Salute Music Makers, the innovative new music talent platform aiming to empower UK grassroots songwriters , has now finalised its expert panel of curators. The panel, made up of key music experts (listed below), will join the legendary Feargal Sharkey who spearheaded the launch in April 2017 and will be responsible for judging and evaluating all applicants, thereby narrowing down the vast talent pool to a top 100 who will then compete for the £50,000 prize.
The panel of curators made up primarily of legendary producers and songwriters have been working with Salute Music Makers to define a creative vision that will allow all entrants to be judged on a uniform criteria irrespective of their music genre hence breaking free of existing music talent searches that have merely become TV formats rather than an expression of what real musicians across the UK are truly creating.
The panel of curators are as follows:
Kwame Kwaten: Record producer, manager (Laura Mvula) and music industry veteran. Having produced/remixed classic pop hits like ‘Wishing On A Star’ for Jay Z, and ‘You Might Need Somebody’ for Shola Ama, as well as artists including SEAL, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger and The Lighthouse Family, Kwame’s experience and portfolio puts him at the top of the UK’s music business experts.
Dee Adam: Producer/Songwriter having written and produced for Dido, Newton Faulkner, Conor Maynard, Melanie C, Alexandra Burke and MJ Cole amongst others. As well as working with established and recently signed acts, Dee finds raw talent, contributing towards their first record and is currently developing UK artist 'Reigns' who is signed to Dee's production label.
Ras Kwame: Musician, producer, Radio DJ and presenter. Ras began his career as a hip-hop, R&B and reggae DJ, before working with iconic acts such as Wu Tang Clan, Public Enemy and The Fugees. Kwame joined BBC Radio 1Xtra when it launched in 2002 and was later voted ‘Best Radio DJ’ at the Urban Music Awards in 2004.
Jonathan Quarmby: Grammy, Brit and Mercury Music Prize winning producer and songwriter (James Arthur, Benjamin Clementine, Plan B). In 2004, he started ground breaking distributer AWAL. He sold this business in 2014 and went back to song writing and producing.
Chris Tofu: World renowned DJ and the programmer and director of thousands of events and artists in some of the most legendary clubs and festival stages at Glastonbury, Bestival, Wilderness, Latitude, Boomtown and many more. Chris has curated acts from heavy metal through to world music and even spoken word.
Fiona Bevan: Multi-platinum selling songwriter for One Direction’s ‘Little Things’ alongside Ed Sheeran. Also a singer, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and arranger in her own right, she is currently writing for James Morrison, Mika, Aurora and multi platinum selling producer, Her0ism, amongst many others.
With the likes of Kwame Kwaten , Ras Kwame and Chris Tofu the panel have members that straddle both broadcast and production , understanding how music is created and then how music is fully appreciated by the general public. Add to these, luminaries such as Fiona Bevan, Dee Adam and Jonathan Quarmby, who combine elements of the aforementioned experiences as well as a history of song-writing credits and it is clear that the talent pool will be judged in a truly independent manner and with all aspects of their song creation taken into account. This carefully selected team will be judging Salute Music Makers’ applicants based on three areas: Lyrics (45%), melody (45% - 90% if instrumental) and creativity (10% - production, mastering and composition).
Kwame Kwaten told us ‘It’s great to be able to give new artists a chance to showcase their writing talent – I have always championed the business side or behind the scenes end of the music industry whether it’s teaching at the annual Ultimate Seminar or innovative platforms like this. It’s great to challenge the industry’s current search platforms with a new way of finding talent.’
Feargal Sharkey added that: ‘Salute are delighted to have such a diverse and respected team at the helm of the competition when it comes to judging and evaluating our aspiring music makers. From their experience in the industry, these guys know exactly what it takes to become a successful musician and what makes a great song – they’ll be keeping an eagle-eyed lookout for that little glimmer in our songwriters that proves they have the potential to go all the way and with our support, we’ll make sure that they do.’
Since launching in April 2017, to a frenzy of media interest, Salute Music Makers has been at the forefront of discovering new talent and building strong relationships with notable music related platforms, such as GRM Daily, UNILAD, The Unsigned Music Awards and ReverbNation to help build new opportunities for grassroots UK talent, and the announcement of the curation panel brings the culmination of a winner one step closer.
Entrants to the Salute Music Makers competition stand the chance of winning £50,000 in cash, while the other five shortlisted finalists will each receive a £10,000 cash prize, no strings attached.The Salute competition reflects the dramatic changes in the way new music is written, recorded and shared. Recent advancements in music technology enable music makers to create music almost anytime, anywhere and the quality of organic, original music emerging from home studios has never been higher and is constantly evolving. Now is the perfect time to provide a platform for this talent by launching a competition that salutes the DIY generation of music makers.
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