An amazing 24 Aussie musicians were acknowledged in the prestigious US-based 2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition, when the winners were announced today. Selected from almost 6,000 entries, the winners represent some of the best unsigned artists worldwide in contemporary music. Unsigned Only awards more than $150,000 in prizes split among 28 winners, including a Grand Prize package of $20,000 in cash (US) and much more in merchandise and services.
Judges included high-profile recording artists Aimee Mann, The Struts, Colt Ford, The Killers, Frank Foster, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Lucero and many more. Also on the judging panel were music journalists from Rolling Stone,Guitar Player, Paste Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, LA Weekly, Yahoo Music, The Boston Herald, and more.
Australian artists Phebe Starr and Moza both have been awarded First Place in their respective categories. The band Woodlock and Adelaide-based artist Dino Jag have been awarded Second Place in their categories. In addition to these winners, 20 Australian artists have been awarded an Honorable Mention in their categories in the competition (see below for a complete list of Aussie winners).
Phebe Starr (Sydney, NSW, Australia) is awarded First Place for the song “Feel My Love” in the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) category. She is the latest Electro/Pop artist on the rise with comparisons to Sia, Florence & The Machine, and others. Over the past few years, Phebe has created a stir in Australia with her hit single, “Alone With You.” She was named one of Glamour Magazine’s “14 Badass Women of SXSW,” and her winning song “Feel My Love” has garnered over 1.4 million plays on Spotify.
MOZA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) is awarded First Place for the song “On The Line” in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) category. An independent electronic duo, MOZA fuses the individual talents of singer/songwriter Cam Nacson and musician Toby Chew. Drawing from their background as live performers, their aim is to bring musicality and pop sensibilities to electronic music in an unapologetically passionate and genuine mind frame – all with a commercial familiarity but with a strong underlying integrity.
Woodlock is awarded Second Place honors for their song “Build A Kingdom” in the Rock category. Woodlock has gained recognition and created a strong following busking on the streets of Melbourne. Their EP Sirens charted in the Top 50 iTunes charts, as well as in the Top 10 on the Independent Release Charts. Two of the singles landed on the Viral 50 Spotify Charts. They have also sold around 30,000 EPs in the last 18 months and have racked up over four million streams across their catalogue. 2016 also started off with a bang with the boys performing at Nannup Festival and supporting Elle King on her Bluesfest Sideshows.
Dino Jag (Adelaide, SA, Australia) is awarded Second Place honors for his song “Two Young Hearts” in the AC (Adult Contemporary) category. Dino Jag first launched into the international music arena in 2005 with his unique cover of the ‘70s classic, “Play that Funky Music,” burning up the charts worldwide and reaching #8 in Australia. Nominated Best Male Vocalist for three consecutive years at the South Australian Music Industry Awards, Dino is a South Australian treasure and quickly becoming a recognized name in the international music world. His soon-to-be-released EP was recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood with Grammy Award Winning Producer Jeff Bova at the helm and is set to become a major milestone in his career.
Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan state, “As always, we received a lot of great entries from Australia. The creative excellence of so many of our Aussie entries stood out in the competition, and as usual we had a lot of Aussie winners. We are thrilled to be able to honor and promote Aussie talent on an international scale.”
The overall Grand Prize goes to the gifted performer and songwriter Ingrid Andress (Highland Ranch, CO, USA) for the song “Footprints.” In addition to winning $20,000 (US) and prizes, Andress also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper echelon music industry executives from Atlantic, Warner Bros., RCA, Epic, Razor & Tie, Disney Music Group/Hollywood Records, Nettwerk Music Group, Black River Entertainment, and others.
Ingrid Andress began her music career performing in the TV industry. After touring and singing on two seasons of NBC’s “The Sing Off” as a part of the a cappella group Delilah, she attended Berklee College of Music on a vocal scholarship. She now lives in Nashville where she collaborates and performs with various country and pop artists.
Unsigned Only judges included: Aimee Mann; The Killers; The Struts; Bone Thugs N Harmony; David Crowder; Aaron Shust; Lucero; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Rapsody; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Zach Long (Associate Editor, Time Out Chicago); Caine O’Rear (Editor-In-Chief, American Songwriter); Mike Molenda (Editor-In-Chief, Guitar Player); Sarah Jones (Editor, Electronic Musician); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Matthew Meadow (Editor-In-Chief, Your EDM); Jed Gottlieb (Music Writer, The Boston Herald); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Andy Herman (Music Editor, LA Weekly); Suzanne Cadgene ( Publisher, Elmore Magazine); Sasha Geffen (Associate Editor, Consequence of Sound); Jim Farber (Music Critic); and Chelsea Perry (Editor-In-Chief, Noise Porn).
Unsigned Only is sponsored by: Berklee College Of Music; Bombplates; Celebrity Access; D’Addario; Disc Makers; Eventric; Gretsch Drums; Groove 3; Indie Bible; Intellitouch Tuner; LANDR; Lurssen Mastering; Musicians Institute; Radio Airplay; Sony Creative Software; and The Music Business Registry.
Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2017 competition. Information on how to enter can be found at www.unsignedonly.com.
The 2016 winning songs can be heard at www.unsignedonly.com/winners.
The complete list of 2016 Australian winners is as follows:
Phebe Starr (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Feel My Love” – AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
MOZA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “On The Line” – EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
Dino Jag (Adelaide, SA, Australia) – “Two Young Hearts” – Adult Contemporary (AC)
Woodlock (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Build A Kingdom” – Rock
Dino Jag (Adelaide, SA, Australia) – “Two Young Hearts” –
Crawford Brothers (Hinton, NSW, Australia) – “Slowly Creeping Back” – AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
Stone Parade (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Only You And Me” – AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
Mitch King (Gold Coast, QLD, Australia) – “Coming Back” – AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
Julia Messenger (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Stripped” – EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
Imogen Brough (Geelong, VIC, Australia) – “Love Is Like A Match” – Folk/Singer/Songwriter
Shelley Segal (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Sidelined” – Folk/Singer/Songwriter
Crawford Brothers (Hinton, NSW, Australia) – “Slowly Creeping Back” – Pop/Top 40
Julian Simonsz (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Get Home To You” – Pop/Top 40
Kobe White (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Alright” – Pop/Top 40
10YRWAR (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “If I Only Knew Better” – R&B/Hip-Hop
Kobe White (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “High On You Ft. $WVNG” – R&B/Hip-Hop
Stone Parade (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Don’t Let Me Go” – Rock
B Cardamone (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Passion To Ashes” – Screen Shot
FLUIR (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “I’ve Gotta Have You” – Screen Shot
Stone Parade (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Don’t Let Me Go” – Screen Shot
Stone Parade (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Only You And Me” – Screen Shot
Wren (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Ireland Meets Tibet” – Screen Shot
Kobe White (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Alright” – Teen
Julian Simonsz (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “I Do It For You” – Vocal Performance