Sunday, February 23, 2014

Unsigned Only Contest x Santa Cruz Bonkers

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail with an interesting partner  opportunity: the biggest indy artists contest in the US, Unsigned Only, contacted me for partnering. Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers all over the world who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist...a newcomer or veteran...raw or polished- the “gem” that needs to be discovered.

After visiting and checking their site, I knew that this was an occasion that I could not let go...Why? As you can see this isn't a blog like the other ones, it is a place for black sound lovers...Santa Cruz Bonkers born in Spain but I've always accepted contributions from all over world, maybe that's the reason -along with the quality content- why the web started gaining notoriety in the US and internationally.  I don't care if the artist is signed or not with a company, I only care for music: Is the track/project/video nice? Did I like it? If the answers is yes, then it gets a post....It's that simple. With that criteria is very easy to spot talented unsigned artists, and this is the main reason of why we are here at this point.  This is a great chance for all the artists that I've posted and the new ones I'll be posting.

Unsigned Only is a fresh and novel approach to other music competitions. Yes, it offers 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, Unsigned Only 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. They have an excellent mentors/judges list looking for originality, songwriting/arrangement, vocals, performance, and overall likeability:
  • Judges include: John Oates (Hall & Oates); Neon Trees; Black Francis (The Pixies); Mike Posner; David Crowder; Delbert McClinton; Craig Morgan; Robert Smith (The Cure); Rosanne Cash; 3 Doors Down; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Of Monsters and Men; Aaron Shust; G. Love; Jason Gray; Alt-J; Dustin Lynch; Rapsody; The Mountain Goats; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post); Michael Hann (Music Editor, The Guardian); Lucy Jones (Deputy Editor, NME)...
  • Mentors include: Monte Lipman (Chairman and CEO, Republic Records); Jeff Castelaz (President, Elektra Records); Seymour Stein (Chairman, SIRE Records and VP of Warner Bros Records); Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); Mike Elizondo (Sr. VP of A&R, Warner Bros. Records); Tony Kiewel (VP of A&R Sub Pop Records, Hardly Art, Sub Pop Publishing); Allison B. Jones (VP of A&R, Big Machine Label Group); Josh Bailey (Sr. VP of A&R, Word Label Group); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/ Capitol Music Group); Lenny Santiago (VP of A&R, Roc Nation); Dino Paredes (Sr. VP of A&R/GM, American Recordings); Evan Peters (Director of A&R, Virgin Records)...
That means 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 to directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities. Sounds great, right?  It sounds better when you know the prizes:
  • The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $10,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) and oneon-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. 
  • First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category. First Place winners in each category will receive $1,000 in addition to other prizes. Second Place winners will also receive prizes. 
  • Want to read more about the prizes in detail? Head over here.
Winners for the 2014 competition will be announced at the end of August for the following categories:
  • AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
  • AC (Adult Contemporary)
  • Americana
  • Christian
  • Country
  • Folk/Singer-Songwriter
  • R&B/Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Pop/Top 40
  • Teen (for artists 18 years old and younger)
  • Vocal Performance
This is a contest like I've never seen before...They are now taking entries for the 2014 competition - with the deadline of March 13. Don't miss it!
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