Unsigned Only Winners Crowned
The Grand Prize, Unsigned Only's highest honor, goes to San Francisco, CA artist Lara Johnston with the song, "K.I.S.S." Johnston was the highest scoring artist overall in the competition and a favorite among the judges. Upon learning the news, she stated, "The Unsigned Only Competition presents truly unique, hands-on opportunities for an undiscovered artist like myself, and I'm beyond honored and excited to be recognized as their first Grand Prize winner!"
What makes Lara Johnston so captivating, aside from her girl-next-door beauty, is her powerful voice, dynamic stage presence, creative spirit, and great songwriting. Only 22 years old, she has shared the bill with such acts as Willie Nelson, Huey Lewis and the News, Journey, Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, Don Henley, rapper J. Dash, and many others. Over the past three years she has toured throughout the world, writing and co-writing songs in LA, London, and Nashville, and balancing her career pursuits with her time as a student at USC's Thornton School of Music. This summer, Lara is touring locally, collaborating as a writer and singer with multiple producers, and putting the final touches on her debut album.
Launched only a year ago and judged by a roster of celebrity notables such as Cyndi Lauper, 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Rogers, St. Vincent, and many more, Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label. With 36% of the entrants and 47% of the winners coming from outside the USA, Unsigned Only has quickly established itself as the international music competition for unsigned artists.
Unsigned Only's goal is to find outstanding, talented artists: newcomers or veterans... raw or polished... the "gems" that need to be discovered. Candace Avery and Jim Morgan, the founders and directors of Unsigned Only, emphasize that what is different about Unsigned Only is the mentoring component. "The Grand Prize winner will be mentored by a group of upper echelon music industry executives, ranging from label presidents to heads of A&R. Because these industry pros are typically hard to reach, this is a rare opportunity for an artist. Gaining access to them for guidance on a one-to-one basis could be a career changer, and we are pleased to offer the opportunity to this year's Grand Prize winner, Lara Johnston. She is an exciting artist with a great future."
In addition to the Grand Prize winner, many other deserving artists are winners in their respective categories. With a total of nine categories and First and Second Place in each (along with a list of Honorable Mentions), Unsigned Only covers all genres of commercial contemporary music, including: Adult Album Alternative (AAA); Adult Contemporary (AC); Christian; Country; Folk/Singer-Songwriter; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; and Vocal Performance.
2012 Judges include: 3 Doors Down; Kelly Clarkson; Robert Smith (The Cure); Kenny Rogers; Jeremy Camp; Musiq Soulchild; St. Vincent; Manchester Orchestra; Angie Stone; G. Love; Craig Morgan; Aaron Shust; Charlie Daniels; Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Matt and Kim; Cyndi Lauper; The Mountain Goats; Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine) and Scott Lapatine (Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Stereogum.
2012 Mentors include: Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic); Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); David Wolter (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, J Records); David Wilkes (VP of A&R, eOne Music); Pete Giberga (Head of A&R, Razor & Tie Records); and Jason Geter (President, Grand Hustle Records).
Unsigned is now accepting entries for 2013. Many new judges will be added, as well as a new Teen category for artists 18 years old and younger. Information on how to enter can be found at www.unsignedonly.com.
The complete list of 2012 Unsigned Only winners is below:
Lara Johnston - San Francisco, CA, USA - "K.I.S.S."
AAA (ADULT ALBUM ALTERNATIVE)
Jacob Butler - Melbourne, VIC, Australia - "Mind Waltz"
Village (AKA The Village Musicians) - Yakima, WA, USA - "All This Time"
Jen Foster - Nashville, TN, USA - "Venice Beach"
Jonell Mosser - Nashville, TN, USA - "Come On Home To Me"
Kelsy Davis Radical Soul - Atlanta, GA, USA - "No Grudge (Classic)"
Lee'Mon - Albury, NSW, Australia - "Land On The Moon"
Matthew Curry & The Fury - Normal, IL, USA - "Blinded By The Darkness"
Oh Village - Abbotsford, BC, Canada - "Red Death"
OTiS - Brooklyn, NY, USA - "Making Love Easy"
Skipping Girl Vinegar - Melbourne, VIV, Australia - "You Can"
Tommy Indian - Prague, Czech Republic - "Slow Slow Slow"
ADULT CONTEMPORARY (AC)
The Franklin Electric - Montreal, QC, Canada - "Old Piano"
Kate Vigo - Melbourne, VIC, Australia - "Wanna Run"
Amoric - Burgas, Bulgaria - "Symphony"
