NRS Series 4 Prelim 9

We had an awesome Prelim Round 9 at Nashville Underground. 24 shared their songs, 3 more than usual, but we wanted to reward the songwriters for coming out and get more on stage. We heard many well written songs as usual!

The winners of Nashville Rising Song Series 4 Preliminary #9. From left to right, Kami Knake (music industry judge), Kirsti Manna (music industry judge), Michael Keys (audience winner), Kyle Sturrock (music industry judges winner), Shawn Carnes (emcee) Keith Mohr (NRS creator/director).

Preliminary Round 9 Songwriters:

1- Alex Shernit
2- Alivia McKenna
3- Charles Jeter
4- Brandt Carmichael
5- Anna Egres
6- Paul Isaac
7- Kyle Sturrock
8- Steel Ivory
9- Martin Wang
10- Michael Keys
11- Macy Tabor
12- Tim Hornbeak
13- Sam Rhoads
14- Emery Randall
15- Matthew Sean
16- Drea Gordon
17- Paul Rosewood
18- Ava Paige
19- Jessica Dock
20- Chuck Richard
21- Amber Gartner
22- Kayla Anne Steinmetz
23- Adam & Cherish Hamby
24- CJ Fam

TOP 3 Music Industry Judges Picks
Kyle Sturrock
Ava Paige
Drea Gordon

Watch a featured round with our Top 3 Picks Here

Kyle Sturrock (Judges Winner)
Michael Keys (Audience Winner)

Kyle and Michael will come back and join 18 other writers for the semi-final round to be held Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground. The finals will be held Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7PM at Nashville Underground.



Kirsti is a Nashville-based songwriter/publisher/producer and an actress with numerous credits that include creating and starring in her own national children’s TV show, “Kirsti’s Manor” viewed by 34 million homes. Her 6 week Billboard #1 smash hit, “Austin” introduced Blake Shelton to country radio.

She’s also the co-writer/co-publisher for Big & Rich’s rock-in hit, “Loud” (WB/Nashville) which is the theme song for CMT’s, ” Gone Country” and has been used in everything from video games (EA NASCAR 2008), to Nike NFL ads.

Artists such as LoCash, Gretchen Wilson (Sony/Nashville), Colt Prather (Sony/Nashville), Cowboy Crush (Curb/Nashville) and many others have recorded Kirsti’s songs which have been heard around the world in such places as ESPN, “The Tonight Show,” “The David Letterman Show,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “Dance Wars.”

A multifaceted entertainer, motivational speaker and performer, Kirsti connects with her audiences through her infectious energy and enthusiasm, quick wit and spontaneity. Universal emotions and realities of life depicted in her message and delivered with her powerful songs never fail to move, inspire and create an uplifting experience.

Known as the go-to person for inspiration information in 2008 Kirsti launched “Songwriter Girl” and “Songwriter Girl Camps”. Her company offers events focused on songwriting and creative empowerment, as well as a newsletter, blog, webinars and career consultation.
Learn more at:


Kami Knake has a B.S.E. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa and has spent the last 16 years working at Warner Bros. Records (WBR), Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), The Viper Room, and digital music start-ups.

She is the owner of “Bands Under The Radar” (BUTR) music podcast that has been downloaded over 4M times. She produces, distributes, and markets new music and music themed compilations from unsigned artists. Kami was a pioneer and early adopter of music streaming services and curates over 40 playlists across Spotify and Apple Music. Kami wrote an article “10 REASONS WHY EVERY ARTIST SHOULD BE ON SPOTIFY” that went viral.

Kami launched her music career in 2003 at APA where she assisted booking national tours for Fleetwood Mac, Lenny Kravitz, Robert Plant, Judas Priest, Black Crowes, Boston, Poison, Bret Michaels, Cinderella, Whitesnake, Zakk Wylde, Dan Dyer, and many more.

Knake’s passion for indie bands and seeing live music led to her next gig booking and promoting BUTR Presents nights at the world famous Viper Room on the Sunset Strip.

While continuing to book monthly nights at the Viper Room, Knake took a job at at Warner Bros. Records in 2005 as a New Medial Marketing Manager responsible for creating and executing online marketing and retail plans for artists, comedians & film/tv soundtracks.

Kami handled Artist Relations for clients: The Orchard, Mobile Roadie, Topspin, FanBridge, BCKSTGR, etc.

She was Music Curator for Brite Revolution and G7 (Ram Trucks). She was also an On-Air Radio DJ on 5FM in South Africa–reaching 2M unique listeners a week.
Learn more at:

See all 24 performances from this round below:

See pictures of all songwriters who competed at this round below: