NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 10, 2015 –The Unsigned Only Music Competition, geared toward musical artists who are unsigned to a major record label or its affiliates, announced its 2015 winners today. The competition recognizes the best in up-and-coming artists worldwide and acts as a benchmark for excellence in contemporary music. The 2015 1st place prize in the “Country” category of the “Unsigned Only” Music Competition is awarded to Nicole Unser for her original song “Smokin”. A remarkable achievement, “Smokin” was selected from 7,000 entries from over 100 countries worldwide.
The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding performer: the “gem” that needs to be discovered. UO is looking for the total package; and they’ve found just that in Nicole Unser.
First place winner in the “Country” category, Nicole Unser, teamed up with fellow co-writer Tyler Jordan to write this vivid and cautionary tale of the tangled web of love and war. Nicole is the 2012 Texaco Country Showdown New Mexico state champion, and has performed at legendary venues such as the Ryman Auditorium and Bluebird Café in Nashville TN.
“I was pulling into the parking lot of my doctor’s office when I got the news. I excitedly scooted inside and as they took my vitals my doctor asked, ‘Are you anxious about anything?’ I said, ‘No. Excited! I just found out I took first place in the Unsigned Only Music Competition!” Nicole delightfully replies in response to the news. Nicole adds, “I had to put the entry fee for the contest on my credit card. I’d say the investment definitely had a fantastic return!”
A faith-filled storyteller, Nicole writes about the goodness the Lord has shown her, as well as the depths of darkness he’s brought her out of. “Some people have said to me, if you’re a Christian how come you sing about things like lyin’ and smokin’ and drinkin’? The answer is that this is my story and I’ve got to tell it, all of it, not just the pretty stuff. But please don’t misunderstand me, the morale to the story my friends is, don’t do it, it doesn’t work!” Some of Unser’s songs resonate with the sweet sound of Sunday morning, while others are more like eavesdropping on a Tuesday night AA meeting. “Goosebumps. Tears. Conviction. Happiness. Sorrow. These are all welcome responses as far as I’m concerned because it means I’m successfully connecting with people. Above all, what I hope to bring people is just that, HOPE! Winning the 2015 UOMC gives me the confirmation that I am indeed connecting with people on a deep level and encourages me to push past any fear or doubt that tries to keep me from fulfilling this calling on my life. I’m beyond thrilled, and yet extremely humbled by this moment! It won’t be soon forgotten.”
This competition offers great prizes, including a $1,000 cash prize, as well as recognition, exposure, and the chance to be heard by a group of judges consisting of high-profile recording artists and industry professionals.
The judging panel, whose responsibility is to select the winners, includes: Aimee Mann; Dustin Lynch; The Killers; David Crowder;Robert Smith (The Cure); Ray Wylie Hubbard; Aaron Shust; Lucero;Kelly Price; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Rapsody; Kool And The Gang;Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Shirley Halperin (Music Editor, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter); Hardeep Phull(Music Critic, New York Post), and many more.
Unsigned Only is sponsored by: Sony Creative Software, Gretsch Drums, ADK Microphones, Guitar Center, D'Addario, Disc Makers, Ultimate Ears, Lurssen Mastering, Eventric, Bombplates, and The Music Business Registry.