Posted on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
| Updated on Feb. 23, 2013 at 6:39 p.m.
ELKHART — Elkhart resident Steve Somerville is rapping his way to the top in a national jingle-writing contest in which he has already drawn more than 78,000 votes from around the country.
Somerville, competing under the name “Big Steve,” is in 10th place in the SafeAuto Insurance Company’s “Do the Jingle” contest. Voting at www.dothejingle.com ends Thursday, Feb. 28.
Somerville had seen a commercial on television advertising the contest but did not give serious thought to submitting a song at first. While driving down C.R. 17 toward Goshen one day, Somerville’s son, Stevo, decided to hit record on his video camera.
“I listened to some of the other jingles from previous years, and I just figured mine would be just as good as the other participants’ songs,” Somerville said.
The grand prize winner of the jingle-writing contest will receive $5,000 and a spot in a SafeAuto commercial. Entries that land second through fifth place also receive cash prizes, and the sixth- through 10th-place winners will get a roadside assistance package sponsored by the insurance company.
Somerville is no stranger to winning competitions. In fact, he won the car he drives in his SafeAuto video in a contest in 2007. He won his first song-writing competition in 1990 as part of the Indiana Black Expo’s Healthy Rap Contest.
“I went into that contest pretty confident because I was always writing music, and I was always doing spoof songs, you know like Weird Al Yankovic and things like that,” Somerville said. “I don’t have the greatest voice, but I’m OK. I can write better than I can sing.”
Somerville said he would like to one day record a few songs with his son.
“Pretty much everything he knows, he has taught me,” said Stevo, a sophomore at Elkhart Central High School.
Win or lose, the Safe Auto contest will not be Somerville’s last. He plans to enter another jingle-writing competition for Folgers Coffee in March.