Unsigned Only Music Competition

If you have been an avid fan and follower of Daily Unsigned, you know that we here only to support, promote and spread the word about amazing Unsigned Artists and their music to the world and anyone who will listen to us!

It goes without saying that when we come across cool opportunities for Unsigned Artists, we of course have to tell the world about them!

Last week, we had a chance to grab a quick 30 minute interview with the fine folks over at the Unsigned Only Music Competition…and what they shared with us and their competition was miles beyond great!

Enjoy the interview!

Who’s behind the Unsigned Only Music Competition?

Although the Unsigned Only Music Competition is only in its first year, it’s being produced by the people responsible for the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) – www.songwritingcompetition.com which is now in it’s 11th year and considered to be the premiere songwriting competition in the world today. Our offices are based out of Nashville, TN and if you look at the combined work history of m self and the co-founder Candace Avery, then we have been working with up-and-coming unsigned artists for over 30 years.

What makes Unsigned Only different from other music competitions?

The main difference is that for the first time, a music competition is offering the Grand Prize winner the opportunity to be mentored by record label presidents and heads of A&R from labels including: Universal Republic, Atlantic Records, Razor And Tie, Grand Hustle, RCA, Capitol, Word, Provident, and EOne Entertainment. This is an amazing opportunity for an artist to directly network with the executives who make influential decisions about artist signings. That’s in addition to winning $5,000.00 in cash and a bunch of cool prizes, plus having a bevy of celebrity judges listen to their songs!

Can anyone enter the competition, or is it only open to US residents?

Unsigned Only is definitely open to artists from anywhere in the world. As long as an artist isn’t signed to a major record label, or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints they can enter the competition. That means someone who’s on their own independent record label and doing it all on their own, should definitely enter this competition! The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer. We’re looking for a band, singer, or solo artist…a newcomer or veteran…raw or polished – the “gem” that needs to be discovered. With Unsigned Only we are looking for the total package.

What are the categories for the competition and what is the judging criteria?

Unsigned Only has 9 categories for artists to enter into and the deadline for 2012 is April 11. The categories are: AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Christian, Country, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop/Top 40 and Vocal Performance. The judges are looking for originality, songwriting, vocals, performance, and overall likeability. With the Vocal Performance category, we’re also doing something cool, where the judging will be based solely on the quality of the vocals. So, if an artist doesn’t write their own songs – or if they do write their own songs and want to show off your singing – this is the category for them. Plus, with the Vocal Performance category, artists can enter cover songs.

How does the judging process work?

We have an internal listening committee that screens all the entries initially, and narrow it down to a series of semi-finalists first, and then from those semi-finalists we determine the finalists that will be sent to the celebrity judges. There will be 12-15 finalists in each of the nine categories that will be sent onto the celebrity judges. It’s then up to the celebrities to pick the actual winners. Winners will be announced by the end of July 2012.

What does an artist get out of entering or winning a competition like this?

In addition to winning prizes and mentoring, it allows an artist to compete with their peers on a professional level. For newer artists, it offers the opportunity to be discovered. For artists who are more developed, it offers the opportunity to elevate a career. Either way, it can make a difference in an artist’s future.

The opportunity to have your music heard by the industry’s most successful and respected artists is a huge incentive. With ISC, artists have had their songs recorded by judges who heard them because they were finalists. We have had artists go on to get signed by record labels, get publishing deals and licensing deals, and improve their bookings – all because of entering the competition. If an artist wins, then the recognition and exposure they receive is a huge push toward furthering their career. It is another step up the ladder. Additionally, we have often been told by winners that the validation they receive is enough to make them continue on and keep making music.

As with ISC, Unsigned Only’s mission is to help artists achieve their goals, and with this in mind, we will be very proactive about promoting and raising awareness of our finalists – often long after the competition has ended.

How can an artist or band enter the competition and what does it cost?

The current entry fee is $35 per entry, and artists can enter as many songs in as many categories as they like. For example, one song in one category would be $35, and one song entered into two categories would be $70 and so on. To enter, artists simply go to our website – www.unsignedonly.com where they can choose to either enter online or through regular mail. We definitely try to make it as easy as possible for an artist to enter. They can even just give us links to their songs if they have them on social media sites like Myspace, Facebook or Bandcamp and we can listen to them from there. We’re taking entries up until midnight on April 11, 2012.

Make sure that you visit the Unsigned Only Music Competition website right here! Unsigned Only Music Competition