Internet Idol

Internet Idol

A 2005 TCU graduate hip-hopped his way to Internet stardom when he went from a MySpace message to being a finalist in an online talent competition.Mike Abb found out about the Famecast competition through a MySpace message and decided to enter.

“It’s kind of like American Idol but only done on the Internet,” Abb said.

Based in Austin, Famecast features six different categories in which people submit videos online and compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and a recording contract.

This season, the categories are comedy, pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop and country. Next season, Famecast will take submissions for the metal, spoken word, singer/songwriter, dance, animation and short film categories.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who has a creative art,” Abb said.

Over the course of the last four months, Abb said, the field of contestants was narrowed down by viewers’ votes through a series of rounds to 50, then 25 and 10, to the top five who will compete for the title of Famecast Fenom.

Abb is in the top five in the hip-hop category and is competing in the finals at Action Figure Movie Studios in Austin on Friday. The performance will be Webcast live at 8 p.m. at famecast.com. Viewers will have until April 20 to vote online for the first Famecast Fenom.

Abb said his performance Friday will be a 12-minute mix set with friend and former TCU student Andrew Blanchard, who DJs and plays guitar. This is the first time they’ll perform live together.

“We’re trying to do something different with hip-hop,” Blanchard said.

Abb’s former roommate and 2006 graduate Andrew Reina said he has already voted for Abb and plans on watching the Webcast.

“He puts a lot of his heart into what he does,” Reina said.

Abb, who is working as a freelance videographer and cameraman for a cable network in Austin, said he first started getting into music when he was in high school.

“I was this loudmouthed punk kid who always was talking trash but never writing it down,” Abb said.

He said he eventually started writing the lines down and bought turn tables and a beat machine.

“I started trying to find an outlet for my creative energy,” Abb said.

Performing under the name Abboriginal Records, Abb described his style as “dictionary jazz.”

“It’s big words with big meanings with a definite message,” he said.

Abb said with his Famecast experience, he hopes to bring more exposure to his genre.

“I want to be able to bring a style of fusion music to the masses that has a positive message,” he said.

Abb said he is the only contestant from Austin and his style is unique from his competitors’ gangster rap style.

“We hope to be better than our hip-hop karaoke counterparts,” Abb said.

If he wins the grand prize, Abb said, he first wants to pay off his student loans and then buy more production gear.

“I’m hoping that a record contract will come from it,” Abb said. “But solely having the opportunity to perform is my biggest excitement.