Category Archives: Awards

South African Artist Anna Wolf Wins 2019 Unsigned Only Music Competition

Anna Wolf,

The Unsigned Only Music Competition announced the 2019 winners. The 2019 Grand Prize is awarded to a South African artist, Anna Wolf, for the song “Believer.” The winner of the World Music award is OYME (Moscow, Russia) with the song “Vaya,” which is based on an Erzya folk song.

OYME performs traditional and contemporary world music based on the music of Mordovia, a region in Russia. It is characterized by polyphonic vocal styles, traditional instruments electronics.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Anna Wolf beat out almost 6,000 entries from more than 100 countries to be named the Grand Prize winner. The press release indicated that “Wolf is a singer with hauntingly beautiful vocals, and a songwriter with depth and vulnerability. The winning song, “Believer,” is a powerful track, inspired by Wolf’s desire to break the silence about domestic violence and serves as a personal refusal to become the victim of her circumstance.”

I feel such gratitude for this honor,” said Anna Wolf. “The message of ‘Believer” is burnt into every fiber of my being: to let go of expectations, to face my own vulnerabilities and to always keep faith that tomorrow will be the day I get to share my music with the world.”

In addition to winning $20,000 in cash (US) and $40,000 (US) in merchandise and services, Wolf also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper-echelon music industry executives, including: Pete Ganbarg (President of A&R, Atlantic Records); Nick Haussling (Senior VP of A&R, Warner Records); Liz Cohen (A&R, RCA Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment / A&R, Lava Records); David Silbaugh (Talent Buyer, Summerfest); Brinson Strickland (President, Collective Artist Management); and Kristyn Ciani (Talent Buyer, C3 Presents).

Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2020 competition. More information can be found at: www.unsignedonly.com.

Unsigned Only is open to all artists who are unsigned to a major record label and gives artists exposure, recognition, and validation for their artistry.

A total of $150,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to 38 winners, including an overall Grand Prize winner and a First and Second Place winner in each category. An additional group of Honorable Mentions were also selected. Over the years Unsigned Only has become an important source for discovering new talent. Since its inception in 2012, five Grand Prize winners have been signed to record labels.

The complete list of 2019 Unsigned Only winners:

Grand Prize

Anna Wolf (Pretoria, South Africa) – “Believer”

AAA (Adult Album Alternative)

First Place
Adrian Chalifour (Victoria, BC, Canada) – “Head Down Heart Up”

Second Place
Whitefield (Werrington County, NSW, Australia) – “Ivy”

Adult Contemporary (AC)

First Place
Madison Olds (Kamloops, BC, Canada) – “Thank You”

Second Place
CAEZAR (Gloucester, GLR, England) – “Hold On”

Americana

First Place
Kenny Foster (Joplin, MO, USA) – “Wood & Steel”

Second Place
Roger Street Friedman (New York, NY, USA) – “Everyday”

Blues

First Place
Layla Zoe (Victoria, BC, Canada) – “The Deeper They Bury Me”

Second Place
Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps (Canyon Country, CA, USA) – “Forgetting You”

Christian

First Place
Avery Blank (Sedgwick, KS, USA) – “Not Over”

Second Place
Francesca Ani (Tampa, FL, USA) – “Heart On Fire”

Country

First Place
Tyler Dial (Phoenix, AZ, USA) – “Damn, Denver”

Second Place
Kaylee Bell (Waimate, CT, New Zealand) – “Keith”

EDM

First Place
Krane (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – “Movin”

Second Place
Friendzone (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) – “Neighbors”

Folk/Singer-Songwriter

First Place
Tom Freund (Venice, CA, USA) – “Freezer Burn”

Second Place
Clinton Clegg (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) – “Spain”

Instrumental

First Place
Roman Smirnov (Toronto, ON, Canada) – “Kuwaka”

Second Place
Symphonex Orchestra (Charlestown, RI, USA) – “Dreams In Bloom – The Encounter”

Jazz

First Place
Chico Pinheiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) – “Flor de Fogo”

Second Place
Chris Parker (Port Jervis, NY, USA) – “The Chimney”

Latin

First Place
Gio Cadario (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) – “Devuelveme”

Second Place
Teff (Caracas, Venezuela) – “Te Equivocaste”

Pop/Top 40

First Place
Cray (Norway) – “Monkey Wants Banana”

