MIDLOTHIAN — Mixing the iconic Folgers Coffee jingle with a twist of originality, three Midlothian residents and Red Oak graduates have advanced to the final round of the company's jingle competition.
“The competition has been good,” expressed Ryan Vanderburg about the contest experience thus far. “Folgers flew me, my brother, and his wife out to Nashville, where we got to meet other contestants, and it’s been great. There are a lot of really good talents out there.”
Ryan, Caleb, and Briana Vanderburg were selected out of hundreds of contestants to be one of the top five finalists for their rendition of the 1984 melody, “The Best Part of Wakin' Up is Folgers in Your Cup."
The competition isn’t new for the Vanderburg trio, as they first discovered the contest in 2013. However, an unfortunate upload error caused them to miss the application deadline.
“We found out about it four days before submission was due and so I called my brother and said ‘Dude, there’s this Folger's coffee songwriting contest that they're putting on.’ So he came over to my house, and we wrote our own jingle and wrote out a storyboard for what we would we would shoot the next day,” Vanderburg recalled. “So I stayed up all night working on the video and submitted it the night of the due date. I went to sleep and woke up the next morning and saw that my video upload failed. So we missed the deadline."
Disappointed but still determined, the Vanderburg’s second chance came in January, when they learned of the competition’s revival.
“So my wife told me that they were having it again this year, so I called my brother and said, ‘Hey man, let’s reshoot the same video.’ So we just followed the same exact script and everything - it’s like a sweet comeback,” Vanderburg admitted.
Rerecording the first attempt in their Midlothian studio, the band focused on making their sound stand apart from the rest.
“I’d say our style is mostly rock with some acoustic songwriter vibes. We really try to incorporate harmony – that’s a big thing of what we do. My brother and I grew up singing together, so we can log in with each other without even rehearsing, it comes natural,” Vanderburg described his band’s cohesive genre.
Incorporating the Folgers classic jingle and with a music video to boot, the trio submitted it with enough time to spare.
“We shot the video two weeks before it was due, so that gave us more time to do it,” Vanderburg chuckled. “But we did all here at my place, and it worked out.”
In their heartfelt music video, the Vanderburg’s portrayed a sweet family sentiment of a father encouraging his daughter on exam day. After waking up and rushing to get ready from what seemed to be a late night of studying, the exhausted student sees a note her father left her, taking in the endearing moment with a sip of coffee.
Judged on creativity, originality and musical performance, the upbeat liveliness of the chords and harmonies capture a simplistic, yet charming tone. The Vanderburg’s are proud to represent their community on a nationwide scale through their catchy tune.
“It’s always cool to hear about stories about people from a certain town and how proud it is for other people to watch someone else do good for their town because it represents them as well. So I guess we’re just happy to be those people this time,” Vanderburg noted.
Although the competition is nearing to an end, the anticipation of winning remains a mystery.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking when we submitted our video, I thought, ‘I think we can do this,’ looking at the videos from the past. They’ve been good, but nothing has been extraordinary so we might be able to take this.’ But then we submit this year, and we’re like, ‘Oh wow, this year all the good talent came out and put their best foot forward,’” Vanderburg admitted with a laugh. “It’s been steep competition on that end, and it’s been really cool to meet other people that submitted. Just to see everyone and have respect for each other, it was a really neat experience."
As the voting ends April 24, and the Vanderburg’s are hopeful to win the $25,000 and grow their music beyond the Texas border. The winner will be announced May 8.
“I hope to capitalize on the moment and put out some original music. Of course, the grand prize would allow us to push our music even further so people can hear some of the great original music that’s happening right here in town,” Vanderburg finished.
As the narrowing of fame and fortune continues for the tope five finalists, the first place winner will receive a grand prize of $25,000 and a mentoring session with Grammy Nominated Country Music Artist, Chris Young. And for those that submit a ballot, one lucky voter will receive a grand prize of $10,000.
The Vanderburg’s encourage the community to view the finalists and place their vote for this hometown band.
To vote for the Vanderburg’s, visit jingle.folgerscoffee.com/contest/votingsummary. To stay updated with the Vanderburg’s band, She Dances, visit shedancesband.com.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer