Aussies win in USA’s ‘Unsigned Only’ competition
Australians acts scored well in the US-based international Unsigned Only competition, with one First Place, two Second Places and numerous Honorable Mentions. The competition is open to artists not with major labels.
Taking out First Place in the Teen category with her song Move was 17-year-old Lili Kendall from Brisbane. The win comes after performances in Los Angeles and at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Move was released in Australia last October and got radio airplay in the United States where it also got a sync deal for a New York ad. This year she’s released a single each month, the latest being the track Run.
Move also got Kendall an Honorary Mention in Pop/Top 40, as did Melbourne’s Akira, Brisbane’s Fieu and Sydney’s Ginger And The Ghost.
20-year old Sydney jazz singer Liam Burrows won Second Place in Vocal Performance. A finalist on Australia’s Got Talent, whose audition got nearly two million views on YouTube, he played the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, won Best Jazz Artist at the MusicOz Awards, and was a recipient of a MO Award for live performance.
Another Second Place winner was 21-year-old Melbourne singer-songwriter Gena Rose Bruce for her song Jackson. Bruce has made inroads in the US country scene, last year performing in Nashville clubs while in the city to do co-writes with Nashville musicians Kim Richie and Neilson Hubbard.
Other Honourable Mentions went to Sydney’s Alex Hahn & The Blue Riders, Sydney’s Sophie Hanlon (Vocal Performance); Sydney’s Kid Zeus, the Gold Coast’s Talltails and Melbourne’s Veludo (Rock); the Gold Coast’s Straalen (Teen); Darwin’s Worldfly (Adult Contemporary); Kingscliff, NSW’s Casey Barnes (Country); and Sydney’s The Never Ever (Adult Album Alternative).
Competition co-founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan said, “We are very pleased that these young artists fared so well in the competition, although it is certainly no surprise to us. The depth and diversity of talent coming from Australia is exceptionally high, and it continues to set the bar for the competition. We are looking forward to hearing next year’s Aussie entrants.”
Judges included John Oates of Hall & Oates, 3 Doors Down, Neon Trees, Rosanne Cash, Delbert McClinton, Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Of Monsters and Men, Black Francis of The Pixies, G. Love and Alt-J.