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  • Performers on the Go

2022 Lyric Competition Winners

Updated: Mar 29

Performers on the Go, LLC just concluded its second annual song lyric competition open to all artists from all genres, ages, and geographic locations. We had many submissions from a great mix of genres including pop, hip hop, rap, R&B, heavy metal, country and indie. A team of three judges unanimously selected the top lyricists, Maya Salafia and Roman. (Thomas Foschino), based on originality, emotion, poetics, overall impact, effectiveness, imagery, structure and creativity.

Our judging panel had three judges, all of whom are touring artists, singer-songwriters and winners of highly respected awards on a local and regional level.

April Cushman: 2022 New England Music Award winner for Country Act of the Year and had five additional nominations, touring artist, 12-song releases including 10-track album The Long Haul, 167K in overall Spotify streams, and frequent national anthem singer at professional sports in Boston. She has opened for artists like Kip Moore, Rodney Atkins, Scotty McCreery, Lonestar, Chase Rice, Mitchell Tenpenny, Drake White, Michael Tyler, Ryan Upchurch, Sam Grow, Jake Owen, and more. She has also participated in shows with Darius Rucker, Sugarland, Brandi Carlisle, Old Dominion, and many other billboard artists.

Her debut album, "The Long Haul" was released in November 2021 and reached #16 on the iTunes Country Album charts; the record was produced by Nashville Grammy Nominated Producer, Colt Capperrune.

Frank Viele: National touring artist from Hamden, CT, has released 2 albums, 1 live album, 1 EP and 10 singles, New England Music Award-winner of Songwriter of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Performer of the Year, and Live Act of The Year, and all releases have over 500K Spotify streams. He has opened for Will Hoge, Blues Traveler, Lee DeWyze, Zach Myers of Shinedown, and The Marshall Tucker Band, Frank was his college valedictorian in his major and winner of the prestigious Wall Street Journal Award. Frank has done hundreds of shows and frequently travels across the country to perform at top venues.

Jay Psaraos: Producer, national touring artist, singer-songwriter, booking agency owner, multi-year winner and nominee of New England Music Awards Male performer of the Year, performed with national acts and small headlining tours at regional clubs. Psaros has shared the stage with the likes of The Mavericks, Boz Scaggs, Daughtry, Third Eye Blind, Tower of Power, Ziggy Marley, Donovan Frankenreiter, Anders Osborne, Los Lonely Boys, Rick Springfield, Lisa Loeb, Three Dog Night, Rusted Root, Peter Cetera, Little River Band, The Original Wailers, Eddie Money, and Joe Nichols to name a few. His single "Zombies," earned him an invite to Live Stream with the world-famous C.F. Martin & Co. via their Facebook page, gaining exposure to millions of acoustic enthusiasts.

His single, "Rise When You Fall", earned Psaros an invite to perform at Boston's Wang Theater's "Ghost Light Series," bringing awareness to the shuttered iconic theater and the shuttered events industry as a whole. Later in 2020, his Christmas song "I Dream of Christmas with You" was featured during the opening credits of Lifetime

Network's "Christmas on Ice."

The 2022 Lyric Competition winners and placers:

1st Place song:

“Drive until the gas run out”

Maya Salafia: 17-year-old singer-songwriter

2nd Place songs (tie):

Roman. (Thomas Foschino): 21-year-old hip hop/rapper/R&B Artist from Long Island, NY, 2023 graduate from Berklee College of Music


Spotify link

Maya Salafia

“Translucent Skin”

3rd Place:

Roman. (Thomas Foschino)

“Rain and Snow”

Spotify link

4th Place:

Roman. (Thomas Foschino)


Spotify link

Maya describes her focus on the song's imagery and build up and getting it all to flow well... "This song is about a relationship ending too soon. I spent a lot of time playing around with metaphors, plays on words and imagery. I knew I wanted this song to build to something but wasn’t quite sure where I wanted it to go until I sat down one day and it kind of just flowed out. Being able to express the internal story, especially through the bridge of the song, was a cathartic process. Just the raw spillage of emotions is what made me love both the writing process and final product of this song.”

In 2021, Maya Salafia's pop song, "In the fall", was the top winner of the 2021 lyric competition with a perfect score of '10' being submitted from each judge. The judging panel commented on how they loved the ease of flow, poeticism, song structure, and imagery the song presented. All the judges felt it was a beautiful song that was real about love's hesitation, and they all enjoyed the song's beautiful alignment with nature. Maya submitted a group of songs for the competition, and also placed 2nd with "First Grade" and tied for 3rd place with "Everlasting" with R&B/Rap artist M'Zariah Starr's rap song "A soul in a body".

Maya’s Spotify streams for prior releases are at close to 50K streams. For the summer of 2023, Maya will be attending the Berklee Summer Camp, and hopes to major in songwriting in college. Recently, she was selected as a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition for her latest release "Everlasting." You may follow and listen to her music on Spotify.

