MICHIGAN STATE FAIR
STATE FAIR SUPERSTAR
Michigan is world famous for the abundance and quality of its musical talent! The Michigan State Fair Superstar talent mentoring competition debuted in 2014, with submissions from more than 75 talented acts and performers from across the state, with live auditions for selected video applicants held in front of a panel of judges in late July. This year’s 10 Superstar semi-finalists will all perform on Saturday during the Fair, starting at 11:00am, before being narrowed down to 5 Superstar finalists for Sunday (starting at 12:00pm), with the Grand Prize Winner performing as Headliner on the main stage late Monday afternoon.
The Runner Up and Honorable Mention provide opening sets.
The Superstar contest offers a purely Michigan mentoring twist on the familiar pop music talent contest formula, with an artistic development package tailored to the winner’s specific needs, booking consultation, plus production of a three song EP in addition to a $2,000 cash prize!
2023 State Fair Superstar McKayla Prew
McKayla Prew is a singer-songwriter from White Lake, Michigan. She started performing when she was four and writing songs at only ten years old and has never looked back. Country-pop driven, McKayla is a versatile songwriter and performer. Former 2022 Miss Oakland County USA, McKayla is a featured vocalist on Disney's Dream Big Princess Campaign on multi-media broadcasts and commercials across the world. She has built a strong following through social media with thousands of followers worldwide. McKayla has taken the internet by storm with viral videos, some accumulating over 900k views. McKayla is also an animated singing Sea Turtle named Mazine on PBS children’s show Wimee’s Words. She has performed two years in a row at SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX and just recently performed at the Meijer’s LPA. Growing up, she was a member of the Michigan Opera Theater Children’s Choir where she took part in main-stage performances of Tosca, H.M.S. Pinafore, and the Nutcracker. She has also done TV performances on PBS Detroit and WGVU Grand Rapids as a finalist in Ethan Bortnick's Celebration of Music show. McKayla has taken part in local theater productions and held lead roles such as Elsa in Frozen Jr., Annie in Annie, and Sharpay Evans in High School Musical Jr.
McKayla has also used her talents for charity as she has raised $3,000 for Beaumont’s Children’s Miracle Network and has sang at cancer walks across Michigan. McKayla is a host of an internet livestream show called "Hyped Up Live Sessions: Next Generation" with T-Money Green. On this show, McKayla highlights young talent from the Metro-Detroit area to give them a platform to showcase their music. The show also partners with local nonprofits and music therapy programs to showcase patients and their music.
2022 State Fair Superstar Joe Jarvis
Joe Jarvis is a singer-songwriter from Northville, MI. His musical influences span far and wide throughout the decades and genres. He remembers his passion for music igniting at a young age, while sitting on his grandpa’s lap as he shared his favorite tunes. Ever since, Joe has grown his musical style by taking the best of both old and new influences. His heart goes out to the hurting and broken people in these trying times, and wants to help bring hope and positivity into the world through his songs and performances. Joe’s music is fueled by his faith, family and friends.
Joe has received awards for his songwriting and performances throughout his high school years, getting first place in fine arts competitions for the state of Michigan. Joe is currently majoring in Commercial Music at Liberty University.
After a break from touring due to the pandemic, Joe is looking forward to doing what he loves most: sharing his songs and story live from the stage.
Web/social media: www.joejarvismusic.com
2021 State Fair Superstar Loxodon
Founded in 2018 after having named themselves after the Elephant Species in D&D and Magic the Gathering, Loxodon (Locks-Oh-Don) has quickly gained a foothold in the thriving Midwest music scene by providing their brand of old-is-new, new-is-no-limits rock fusion to audiences who have been starving for a hero to fill a void in an otherwise bleak cookie cutter musical landscape. With influences drawn from the well of vibrant and technical prog rockers such as Rush to the often more sentimental leanings of The Beatles to the driving hooks and harmonies of Queen, the band maintains a sound that is somehow familiar, yet fresh and exciting to every audience they perform for.
Singer/guitarist Monty Day states, “Loxodon isn’t a band that stays still musically for very long.” Rounding out the remainder of Loxodon’s lineup is Joe Neminski on drums, bassist Rhett Yocom, and keyboardist Colton Ray. All four members are seasoned veterans in their respective music communities with the scars to prove it. Through their passion for the music as well as their bond with each other as a thriving bombastic musical juggernaut, Loxodon is poised to become the next reference point for other bands walking in their heavy footprints.
