalists and a special performance from 2016 NASH Next winner Todd O’Neill and The Valory Music Co’s Delta Rae. The band won with their original song, “Weekend” during the finale, and gave an encore performance with “Cheap Beer Years.” Radio Romance’s traditional country sound, mixed with their 90’s pop/rock harmonies make for a dynamic live performance full of energy, according to an event news release. “Great showmen, very cohesive sound and a polished performance” were a few of the phrases used by the NASH Next 2017 judges to describe Radio Romance. The winner of the NASH Next 2017 Challenge was selected by a celebrity panel of some of the biggest names in country music, the event news release stated. The panel included Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta, – the world’s No. 1 independent record label and home to superstar artists including Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert and more; Kix Brooks, half of Grammy-winning duo Brooks & Dunn, country music’s most successful duo of all time, and host of Westwood One's American Country Countdown; award-winning Songwriter Hall of Fame writer Desmond Child, chart-topping entertainer Brantley Gilbert, who judged from home via a live stream while he awaits the birth of his first child, and the Tennessean’s Cindy Watts. Radio Romance has traveled across the U.S. performing their music, according to the band’s website. They have shared the stage with many artists, including: Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Lee Brice, ZZ Top, Phil Vasser, Colt Ford, Parmalee and many others. In an e-mail message to the Constitution-Tribune Thursday morning, band manager Brandyn Steen stated that the band being named the grand prize winner in the NASH Next competition was “very surreal.”

To sample RADIO ROMANCE’S music, as well as hear songs and watch music videos from all of the Top 10 finalists, please visit: NASH Next