Charleston native Jael Gadsden won a nationwide music song writing contest, becoming the 2008 Lincoln Spotlight Grand Champion. Jael won the competition with the song and video for her original song “Your Season.” She received a featured track on The Lincoln Spotlight, and an opening spot at a 2008 tour stop by hip hop star, Common.

Prior to the contest, Jael had songs placed in films like “Bring it on Four” and jingles aired on local stations across the country.
Other accomplishments include appearing in the feature film, “American Dreamz,” appearing in a national K-Swiss television commercial, and winning various “battle of the band” contests in Los Angeles with the band Chiat Riot.

Jael is a triple threat, she sings, writes, and produces her own music. Heralbum, “The Journey,” features 10 self written songs (3 of which she co-produced) that explore feelings of being in love, being hurt by love, and picking yourself up when life throws you a curve ball. 

May 2009 Newswire Story: DEARBORN, Mich., May 9 — West Hollywood, California resident and aspiring lyricist Jael Gadsen has been chosen the grand champion of the Lincoln Spotlight online music competition by a panel that included Grammy Award-winning hip-hop superstar Common, Grammy-winning music producer Bryan Michael Cox, VIBE magazine editor-in-chief Danyel Smith, music executive Derek Dudley and renowned DJ Tony Touch.

Lincoln, the fastest-growing luxury brand in America last year, and Grammy Award-winner Common began the nationwide search for the best and brightest aspiring lyricists in February, Gadsen will be presented with a prize of $10,000 and an opening spot for hip-hop superstar Common at one of his 2008 performances.

“The Lincoln Spotlight competition appealed to me because it gave me the opportunity to write about a topic that I feel very strongly about: reaching high for your dreams and the chance to encourage someone else not to give up,” said Gadsen. “Making it to the top five was already the icing on the cake! Actually winning – I am still at a lost for words. All I can say is ‘overwhelming excitement!’ “

The Lincoln Spotlight contest was open to the public and invited aspiring lyricists to create an original song and video articulating one of Lincoln’s brand truths: advancing the American dream, exploring what it means to reach higher, daring to do more and taking pride in one’s history.

Contestants were to use music tracks available on http://www.lincolnlounge.com. Online viewer voting helped determine the top five finalists and Lincoln’s panel of music industry experts selected the grand champion. Judging was based on originality and creativity, verbal technique
and visual sophistication.

Said Cox, “I was happy to be part of Lincoln Spotlight because it is a great way for young aspiring artists to focus their creativity on positive themes. The contestants had uplifting, inspiring lyrics, but I gave Jael the highest score because she had a sincerity in her delivery that is equally as important as the message when artists perform. The passion that the performer has for the message is what really draws the audience in.”

Lincoln Marketing Manager Tom Grill added, “We were really excited by the enthusiasm we received from the public with this contest. Spotlight allowed us the opportunity to give exposure to other talented artists and to celebrate a favorite American pastime – music.”

Original AMTC Success Story Beginning Jael Gadsen, long-time member of the Millie Lewis family, signed with LHB Mgmt., and Wallis Agency, LA. She appeared in a feature film starring Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore, appeared in Essence Magazine and also auditioned for the Broadway show “The Color Purple,” the Las Vegas show “Hair Spray” and the feature film “Dream Girls.”

*See her lyrics below….

Lyrics by Lincoln Spotlight Winner Jael Gadsen, Copywritten 2008

Song Title: Your Season

Verse 1

Have you ever heard a voice in your head?
It’s the voice of your heart telling you
“That you have a higher purpose,
Don’t let your life be worthless,
Come on you deserve this!”

Some say that your dreams can’t come true
They laugh and they call you a fool
And then you get discouraged
And try to find excuses of why you can’t do this!

Oh! You gotta reach for your dreams and you’ll see!
That everything you need is within your reach!
Your purpose will take you where you need to be!
Listen to your heart and believe.

Verse 2

You decide to give your dreams a try
Deep inside you know it feels right
Then you start to make some headway!
Then all of a sudden road blocks
Keep landing in your pathway!

People talking, money short and, time is wasting, keep the pace man
Cause you gotta be head strong, keep on pushing on
Cause you’re a fighter!
Keep reaching higher!

Oh! You gotta reach for your dreams and you’ll see!
That everything you need is within your reach!
Your purpose will take you where you need to be!
Listen to your heart and believe.

Keep reaching higher and higher
Don’t ignore your desires
You feel this way for a reason
Soon it’ll be your SEASON!

Listen to your Heart! Oh Oh oh! Within your reach! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Oh you! Keep reaching higher and higher. Oh you! Keep reaching Higher!