Sienna at the Thompson Austin Supports Local Singer/Songwriter’s Career with Free Rent for a Year in the Heart of the Live Music Capital of the World
AUSTIN, Texas—June 23, 2022. Sienna at the Thompson Austin, a luxe high-rise apartment community located within Thompson Austin, a Hyatt hotel, and tommie Austin, a JdV by Hyatt hotel, has named local singer/songwriter Cameron Rafferty the winner of its artist-in-residence competition. As the resident “Sienna Star,” Rafferty will live rent-free for one year at Sienna at the Thompson Austin in exchange for providing several hours of live performances and musical content per month at Sienna — allowing him to dedicate his time to pursuing his passion for a music career without worrying about the burden of rent.
“Sienna at the Thompson is located in the heart of the Live Music Capital of the World,” said Sienna Residential Property Manager Leslie Caffey. “The Sienna Star Contest gave us a way to provide a true Austin vibe in the entertainment we provide, contribute to the amazing selection of live music available in Austin and, at the same time, help a very talented local musician concentrate on finding new success in his artistic pursuits. It is a win-win for everyone!”
This spring, Sienna launched its inaugural “Musician in Residence, Sienna Star” music contest. Each applicant submitted a one-minute demo video and participated in auditions held through April 1. Selected performers competed live before a group of VIP guests on April 9 at the Wax Myrtle Restaurant at the Thompson Hotel. Austin’s iHeartMedia host Anne Hudson emceed the event, and local singer/songwriter Cameron Rafferty was declared the winner.
“This is truly the chance of a lifetime,” said Rafferty, who has toured internationally and enjoyed success at home and abroad, but whose U.S. career had stalled. “Ironically, I had decided to walk away from music and pursue bitcoin mining. I was working in Rockdale, Texas in a large Mining Factory, when a buddy from my college days sent me the Sienna Star flier and convinced me to enter. Winning the contest has completely reinvigorated my career and given me a second chance at success — a precious opportunity to follow my passion for music without worrying about paying rent every month.”
Rafferty moved into the Sienna community in early May and kicked-off his first resident performance on May 27 at Bayberry which is a private event space located on the 4th-floor. He will also play in the Thompson Hotel lobby and Pool throughout the week. A major bonus beyond free rent is Rafferty’s access to a state-of-the-art recording studio on-site at Sienna. He is working with the property management team to build the studio out and set it up. Essentially, he can dedicate his time to recording music and playing — all at the Sienna. The studio is available for use by other Sienna residents, as well.
Rafferty (aka Cameron Rafati) hails from Salt Lake City, where he performed in bands in high school and during his college days at the University of Southern California (USC). He played guitar, piano and bass, but his primary focus is singing and songwriting. His genre is rock/pop. Rafferty graduated from USC and went into real estate but left the field four or five years later to pursue a career as a musical artist. After struggling for about six years, his attorney received a call from Apple asking to use one of his songs in the rollout of the iPhone 6s. That major TV event led to numerous commercials, increasing his exposure, and Rafferty signed a contract with Universal Music Group and producer Jeff Bashker. He toured the world for a year and a half and was highly popular in Europe and South America; however, when he returned to the US, his career at home had slumped. Rafferty got a temporary boost from an appearance on television’s “Songland,” but ultimately decided to abandon his music career.
The Sienna Star competition was motivating and instilled in Rafferty a renewed artistic passion. He resigned with his previous manager at Interscope Records and has started recreating some of his music with a more electronic sound. For now, he is only performing at Sienna; not having to worry about performing night after night at other venues gives him the freedom to concentrate exclusively on creating music and putting his album together.
“Having a studio in the Sienna and time to fully focus on my music career is a dream come true,” he said. “I’m already working on several singles, one of which should be out in a few months. I’m pitching it to deejays to see if they can get a major artist to incorporate.”
Developed by Chicago-based Magellan Development Group and located at the intersection of 5th and Brazos Streets, Sienna at the Thompson Austin puts its residents squarely in the heart of downtown Austin and its many eclectic attractions. Rising 32 stories above the city, Sienna offers 314 luxury apartment residences — a mix of junior one-, one- and two-bedroom homes — occupying floors 15 and 17 through 31 of the building. Sienna residences are havens where art and design meet form and function — imaginative floor plans and living spaces characterized by understated luxury, convenience and a concierge lifestyle.
“Sienna is a one-of-a-kind project, and now we have an amazing, one-of-a-kind musical talent living here, performing for our residents and guests all month, every month,” said Caffey. “We are excited to play a role in furthering what I’m sure will be Cameron’s incredible career. We will publish a schedule of his performances soon, and we encourage people to come down and listen to his unique talent and style.”