Second Place
Tia P (Inglewood, CA, USA) – “Come Together”

R&B/Hip-Hop

First Place
Alexander Lewis (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – “Pearl Magnolia”

Second Place
Coco Jones (Lebanon, TN, USA) – “Just My Luck”

Rock

First Place
Fink Tree (Poznan, Poland) – “Love Somebody”

Second Place
Dogtooth (Glasgow, Scotland) – “Trying To Save You”

Screen Shot

First Place
Bryan Elijah Smith (Dayton, VA, USA) – “In Through The Dark”

Second Place
Big Little Lions (Royston, BC, Canada) – “Find Your Tribe”

Teen

First Place
Carolyn Hao (Toronto, ON, Canada) – “Losing Count”

Second Place
Camryn Quinlan (Sayville, NY, USA) – “Monsters”

Vocal Performance

First Place
Rhia (Melbourne, VIC, Australia) – “Crystalline”

Second Place
Pedro Barbosa (Maputo, Mozambique) – “Crazy Love Is”

World Music

First Place
OYME (Moscow, Russia) – “Vaya”

Second Place
Kidum Kibido And Boda Boda (Bujumbura, Burundi) – “Nipe Nguvu”

Fandemonium Winner (winner selected by online public vote)

Corvyx (Staten Island, NY, USA) – “Alive”

Grand Slam Promotion Winners

Week 1 – Get Exposed Online With Digital Distribution and Promotion
Sara (Belgrade, Serbia) – “Player Of Mine”

Week 2 – Get Licensed With Your Music
Charlie Grant (Totnes, DVN, England) – “Black Lines”

Week 3 – Get Published With Your Songs
Goodnight, Sunrise (Toronto, ON, Canada) – “WVV”

Week 4 – Get Paid For Your Music
Dylan Holton (Ottawa, ON, Canada) – “I Used To”

Win Some Love Promotion Winners

First Place: Kat Beck (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) – “Hooked On Your Love”
Second Place: Maham Suhail (Lahore, Pakistan) – “Pauna”
Third Place: Angus Brill Reed (Adelaide, SA, Australia) – “Be You”

Video Only Promotion Winners

Professional Video Winner
Tia P (Inglewood, CA, USA) – “Come Together”

Homemade Video Winner
Matt Ellis (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – “Some People”

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Áššu Wins the German Record Critics’ Award


Áššu – Áššu

Ulla Pirttijarvi, Harald Skullerud and Olav Torget’s album Áššu has won The German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Longlist 3/2019, Weltmusik (world music).

Áššu

Áššu includes Ulla Pirttijarvi (Finland) on vocals, joiks; Harald Skullerud (Norway) on percussion, calimba, calabas, harmonium; and Olav Torget (Norway) on baritone guitar, konting, oilcan guitar.

Áššu – Ulla Pirttijärvi

On behalf of the jury, Johannes Kneihs stated “Rough and with electrifying energy, singer Ulla Pirttijärvi from the Finnish part of Lapland “joiks” about people and others bring West African elements into the game – which fits surprisingly well and clearly convincing better than other pop-joik adaptations from Finland or Norway in past years. A rousing debut album, it makes you curious and wants more.”

Áššu – Harald Skullerud
Áššu – Olav Torget

The trio recently performed at Etno-Espa in Helsinki 9th of August, 2019.

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Iranian Musician Kayhan Kalhor Wins WOMEX Artist Award 2019

Kayhan Kalhor – Photo by Todd Rosenberg

The World Music Expo (WOMEX) announced today that Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor (Iran/USA) is the winner of the WOMEX Artist Award 2019.

Kalhor is set to receive the prominent award at the 25th anniversary edition of WOMEX in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday, October 27, 2019. Kayhan Kalhor will perform as a duo together with Erdal Erzincan on bağlama in what will be the final concert of WOMEX 2019.

Kayhan Kalhor stated: “Receiving the WOMEX Artist Award means so much to me. The award is recognition of the rich culture of my homeland Iran and an ageless Persian art that thrives and is beloved throughout the world. As forces arise across the globe and push for divisiveness, borders and intolerance, music brings us together and reminds us of our common humanity. As a citizen of the world, I am humbled by this recognition and stand with artists whose music fosters unity.”

The WOMEX 2019 closing ceremony will also include the Award for Professional Excellence and the annual Label Award, both of which are yet to be announced.

