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Saturday, 5 November 2016

MUSIC | The Unsigned Music Awards

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Unsigned Music Awards at The Troxy, London.

The event - presented by Laura Whitmore & Chris Stark - was all about celebrating the talent of unsigned artists and musicians. On the night, 16 awards were presented to unsigned artists, with all shortlisters for each category chosen by a judging panel made up of over 80 experts from the music industry.

I'm very passionate about supporting local and unsigned music, I'll happily spend most weekends at a local venue checking out new music and showing my support, so I was so glad to attend the UMA's on behalf of Invicta Mag

My professional review will be up on the website soon - and once it is, I'll link to it here, but I thought it would be nice to write a sum up of what the evening involved here too.  

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | The Unsigned Music Awards | UMAs

Upon arrival, I met up with Nici - who also contributes to Invicta Magazine - and her friend and fellow blogger, Mel. They're both very talented ladies by the way, so do check out their work!

We immediately bonded over our love of music, our excitement for the night and, er, how hungry we were seeing all the nominees enjoying their meal!

The evening kicked off with an amazing performance by Skies, before Laura Whitmore & Chris Stark. I've become a fan of Laura since watching her on Strictly Come Dancing, so I was pleased to learn she was just as charismatic in real life.

The award process was exciting. Even though I had a numb bum by the end of it all, the announcements were broken up with fun performances by different artists, more information about each award and a speech or two by professionals from the music industry.

What I loved was that there was a wide variety of awards and they didn't just stick to rock music - there were awards for artists who create folk, electronic/dance and urban music too.

Overall, though, my favourite part of the evening was just celebrating so much unsigned talent. Of course I don't know first hand how bands have it, but I do imagine it must be hard to get yourself recognised out there with social media overtaking word-of-mouth and new campaigns popping up all the time.

It's not easy, and what I do know is how hard it is for consumers and music fans to get into new music and hear about these unsigned bands. Of course, once you're on the scene of going to gigs regularly it can be easier, but there's still times now when I'll be wanting to go to a local gig but don't know of anyone playing, or wanting to discover new music but not knowing where to start.

So from that side of things, I can entirely understand just how important it is to recognise unsigned talent and how beneficial events like the UMAs can be.

I discovered so much great new music during the evening and left with a long list of artists I want to listen to more. I also loved the performances, my favourites were those by Elle Exxe, Chasing Cadence and Broken Witt Rebels.

The evening concluded with an after party, which was really just a chance to mingle more and mingle we did. I couldn't stay too long as I had to catch my last train, but I met a few people, gratefully accepted some free win nearly forced upon me by one third of Tiny Folds (very kind of him!) and enjoyed the atmosphere before I had to go.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Overall, it was an amazing evening. Do you support local or unsigned music? Let me know with a comment below! 

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