‘$1’ song gets Lafayette High senior closer to $20,000

Published 8:38 am Monday, September 17, 2018

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Song inspiration can emerge from the most unexpected places. Brewster Durbin, a senior at Lafayette High School, came across a friend’s Instagram post about a GoFundMe campaign.

The father of Durbin’s friend had just been diagnosed with cancer. The family asked for help to pay for medical treatments.

“I had seen similar things like that before,” said Durbin. “But for whatever reason, it hit close to home.

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“I knew her father. It’s really messed up that you have to beg for money to pay for your medical bills. So it inspired me to write my song.”

The post inspired “$1,” Durbin’s comical, hip hop song that was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, an international, year-round competition that began in 1997. Durbin was among winners in 12 different genres in Session I, the first round of selections by a panel of celebrity judges. Panelists include George Clinton, Sheila E, Prince Royce and other renowned musicians, composers and producers.

Durbin and other songwriters compete against Session II winners, who will be announced early next year. Finalists in both sessions battle for “Song of the Year” honors and the $20,000 grand prize.

“I was really surprised I won,” said Durbin, who plays trumpet in Lafayette High’s band. “I didn’t really have much expectations going in.
“I just made it in my bedroom and I figured it would get beat out by better produced, higher-budget songs.”

Durbin has been surrounded by music since birth. His father, Scott, is a member of the Imagination Movers, a popular children’s band that’s been featured on the Disney Channel and sold-out shows across the globe. Scott is also coordinator of the Music Business Program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

After banging on pots and pans as a toddler, Brewster Durbin started drum lessons at the age of 4. He’s played trumpet in the school band for seven years.
“$1″ is a single from his debut album,” Kingfish,” released under his stage name, The Durbulence. The album is done in honor of the late former Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long.

“I’m kind of a history nerd. I love history. I love reading about old stuff.

“I came on Huey and I thought he was a really interesting figure. Stuff that happened back then, you can see some of the same things happening now in this political climate. This would be a great thing to make an album about.”