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Salif Keita to Receive La Mar de Musicas Award

Salif Keita – Photo by Thomas Dorn

Malian world music star Salif Keita is the winner of La Mar de Musicas Award. La Mar de Musicas is a highly respected world music festival held in Spain.

The festival gave the award to Salif Keita for “having overcome all kinds of prejudices inside and outside Africa in his defense of the population with albinism and those who sing without belonging to the griot caste, and for the inspiration of his powerful voice, having managed to mix the deep tradition of his region with global sounds.”

Keita will receive his award tomorrow, Monday, July 22, 2019.

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Young Cordoba Guitarist Juan José León Wins 2019 Flamenco Guitar Accompaniment Talent Contest

Juan José León, Winner of First Prize of the Flamenco Guitar Accompaniment Talent Contest 2019

Talento Flamenco (Flamenco talent) closed its third edition at the 2019 Cordoba Guitar Festival. In a crowded courtyard at the Posada del Potro, the Fosforito Flamenco Center hosted on July 12th the hard-fought final of the Flamenco Guitar Accompaniment Contest 2019, organized by the Cristina Heeren Foundation. The award went to Cordoba-born Juan José León. The first prize is endowed with 1,400 euros and a trophy.

The second prize, worth 900 euros, went to Pablo Fernández (Barcelona), to whom the jury also awarded the Acciona Scholarship, worth 5,000 euros, which will allow him to study the next academic year at the Cristina Heeren flamenco school in Seville.

The third prize, 600 euros, went to Luis González from Badajoz.

In total, in its three editions, Talento Flamenco has given awards to more than fifty young singers, guitarists and dancers, aged 16 to 30 years, mostly Andalusians, but also from other points of the Spanish geography and countries such as Brazil and France.

The Flamenco Guitar Accompaniment Talent Contest 2019 is sponsored by the Cristina Heeren Foundation with the aim of “giving young people the boost they need to, with knowledge and practice, shining on their talent“, according to Pepa Sánchez, Academic Director of the school.

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Solju’s album Odda Áigodat Wins Canadian International Indigenous Release 2019

Solju – Odda Áigodat

Odda Áigodat (Bafe’s Factory, 2018) by Solju is the winner of the The Indigenous Music Awards (IMA) – the Best International Indigenous Release 2019. The award was given by Manito Ahbee Festival May 17th, 2019.

Solju includes Ulla Pirttijärvi and Hildá Länsman, who were the first Sámi artists nominated for the awards.

The Manito Ahbee Festival celebrates Indigenous arts, culture, and music in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The 14th annual festival will be held May 15-19, 2019 and feature the Indigenous Music Awards, Manito Ahbee Pow Wow, Indigenous Music Conference, Indigenous Marketplace and Trade Show, Getting Jiggy With It, Art Challenge, and Youth Education Day.

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International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Announces 2018 World Music Winners

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its 2018 winners. The winners in the world music category are:

1st Place
Komal Rizvi
Karachi, Pakistan

2nd Place
B Prasanna, Subu
Chennai, India

3rd Place
Harouna Samake
Dissan, Mali

ISC received almost 19,000 entries this year from almost 140 countries. Prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise.

Komal Rizvi

Dubai-born Komal Rizvi is a Pakistani actress, singer-songwriter, and a TV host. She is well-known for her songs in Coke Studio (Pakistan). Her recordings include Komal Rizvi and Komal.

B Prasanna
Subu

B Prasanna, is a Chennai-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer. His musical influences include world music, pop, jazz fusion and rock. His colleague Subu is a lyricist.

Harouna Samake

Harouna Samake is Mali’s leading kamale n’goni player. He has performed ands recorded with Salif Keita, Blick Bassy, Bella Flick, Etienne Mbappé, and Bassekou Kouyate. He has a solo album titled Kamale Blues (One World, 2018) .

For the first time in the competition’s 18-year history, the Grand Prize is awarded to an R&B song – as well as to artist/songwriters from Nashville, Tennessee. The ISC bestowed its highest honor to R&B artist Reginald Lamar Williams Jr., (aka R.LUM.R) and artist/producer Josh Hawkins (aka Super Duper) for their co-written song “Frustrated.” The Grand Prize includes $25,000 (USD) cash and over $30,000 in merchandise and services.

