Quenched Unsigned caught up with our partners Live and Unsigned UK to find out what makes it some popular the man at the head of it all Chris Grayston had this to say
1) Firstly thank you for your time what do you think makes Live and Unsigned such a successful competition?
Live and Unsigned is different because it’s all based on Live performance and originality. Everyone who auditions brings their own material which is another reason why it’s unique – it’s all about fresh, original talent. It’s a great platform for any artist to get recognised. The shows are held in some of the best venues in the country including The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the NEC and there are some fantastic industry judges that get involved. Last year Noddy Holder, Radio 1’s Ras Kwame and Kerrang’s Alex Baker were on the panel and this year Radio 1’s Tom Deacon and TV presenter Terry Christian have already confirmed to judge. Not only is the Grand Final at the 02 in London, but there are lots of prizes up for grabs including a world tour, festival slots, equipment and a recording contract. So it’s all to play for.
2) What does the Live and Unsigned Competition try to achieve?
The whole point of Live and Unsigned is to be a platform for unsigned artists to showcase their music. It is a vehicle for discovering new acts and for launching them. The competition aim is to find potential recording artists. Live and Unsigned is dedicated to developing musicians and we offer lots of development ideas including master classes with ICMP.
3) How does the voting system work?
At auditions the judging is done by the judging panel. At the live shows acts that are in the top judges scores will automatically progress. Those acts not in the highest Judges scores will be eliminated automatically. But for the remaining acts their Judges scores will be ranked and added to audience voting and the acts with the combined highest ranking from audience and Judges votes will progress to the Grand Final.
4) Depending on trends is there always one genre that does better than another?
No – the competition is open to all genres and we see a real diversity in all the acts that take part. Last year there were a lot of rock bands and alternative groups from folk to electro. But the judges that take part in the competition are from different genres in the industry so the competition is fairly open.
5) What makes Live and Unsigned so popular?
It’s original. Bands and acts get to showcase their own music to not only thousands of people but to fantastic industry judges. They also get to perform in some amazing venues and the competition is designed to give them experience and to build on their fan base and to meet industry insiders.
6) Has there ever been a musician who has taken part not won and still been successful?
Everyone who takes part gains something from the competition whether that be experience, press coverage or prizes. Winners have gone on to achieve Vodafone awards and break into the UK top 30 chart so have done very well.
7) Who has been your favourite act to date that you have seen?
Probably B-Kay & Kazz that made UK top 30 and Kiddo 360. Also a young girl Lush who is getting massive in Asia
Which other organisations sponsor Live and Unsigned?
We are self funded but have partners throughout the competition that can all be seen on the website. Music Radar, MUZU TV and ICMP are main sponsors for 2011 last year we had Marshall.
9) What is the main plus for musicians entering this competition?
They get to expose their music to thousands of people. They get to play at venues they wouldn’t normally have access to like the NEC, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. They get to play to Judges they wouldn’t normally have access to. They get to compete for a host of prizes including a recording contract and world tour! Competing acts will have the chance to play at a leading music venue in Dublin as well as playing at Tour Music Fest in Rome’s Piper Club where artists like David Bowie, the Beatles and Pink Floyd have all performed. I Rock, Asia’s biggest Rock festival, will be awarding an act with a slot on their main stage and entrants will also have the opportunity to play in Australia at The National Theatre, Melbourne and perform in the US – a once in a lifetime opportunity for any aspiring musician.
10)What are the future aims of Live and Unsigned
To progress the Grand Final into the 02 Arena and to break an artist into the industry.
A massive thanks to Live and Unsigned to find out more about what they do check out: http://www.liveandunsigned.uk.com/