The winning song, “Drive until the gas runs out”, award-winning lyrics follow.

Drive until the gas runs out and

over squeeze the sponge

Study how your mouth moves and I’ll

analyze your tongue

Chase me through the parking lot and

Wrestle in the grass

Drink in every moment ‘till I

Can see right through the glass

So why do my fingers shake when I have to drive

Why do you say that it’s ok when it’s gotta be fine

And why is it give and take

I think I’m losing my mind

And why does it have to be that we’re running out of time

Stare into the freeway blur and

Throw away the clock

Catch a glimpse of what your searching for

Then declare it lost

So why do my fingers shake when I have to drive

Why do you say that it’s ok when it’s gotta be fine

And why is it give and take

I think I’m losing my mind

And why does it have to be that we’re running out of time

And you’re not a kaleidoscope

They’re opening up the lens

And we’re not a movie trope

I can’t predict the end

If tomorrow stays a mystery

could you still be standing next to me

When all is said and good and done

oh would you stop the setting sun

When tomorrow comes and the blood stops pumping

I’ll be there and I’ll start just running

Like a girl who’s stuck in time

Praying that you’d change your mind

It’s every time you touch me

I feel like I’m something

And I’d never have to say

I’d never have to have to say

Maya’s music is alive with joy and hope. It’s full of melodic hooks, simple eloquence, and poetic beauty that stays with you. The imagery in her songs creates an indelible reflection that love is in the air. Her new release, “Everlasting”, with its soaring, “can’t help but sing along” chorus and positive vibes is a classic love pop song with long-staying power, and instant shareability. ~Performers on the Go, LLC

Thomas Foschino’s songs placing 2nd 3rd and 4th are on his debut

10-track album, Own World, which currently has 48K streams. As one lyric competition judge stated, "his vocabulary and similes are epic." The 2nd placed song, “Avenger”, is a heartfelt tribute to Thomas's very dear friend and classmate at Berklee College of Music who tragically passed away at the end of the 4th semester.

"Avenger " lyrics follow.

Everybody wake-up!

Yeah, we all the same.

Everybody dies. I got pretty used to pain.

Bro made one mistake and now he always gonna pay…

I promise homie, your death won’t be in vain.

It’s not the same…

It’s not the same…

It’s not the same…

But, what is talent if it just goin’ be a waste?

Everybody dies, but their spirit ain’t erased.

Two shadows in my room, and the demons that I face.

Got better every day just to get some fucking praise.

But, would you celebrate if you know it’d be the day

your life came to an end?

Would you stop and hesitate?

All the time spent just to try and elevate…

I do it all for you, but I cannot replicate.

I’ll be great for both of us, since you said your farewells.

But, sometimes I feel like I don’t know myself.

I’ll just wait around until I hear the bells…

hear the bells…

hear the bells…

Yeah, I’ll be great, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

Yeah, I’ll be great, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

For both of us. For both of us.

It’s not the same, not the same, not the same…

It’s not the same, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

‘cause you thought I was.

For both of us…

Yeah, you know life’s always changing.

But, you gotta choose love over hatred.

Third day in a row I woke up wasted…

almost forgot how the pain even tasted.

Yeah, I didn’t mean to

sound like I was mad when our first month’s rent due…

I didn’t understand that I couldn’t even reach you…

It was my fault, I didn’t even see you.

And, now it’s over.

I’m out of comfort.

What is trust? My head’s too clustered.

Closing in on me…I feel so smothered.

I will prove to you I got this.

I’ll be great for you, the world can’t stop it.

But, weighing down on me’s a weight that don’t fit.

I pray to God that you hear all my shit.

But, now I don’t know my way out.

Taking on the world without a big crowd…

Show me what it means to feel needed.

I’ll get back to you once I’ve succeeded.

Yeah, I’ll be great, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

Yeah, I’ll be great, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

For both of us. For both of us.

It’s not the same, not the same, not the same…

It’s not the same, I’ll be great, I’ll be great…

‘cause you thought I was.

For both of us…

(REPEAT twice in OUTTRO)

Own World (20 Pages) is a stunning, multi-faceted achievement. Roman. follows his own direction and creates music that doesn’t follow any uniformity, expectation, or conventional pathway as he continues to cut extraneous elements out of his songwriting and drills closer to the core of his unique style. Every track has its own fit, and no two songs have the same vibe. It makes it a welcome experience, as you are excited to hear what follows next, and it is an album where one can confidently predict all songs will gain traction and see streaming success. This is an artist with extreme depth, and you can’t help but wonder how long this album concept has been brewing, and how his vision and strategic direction came to life so quickly, all songs fitting so perfectly together. Listeners will be enamored with the genius of it all with the genre switches to the vocal styles, to the album’s lyrical substance from start to finish.-Performers on the Go, LLC

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