The newly launched Unsigned Only Music Competition, from the team behind the International Songwriting Competition, is fast approaching its March 5 deadline for artists to enter. Designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major record label, Unsigned Only’s goal is to find an outstanding, talented performing artist: a band, singer, or solo artist…a newcomer or veteran…raw or polished – the “gem” that needs to be discovered.
Unsigned Only is looking for the total package. Judging criteria includes vocals, performance, songwriting, and originality.
Completely separate and distinct from ISC, Unsigned Only is a fresh and novel approach to other music competitions. Not only does it offer great prizes, recognition, exposure, and the chance to be heard by a group of judges consisting of high-profile recording artists and industry professionals, but it also takes it a step further and puts the Grand Prize winner in direct, personal contact with the influential record label executives who are the ultimate decision makers. For the first time ever, a music competition offers the Grand Prize winner the unprecedented opportunity to be mentored by a group of record company presidents, A&R reps, and more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for an artist to directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
The founders of Unsigned Only, Jim Morgan and Candace Avery, talk about the new venture: “We are pleased to introduce a new music competition of this caliber to artists throughout the world. Having worked with a wide variety of artists over many years, we know that what artists want most is access to record label professionals. However, it is virtually impossible for most up-and-coming artists to have direct access to this elite and elusive group of decision makers. So, Unsigned Only is offering the unprecedented opportunity for the Grand Prize winner to network with and be mentored by a prestigious group of record label executives. This has never been done before, and we are excited about the possibilities it affords the Unsigned Only winner.”
The judging panel is comprised of an impressive group of recording artists, producers, and top-level music journalists. They include: Cyndi Lauper; Kenny Rogers; Angie Stone; 3 Doors Down; Jeremy Camp; Manchester Orchestra; Craig Morgan; Robert Smith (The Cure); Kelly Clarkson; Musiq Soulchild; Aaron Shust; Steve Lillywhite (Producer); G. Love; Matt and Kim; St. Vincent; The Mountain Goats; Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Scott Lapatine (Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Stereogum) and Lorraine Ali (Pop Music Editor, Los Angeles Times).
The panel of mentors who have signed on to participate is equally impressive. Included are: Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic); Pete Ganbarg (Executive Vice President/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); David Wolter (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, RCA Records); David Wilkes (VP of A&R, eOne Music); Pete Giberga (Head of A&R, Razor & Tie Records) and Jason Geter (President, Grand Hustle Records).
The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $5,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) and one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category. Entries are being accepted now until March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced in July, 2012. Categories include: AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Christian Music, Country, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop/Top 40, and Vocal Performance.
All entries must be original music except for the Vocal Performance category which accepts original or cover songs. Judging criteria in the Vocal Performance category will be based solely on the quality of the vocals, thereby allowing singers who do not write their own songs the opportunity to enter.
For entry and general information, please go to http://www.unsignedonly.com