"Being the Grand Prize winner of the Unsigned Only Competition has been a definite high point of my career thus far. The mentoring opportunities provided by Unsigned Only 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 Vice President of A&R. And that's not all (not even close)! For brevity's sake, here is a little list. I've been able to chat with Atlantic Records' renowned Executive Vice President Pete Ganbarg; go to lunch with Capitol Records' versatile A&R pioneer Kim Stephens, talk about career strategies with Pete Giberga, Vice President of the super-successful independent label Razor and Tie; and to get in touch with legendary A&R man Dave Wilkes….among other benefits, such as the generous allotment of musician-friendly prizes!
Since winning the Unsigned Only Competition, 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!"
Lara Johnston, 2012 Grand Prize Winner:
"The Unsigned Only Music Competition was a spectacular experience for me as an artist, from both a creative and business perspective. With over 9500 entries from around the world you really get to see and hear an unbelievable number of talented folks, and I feel exceptionally fortunate to have been named the 2013 winner. Beyond the obvious financial benefit (which allowed me to complete my album) the opportunity to be mentored by top industry people is truly exceptional and exposed me to a number of individuals that would have been entirely inaccessible outside this contest. The added spotlight also was massively helpful in propelling my debut single “Duet” into the top 10 on the Canadian Country Billboard chart. I continue to feel the benefits of this contest to this day… and the Martin guitar…. It’s pretty cool too. Thanks UO!"
Wes Mack, 2013 Grand Prize Winner:
"Unsigned Only offers proof of the wealth of talent that exists in music: artists yet to be noticed by the world who can play, write, and arrange at an extraordinarily high level."
Michael Hann, Music Editor, The Guardian - 2014 Judge
"Thank you for the opportunity. It's a great incentive for bands, and long may it continue."
Gareth McCarthy (Red Empire), 2014 Honorable Mention in the Rock category
"Awesome talent this year - can't wait for 2015!"
Dustin Lynch, 2014 Judge
"It's inspiring and exciting to hear what's coming. The production level and quality of writing on the batch of songs this year was way high. The future looks bright."
David Crowder, 2014 Judge
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