Unsigned Only is a unique international music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. Unsigned Only is looking for outstanding, talented artists: 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. Prizes include $10,000 cash to the overall Grand Prize winner (as well as other prizes) and $1,000 to the First Place winner in each category. Prizes will also be awarded to Second Place winners in each category.
Produced by the same team who brings you the prestigious International Songwriting Competition (ISC), 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 panel of high-profile recording artists and industry professionals. But, Unsigned Only takes it a step further and for the first time ever, a music competition offers the Grand Prize winner the once-in-a-lifetime chance to be mentored by and directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
Last year's Grand Prize winner, Lara Johnston, talks about her experience with Unsigned Only. "Being the Grand Prize winner of Unsigned Only has been a definite high point of my career thus far. The mentoring opportunities provided are nothing short of incredible: I've had in-depth conversations with the uppermost gatekeepers and leaders of the music industry. I can't think of another music competition that would provide an unsigned artist the chance to have a face-to-face meeting with Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic Records and Wendy Goldstein, the label's Senior VP of A&R. I've been able to chat with Atlantic Records' renowned Executive VP Pete Ganbarg; go to lunch with Capitol Records' versatile A&R pioneer Kim Stephens, talk about career strategies with Pete Giberga, VP of the super-successful independent label Razor and Tie; and get in touch with legendary A&R man Dave Wilkes. Since winning Unsigned Only, I've garnered invaluable advice from a rich variety of perspectives, and I've had the chance to start relationships with people who can truly help me in my career. I'm excited to see where this all takes me, and I would urge any aspiring artist to enter this year's competition. You never know, you might be the next Grand Prize winner."
Here's a list of this year's judges:
Hall & Oates
Of Monsters And Men
3 Doors Down
The Mountain Goats
AAA (Adult Album Alternative; AC (Adult Contemporary); Christian; Country; Folk/Singer-Songwriter; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; Teen; and Vocal Performance.
Judging Criteria includes: originality, songwriting, vocals, performance, and overall likeability.
All entries must be original music except for the Vocal Performance and Teen categories which accept original or cover songs. Judging criteria in the Vocal Performance category will be based solely on the quality of the vocals. So, if you're an artist and you don't write your own songs - or if you do write your own songs and want to show off your singing - this is the category for you.
Sponsors include: Disc Makers, D'Addario, Mrs. Fields Cookies, and The Music Business Registry.