Musical contests and competitions, especially ones that thrive on popularity and poorly judged, are never my cup of tea. And for a time being I also lost faith in any local award giving body greatly attributed to the politics and popularity involved.
Gone are the days when local radio and record label A&Rs are kings and arbiters of taste, playing and recommending only the good stuff. I also notice the lack of hard knock, reliable music critics in the industry. A lot of writers fall into the danger of making subjective reviews. And nobody cares to write any disparaging remarks to those who deserve it, hence giving amateur and sloppy releases a time to shine and feeding the public with as much garbage as possible. (As the old Pinoy adage goes “May pera sa basura”). The music scene is very small to gain enemies especially when everyone knows and tolerates each other. Commercial music is by far the worst in the past few years.
While observing the decline of traditional music industry and evaluating opportunities thoroughly, I found the Internet as my refuge. New artists that crop up nowadays should be smart, think like a businessman and be objective. There are a number of honest and legitimate music services online to help an artist advance his career or even kick-start a project. A lot of them I have tried except for one area – contests and competition.
Last December, out of curiosity, I submitted an entry for the 2010 International Songwriting Competition. ISC has been around for 10 years, backed by prominent music related organizations, and make use of established artists and industry professionals as judges. Just imagining the prospect of my song having this chance (however slim) to be heard by Robert Smith (The Cure), Jeff Beck, Regina Spektor, Ben Folds, Black Francis (The Pixies), and other great artists plus presidents and founders of international music labels and organizations is enough to pique my interest.
Though I didn’t make it to the finals, I’m still happy to be selected as a semi-finalist in the “Folk/Singer-Songwriter Category” for my entry “Bread And Circuses“. For a low fee and an underdog like myself, being included in a list like that is something of value.
“Although the song was not selected as a finalist, because of the increased competitiveness this year, the status of semi-finalist is an exceptionally noteworthy achievement.” – mentioned Candace Avery (founder of ISC) in her e-mail to me.
You can check out the list of semi-finalists at http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/semi-finalists.html and the song I entered below:
Bread and Circuses – The Camerawalls
My curiosity killed some remaining doubts for the direction I’m taking for Lilystars Records and The Camerawalls and how musicians in the Philippines can globally excel if they will choose not to succumb to the current commercial trends.
Related News: ISC Names Clementine As A Semi-Finalist