Benjamin Dunn & Friends - Santa Cruz, CA, USA - "Circus Of Love"
Jen Foster - Nashville, TN, USA - "There For You"
Jessica Beach - Vancouver, BC, Canada - "Warning Signs"
Lucio Rubino - St. Augustine, FL, USA - "Fallin' From The Start"
Tiki Taane - Waitakere, New Zealand - "My Lion (RWC Remix)"
Worldfly - Darwin, NT, Australia - "A Small Boat"
The Amorous - Clarksburg, WV, USA - "Here It Goes"
AMP - Burtonsville, MD, USA - "Shine"
Alathea - Unicoi, TX, USA - "The River"
American Swim Lesson - Saratoga Springs, NY, USA - "Lovers"
Anna Weatherup - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Miracle"
Dan Bremnes - Kelowna, BC, Canada - "Beautiful"
David Upton - Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA - "Unshackled"
Nathan Ironside & The Stirring - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Born To Worship"
The Amorous - Clarksburg, WV, USA - "Free"
The Classic City Collective - Athens, GA, USA - "God On High"
Molly Hunt - Franklin, TN, USA - "He Only Broke My Heart"
Burly Clyde - Nashville, TN, USA - "Enjoying The Ride"
Brandon Lepere - Seabrook, NH, USA - "She Drives Me Country"
Brantley - East Dublin, GA, USA - "Plainville"
Brantley - East Dublin, GA, USA - "Country Life"
Bryce Hitchcock - Franklin, TN, USA - "Fortune Cookie"
Chance Cody & Spur 503 - Denison, TX, USA - "You Can't Argue With That"
Codie Prevost - Saskatoon, SK, Canada - "Rolling Back To You"
Jaylene Johnson - Winnipeg, MB, Canada - "When It All Goes South"
Kenny Scharlatt - Marshalls Creek, PA, USA - "Lie"
Memphis High - Memphis, TN, USA - "Pistol Heart"
Michael Whitworth - Athens, GA, USA - "Just As Surprised As You"
Timothy Nelson & The Infidels - Perth, WA, USA - "Let Her Go"
Ed Romanoff - Brooklyn, NY, USA - "I Must Have Done Something Right"
Andy Brown - Fredericton, NB, Canada - "Ashes"
Ben Glover - Belfast, Ireland - "Memo"
Jesse Terry - Mamaroneck, NY, USA - "Let The Blue Skies Go To Your Head"
Keith Moody - Spring Hill, TN, USA - "One Big Ending"
Luke O'Shea - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "How Well Have You Loved?"
Markus Rill - Munich, Germany - "The Kid From Tupelo"
Paul Creane & The Changing Band - Wexford, Ireland - "All For You Baby"
SJ - Miami Beach, FL, USA - "I Like You"
The Robbie Boyd Band - London, England - "I Won't Let You Go"
Tony Villiers - Armagh, Northern Ireland - "Radio"
Laura Steel - London, England - "Kriminal"
KK Holliday - Kingston, Jamaica - "Shugga Daddy"
Adam Katz - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Adore Ya"
Chinkie Brown - Atlanta, GA, USA - "Human Nature"
Juliette Ashby - London, England - "Bounce Right Back"
Kuba Oms - Vancouver, BC, Canada - "Electrolove"
Ladi6 - Christchurch, New Zealand - "Like Water"
Michael And Marisa - Boston, MA, USA - "You Feel Like Saturday"
Radio INK - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Who We Are Tonight"
Vice Vega - Saint Louis, MO, USA - "Lose Your Mind"
Young Clipp - North Hollywood, CA, USA - "So High"
Juliette Ashby - London, England - "Crazy"
CWolfe - Santa Monica, CA, USA - "Sophisto Black Negro"
Flight School - Fuegen, Austria - "Let Me Go"
Fore - Zimbabwe - "C'est Pas Bon"
Gyles - Toronto, ON, Canada - "On One Knee"
Illin' P - Cambridge, MA, USA - "The Pick Up Problem"
Irrelevent - Dallas, TX, USA - "Cookie Cutter Club Banger"
Lady Bonsai - Buenos Aires, Argentina - "Drama Queen"
LaJon - Atlanta, GA, USA - "Try Me"
Santino Noir - Toms River, NJ, USA - "Break You Down"
T. One - Miami, FL, USA - "Gone Too Long (Ft. Leiah)"
Tasha Taylor - North Hollywood, CA, USA - "Queen"
The Family Crest - San Francisco, CA, USA - "North"
Golden State - Los Angeles, CA, USA - "Bombs"
Everybody Else - Los Angeles, CA, USA - "First Class"
Hug The Dog - Dublin, NH, USA - "Painted Faces"
Hunting Grounds - Ballarat, VIC, Australia - "In Colour"
StereonoiZ - Lima, Peru - "Painted Faces"
Stone Parade - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Paranoia"
The Trews - Antigonish, NS, Canada - "Hope & Ruin"
UNITE IT - Moscow, Russia - "Turn Off The Light"
V For Volume - Bogota, Colombia - "Cheap Universe"
Ms. Monet - Sylmar, CA, USA - "At This Moment"
Liam Burrows - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "I Could Write A Book"
Alexandria Maillot - Vancouver, BC, Canada - "Be My Love"
Anna Weatherup - Sydney, NSW, Australia - "Wade In The Water"
Gabrielle Sterbenz - Huntington, NY, USA - "Don't Think Twice It's Alright"
Jasmine Thompson - London, England - "Safe And Sound"
Kelsy Davis Radical Soul - Atlanta, GA, USA - "Special (Ain't I?)"
Schascle - Saddle River, NJ, USA - "Justice"
Tasha Taylor - North Hollywood, CA, USA - "I Got Love"
Tiffany Desrosiers - Langley, BC, Canada - "Like I Would For You"
Lucio Rubino - St. Augustine, FL, USA - "Fallin' From The Start"
For a complete list of Unsigned Only winners and to hear the winning songs, go to http://www.unsignedonly.com/winners