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. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package.
Conceived of and produced by the team who bring you the prestigious International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Unsigned Only is a fresh and novel approach to 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.
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 to directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback and networking opportunities.
Judges include: Aimee Mann; alt-J; Robert Smith (The Cure); Sinead O'Connor; Kem; Aaron Shust; Rosanne Cash; The Killers; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Dustin Lynch; Rapsody; Jason Gray; Ray Wylie Hubbard; David Crowder; Lucero; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Kool & The Gang; Kelly Price; Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Shirley Halperin (Music Editor, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Lucy Jones (Deputy Editor, NME); Hardeep Phull (Music Critic, The New York Post); Michael Hann (Music Editor, The Guardian); and Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post).
There are over $100,000 in cash and prizes, with the Grand Prize Winner winning $10,000 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. First Place winners in each category will receive $1,000 in addition to other prizes. Second Place winners will also receive prizes.
The First Place winner in the Screen Shot category will also be mentored by a group of music execs who place songs in film, TV, ads and video games. Mentors so far include Jessica Cole (Lyric House); Michelle Bayer (Shelly Bay Music); Michelle Silverman (Modern Planet); Ani Johnson (Monomyth Media); Evan Stei (Experience Music Group); Velma Barkwell (East End Music Productions); Jen Taunton (Level Two Music); James Kempner (JMK Connections); Randy Powell (Kicksta Music Group); Carlos Muhammad (Egyptian Man Entertainment Group); Richard Kirstein (Resilient Music LLP). Addtionally, the Teen category First Place winner will be awarded a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music's 2016 5-wk Summer Performance Program, which includes tuition and room/board (winner must be at least 15 years old).
Winners for the 2015 competition will be announced in early September, 2015.
The 2015 categories include:
AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
AC (Adult Contemporary)
Screen Shot (original songs in all genres suited for placement in film/TV/advertising/gaming)
Teen (for artists 18 years old and younger)