The Unsigned Only Music Competition, geared toward musical artists who are unsigned to a major record label or its affiliates, has announced its 2015 winners. The competition recognizes the best in up-and-coming artists worldwide. Winners were selected from 7,000 entries from all over the world and represent musical genres in contemporary music.
More than $100,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to a Grand Prize winner; a First and Second Place winner in each category; and a fan favorite winner in the online, public vote, "Fandemonium." The winning songs can be heard at unsignedonly.com/winners.
The judging panel, whose responsibility is to select the winners, included: Aimee Mann; Dustin Lynch; The Killers; David Crowder; Robert Smith (The Cure); Ray Wylie Hubbard; Aaron Shust; Lucero; Kelly Price; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Rapsody; Kool And The Gang; Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Shirley Halperin (Music Editor, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter); Hardeep Phull (Music Critic, New York Post) and many more.
The 2015 Grand Prize was awarded to Australian (California-born) Jared Porter and New Zealander Kaylee Bell for their acclaimed duet and co-written song, "Pieces." In addition to winning $10,000 in cash and $20,000 in merchandise and services, Porter and Bell also receive the opportunity to be mentored by the top echelon of record company professionals, including Presidents and top-level executives from Atlantic, Warner Bros., Sony Music Nashville, RCA, Capitol, Big Machine, Roc Nation, Vanguard, Sugar Hill and American Recordings.
The Grand Prize winners, Jared Porter and Kaylee Bell, teamed up to write and perform their stunning duet, "Pieces." With this collaboration, they have crafted a song that showcases their vocals in an emotional performance. The artists have a lot in common, as both are Toyota Star Maker winners and have accumulated extensive accolades, including winning the APRA New Zealand Best Country Song award for "Pieces." The song also went to No. 1 on the Australia Country Music charts.
"As we entered the fourth year of this competition, the level of talent has grown exponentially," state Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. "This year, the winners impressed the judges with their passion, creativity, energy and artistry. The Grand Prize winners, Porter and Bell, embody the future of music, and we hope that the recognition they receive through Unsigned Only gives them the inspiration and ammunition to keep growing as artists and succeed in attaining their goals."
Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2016 competition. Information on how to enter can be found at unsignedonly.com.