To all of you new unsigned and upcoming artists out there, and for fans of the unsigned scene. A new, exciting and long overdue awards show is gaining more and more support from some of the industry’s biggest names. I introduce you to The Unsigned Music Awards! What is it all about? Well, Freya went along to their launch night at The Borderline on Thursday 11th June to find out.

First of all the most important point that was made clear was: This is not another unsigned competition as we know it. This is a new dedicated Awards platform with sixteen overall winners seeking some of the most promising unsigned artists in the UK.

The three co-founders greeted the guests (huge mix of artists, journalists, managers and other industry individuals) and put on a presentation to make it clear what this is all about, as well as what to expect. One great guest they had was David O’Keefe from Youth Music, already a known charity who’s mission it is to invest in learning activities for young people and their community who have the least opportunity through various music projects. He made it very clear the team have his full support for these awards as it gives the unsigned world a real chance to be known in the industry.

How are they able to go through thousands of unsigned applicants I hear you say? There is a voting process put in place to ensure that every entry is reviewed independently by two members of the judging panel. Nominees must receive approval from both judges in order to progress to the next round (think of it as if you both swipe right you get a further chance). The next round then sees all of the successful nominees put back in front of the panel, but this time they can be reviewed by any or all of judges (not just two). This then continues until the judges have all independently agreed upon and collectively shortlisted five nominees within each category.

The Unsigned Music Awards are now open to applicants for their 16 categories; including Best Live Act, Best Produced/Engineered Unsigned Record and others up for grabs.

The voting panel are from a mixture of backgrounds in the industry including major label A&R managers, Grammy Award-Winning Record Producers, BBC Introducing presenters, PR and Advertising Executives, Artist Managers, Tour Managers etc, with a handful of influential music writers and journalists to bring the brand to the public. The main event will be televised in London on Wednesday 17th February 2016. This will be broadcast on the largest student channel, SubTv, which has 1.8 million viewers, as well as a new Sky channel and are currently in talks with two of the largest online content streaming providers.

Amongst the presentations, the guests were treated to some brilliant music by a few of these notable unsigned artists. One in-particular got the writer’s attention, Half Crown. Now when they started performing their sound had a good indie/rock vibe… what wasn’t expected was the front man, Louie Syred, started to rap! And it worked amazingly well. Admittedly hadn’t heard of them prior to this, these guys have something different and unique. The stage presence they give off is truly special and these guys have huge potential to be very successful. The writer would definitely go and see these guys at a full-on gig. Definitely left a lot of the audience wanting more after just three songs! Check out these guys on the usual social media channels and their website: http://www.halfcrownband.com – They are also nice guys to talk to as well!

It is an exciting time for these awards; the team are aiming for this to be as big as the Brits, the MOBOs etc. It is now time for the unsigned scene to be recognised on a national and international level. And the three founders behind it, Simon, Georgina and Ben, have the passion, industry knowledge and drive to make this happen along with their team and support they currently have and consistently gaining throughout the music world. Watch this space!

For more details please see their website: http://theunsignedmusicawards.com/