Unsigned Only is a unique new international music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints.
Unsigned Only is not a songwriting competition; instead, it is a music competition with the goal of finding an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist…a newcomer or veteran…raw or unpolished – the diamond in the rough that needs to be discovered. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package.
Yes, the competition offers great prizes, recognition, exposure, and the chance to be heard by a group of judges consisting of high–profile recording artists and industry professionals. But, Unsigned Only also takes it a step further and puts the Grand Prize winner in direct, personal contact with the influential record label executives who are the ultimate decision–makers. For the first time ever, a music competition offers the Grand Prize winner the unprecedented opportunity to be mentored by a group of record company presidents, A&R reps, and more. This is a once–in–a–lifetime chance to directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
Categories include: AAA (Adult Album Alternative; AC (Adult Contemporary); Christian; Country; Folk/Singer–Songwriter; R&B/Hip–Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; and Vocal Performance.
Judging Criteria: originality, songwriting, vocals, performance, and overall likeability.
All entries must be original music except for the Vocal Performance category which accepts original or cover songs. Judging criteria in the Vocal Performance category will be based solely on the quality of the vocals. So, if you’re an artist and you don’t write your own songs – or if you do write your own songs and want to show off your singing – this is the category for you.
Judges include: Cyndi Lauper; Kenny Rogers; Angie Stone; 3 Doors Down; Jeremy Camp; Charlie Daniels; Manchester Orchestra; Craig Morgan; Robert Smith (The Cure); Kelly Clarkson; Musiq Soulchild; Aaron Shust; Steve Lillywhite (Producer); G. Love; Matt and Kim; St. Vincent; The Mountain Goats; Josh Jackson (Co–Founder and Editor–In–Chief, Paste Magazine); and Scott Lapatine (Founder/Editor–In–Chief, Stereogum).
Mentors include a group of high–profile record company executives, including Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic); Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); Jason Geter (President, Grand Hustle Records); David Wolter (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records); Josh Bailey (Sr. VP of A&R, Word Label Group); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, RCA Records); David Wilkes (VP of A&R, eOne Music); Pete Giberga (Head of A&R, Razor & Tie Records); and Jason McArthur (VP A&R, Provident Label Group).