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Unsigned Only Announces 2018 Judges

Are you an indie artist? Are you doing it yourself without the backing of a major record label? If you believe in yourself and know your value as an artist, then you need to be proactive and take advantage of opportunities that can help to benefit you and promote your career. Be in charge of your future. It is up to you.

Unsigned Only is designed for all indie artists (including solo artists, bands, and singers) who are unsigned to a major record label. Why does Unsigned Only include only unsigned artists? It’s simple. Limiting the competition to unsigned artists levels the playing field for entrants because they are not competing with well-known artists, Grammy winners, or artists with a major label machine behind them. The goal is to give indie artists exposure, recognition, and validation for their artistry. Unsigned Only is the premier music competition in the world for indie and unsigned artists.

The Grand Prize winner is awarded $20,000 USD in cash (plus additional prizes) and one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to directly network with the top record company professionals and get advice, guidance, feedback, and networking opportunities. Prizes are also awarded to First and Second Place winners in each category. Judges include high-profile recording artists, journalists, talent buyers, and artist managers.

Categories include AAA (Adult Album Alternative), AC (Adult Contemporary), Americana, Christian, Country, EDM, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, R&B/Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop/Top 40, Screen Shot (songs suitable for placement in film/TV/advertising/gaming); Teen (artists 18 years old or younger) and Vocal Performance. Unsigned Only accepts original and cover songs in all categories except Screen Shot which requires original music.

Unsigned Only is sponsored by: Berklee College Of Music; Celebrity Access; D’Addario; Disc Makers; Eventide; Eventric; Hybrid Studio; Groove 3; Lurssen Mastering; Magix; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Radio Airplay; PRA Audio Systems; Pro Tour Nutrition; Shure; Symphonic Distribution; The Music Business Registry; and Vocal Eze.


Aimee Mann

David Crowder



Frank Foster

Melanie Fiona

Lydia Loveless

Aaron Shust

Jack Ingram

KT Tunstall


Josh Jackson
Paste Magazine

Jeanette Kats

Jed Gottlieb
Music Writer
Boston Herald

Caine O’Rear
American Songwriter

Michael Molenda
Guitar Player

John Dibiase
Jesus Freak Hideout

Hardeep Phull
Music Editor
NY Post

Brandon Chitwood
Assistant Director

Eric Rushing
Senior Talent Buyer
Live Nation

David Silbaugh
Talent Buyer

Barbara Rose
Artist Manager
Primary Wave /
Barbara Rose Ent.

Matt Maher
Artist Manager
ROAR Management

Brinson Strickland
Collective Music Nashville

Nick Hartley
Artist Manager
The Fitzgerald-Hartley Company

Sheryl Louis
Artist Manager
CSM Management

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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