A good musician can find inspiration anywhere -- even from a taco at a fast food chain. At least, that's Brian Pearson's theory. Pearson, a musician, songwriter and band director at New London-Spicer Schools, recently wrote a jingle for the new Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell as part of a contest sponsored by Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities.
The contest started Monday and asks the public to vote on 50 entries, which were chosen by judges as the best submissions. Each week, the entries with the lowest votes will be eliminated. The winner of the contest will be announced the week of Aug. 20 at the Minnesota State Fair.
Pearson's 30-second jingle, "Doritos Locos Tacos," features a strong drum beat, five guitar parts and the lyrics "Taco Bell. Doritos. Nacho cheese. So crunchy."
"I was inspired by the drumbeat pretty quickly," Pearson said. "My jingle has kind of an AC/DC feel with the heavier chords."
The contest rules were simple: Write a 30- or 60-second jingle and include the words Doritos, Taco Bell, nacho cheese and crunchy. A friend told Pearson about the contest only five days before the June deadline. When he heard about the prize -- $10,000 and a year's supply of Taco Bell tacos -- he knew he wanted to enter.
"It's quite the incentive," he said, although he admits that he's not the biggest fan of the fast food chain. He did, however, try a Doritos Locos Taco while recording the jingle.
"It was pretty good," he said.
Pearson spent about six hours over the course of two days creating, writing and recording the jingle. When working on a new song, he always starts by taking a four-mile walk with his dog, Toby. It's how he finds his inspiration, he says.
"I get all my ideas from walking. It's amazing how well the process works," Pearson said. "I'm also inspired by deadlines, so this worked out great. Music usually does just come to me, but like any other artist, I often doubt it, question it, evaluate it."
After listening to the other 49 entries, Pearson says he feels fairly confident about his chances of winning the contest.
"There are some really good ones and some not so good ones," he said. "But I think I could have a shot."
Over the last 25 years, Pearson estimates that he's written and recorded hundreds of original songs. He's written jingles for Vacation Bible Schools across the country, and his jingle for the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office currently plays on The Loon 94.1. Pearson also plays in several bands in the community and directs the choir at his church.
"The music community around here is very vibrant," he said. "I'm fortunate enough to teach, play, write and listen. I just love making music. It takes me to a different place."
To vote for Pearson's jingle, visit myfox9.com and click on the ad that says "vote for your favorite Doritos Locos Tacos song." Voting is limited to one per day.