Reginald Lamar Williams Jr. (R.LUM.R) and Josh Hawkins ( Super Duper)

“With R&B being such a dominant force in today’s music landscape, it is exciting that an R&B song is the Grand Prize winner for the first time in ISC. We are thrilled to acknowledge R.LUM.R and Super Duper, two artists who exemplify the present and the future of songwriting in this genre,” says ISC Founder and Director, Candace Avery.

For a complete list of 2018 winners in all categories and to hear the winning songs, go to: www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.

ISC is sponsored by: Art & Lutherie By Godin Guitars; Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Gig Salad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musicians Institute; oneRPM; PreSonus; Pro Tour Nutrition; Shubb Capos; SongU; Sweetwater; The Tracking Room; Tunedly; Vocal Eze; and Westone.

Entries are now open for the 2019 competition. To enter, go to www.songwritingcompetition.com.

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Haitian-Canadian Artist Wesli Wins the 2019 World Music Album of the Year Juno Award

Wesli during the Juno award ceremony

Haitian-Canadian artist Wesli is the winner of the 2019 Juno Award (Canada’s top music award) in the World Music Album of the Year category, for his impressive 21-song album Rapadou Kreyol. The album focal point is keeping the Haitian traditional music and instrumentation alive and well.

“I have two hearts,” said Wesli. “One is in Haiti, and the other is here in Canada, my chosen second homeland. Every time I do a new project, I have to approach it in two ways, one specifically dedicated to Haiti and our roots and culture, and another one dedicated to the welcome society that I am living in and that I’m grateful to.”

Wesli – Rapadou Kreyol

Upon receiving the award, an overjoyed Wesli said, “I really didn’t think I’d win, because everyone in the category [some of whom he’d worked with before over the years like Boogat and Cuban artist Telmary] are all so great, but I’m so thankful and grateful that I can represent Haitian artists in this way.” He’d been nominated once before, in 2007, as album Producer for Senaya, his band at the time, but this is his first win for his own music.

Named for rapadou, the tasty bamboo-wrapped fermented sugarcane often added to coffee, “This album is designed to revive our beautiful rhythms like Petro, Congo, Rada, Nago, Rara, the troubadour and voodoo rhythms, and our music in Yoruba language. These styles have almost no support from the mainstream media to keep them alive in the commercial society that we are living in,” Wesli notes. “Haitian music is the African Bible of the Caribbean. Our traditional percussionists know all the old ways and keep them. We can’t afford to lose them now. I have decided to do this roots revival album to remind us of who we are, where we are coming from, and what unites us.”

Sung entirely in Kreyol, Rapadou Kreyol features his own respectful take on the Haitian rituals of Lakou Dahomé and Lakou Congo, fusing rolling rara beats, bursts of brass, and just the precise electronic elements.

Each of the tracks is a different Haitian genre, like Congo and Daomé to represent joy, Nago and Djouba to represent contemplation and sadness. Each Haitian roots rhythm reflects different situations and requires different drums and instruments. Wesli adds, “One unique thing we do in all these genres is dance! We dance to everything in Haiti.

More information at wesliband.com/en/

headline photo: Wesli by Josué Bertolino

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Guitarist Cañizares Wins Best Flamenco Album Award at Spanish Independent Music Awards 2019

The album “El mito de la caverna” by acclaimed flamenco guitarist Cañizares is the winner of the Best Flamenco Album Award at Premios MIN 2019, Spain’s independent music awards.

El mito de la caverna is Cañizares’ 14th album and he describes it as a heartfelt tribute to his roots and traditions.

Cañizares is a classically-trained flamenco guitarist who bridges the worlds of flamenco and classical music.

More about Cañizares.

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Salif Keita Wins La Mar de Músicas 2019 Award

Salif Keita – Photo by Thomas Dorn

Acclaimed Malian singer Salif Keita has won the La Mar de Músicas 2019 Award. La Mar de Músicas is one of the leading world music festivals in Eutrope, held in Cartagena, Spain.

Salif Keita’s was given the award for “having overcome all kinds of prejudices inside and outside Africa in his defense of the population with albinism and those who sing without belonging to the griot caste, and for the inspiration of his powerful voice, having been able to mix the deep tradition of his region with global sounds.”

Keita will collect the La Mar de Músicas 2019 award on Monday, July 22. That same day, he will perform a concert at the Cartagena festival.

More at lamardemusicas.cartagena.es/2019/

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