2019 State Fair Superstar Carmen Diaz
Carmen Diaz, known by her stage name as Ms. Carmen. Originally from Philadelphia, PA now living in Detroit, MI. She started singing at the age of three. Her mother would record her songs on cassette tape as she would beat on cardboard boxes, sing and rap about her experiences in preschool. This past year she released “Greatness”, her first album featuring 9 original songs all self-written. The songs are soulful and telling of her very personal story of heartbreak, love and triumph. The album was nominated at the 2019 Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Urban Recording, and she was also nominated as Outstanding Urban Songwriter. She was also nominated at the 2019 Detroit Black Music Awards as Best Female R&B Artist. Her musical influences are Amel Larrieux, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Beyonce, and Ella Fitzgerald. She has a wide range of vocal abilities, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, as well as hip hop. She is a diverse talent worthy of celebration. Her music is empowering and inspirational. Her “Greatness” a true gift of song to this world.
2018 State Fair Superstars The Keynote Sisters
The Keynote Sisters are an acoustic duo consisting of sisters Phoebe and Jaclyn Holmes. Phoebe began playing guitar at the age of six, while Jaclyn took up piano at seven, since then adding cajon to the mix. The Keynote Sisters perform a range of musical genres to accommodate a variety of audiences, from country and pop to oldies and classics. Their past venues include the Ann Arbor Art Fair, Arts and Apples, Dragon on the Lake and Meridian Winter Blast, in addition to private parties and local bars and restaurants. Phoebe is a senior at Michigan State University, studying to become a Physician Assistant, and recently earned her certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. Jaclyn, a senior at Lake Orion High School, hopes to attend college next year for a BFA in Musical Theatre. The two recorded and debuted their first CD, Come What May, in 2016. Both are active songwriters and plan to release a second CD of original works in 2019.
2017 State Fair Superstars The Gasoline Gypsies
The original lineup came together in early 2013 after bandmates Caleb Malooley and Steve Briere had released a “southern tinged, acoustic rock” EP. Local friend Joe Makowski joined them, and brought his “rock” influence and classic beats into the mix. Veteran guitarist Neal Love jumped on board in the spring of 2016 and a vibrant new sound of pure Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues materialized. Merging their collective tastes for many different musical genres, then fusing their diverse backgrounds, an eclectic mix, reminiscent of classic rock days, but with a modern, contemporary feel emerged. With three part harmonies that sound like a single voice, driving guitar and bass riffs, their songs are powerful and intense, yet easy to grasp. You’ll find intelligent lyrics with compelling story lines, catchy vocal hooks, and a few clever turns-of-phrase along the way. Although much of their writing follows old school music philosophy reminiscent of the Beatles, Doors, Zeppelin, and many others, they’re not opposed to breaking into other genres such as bluegrass and folk from time to time.
2014 State Fair Superstar Redi Choi
Redi Choi is a recording artist from Canton, MI. She graduated from The Detroit School of Arts vocal program in 2013 and has been fortunate to have had opportunities to further hone her craft with performances at prestigious venues like the Fox Theater, the Masonic Temple and the Detroit Music Hall. Her 14 years of dance training, strong theater background and impressive vocal range all make Redi a true triple threat. With that, she hopes to continue building a career through her gifts in areas of stage, film and music. Visit www.instagram.com/redichoi
2015 State Fair Superstar Carly Bins
The debut EP of 2015 Bank Michigan State Fair Superstar Carly Bins, “3 AM”, is now available from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Music Store, Spotify and Rhapsody. The four song EP, comprised of original songs penned by Bins, was produced by State Fair Superstar contest mentors Chuck Alkazian and Nadir Omowale, at the legendary Pearl Sound Studios in Canton.
Ever since her earliest stage performance, as a tiny 6-year-old singing in her elementary school’s annual talent show, Carly Bins has lived to perform.
Now 16 and a metro Detroit high school junior, Carly is an accomplished singer-songwriter with a voice that has been described as a powerful meld of Colbie Caillat, Melissa Etheridge and Taylor Swift. Her striking look and confident stage presence lead many to believe she’s far more mature than her actual age.
While Carly writes most material for her acoustic guitar, she also creates music for, and plays the electric guitar and ukulele. When inspired, she is known to dabble a little on piano. Carly’s summer 2016 festival gigs have included Electric Forest and LaureLive, and continued performances during the Michigan State Fair.
2014 State Fair Superstar Alison Albrecht
Alison Albrecht’s EP, “Midnight” is available from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Music Store, Spotify and Rhapsody.
Alison won State Fair Superstar 2014 at the young age of 14, and, already a Detroit Music Award nominee at the age of 16, she continues to impress. With a strong voice, powerful lyrics, and a warming stage presence, Alison is one to watch.