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Canadian Teen Faouzia Wins Grand Prize in 2017 Unsigned Only Music Competition

Canadian Teen Faouzia Wins Grand Prize in 2017 Unsigned Only Music Competition

Judges Include: Aimee Mann, The Killers, MercyMe, O.A.R., Phantogram, and More

September 7, 2017 – The winners of the US-based Unsigned Only Music Competition were announced today. Since the competition’s inception in 2012, Unsigned Only has become an important source for discovering new talent and acts as a benchmark for excellence in the arena of contemporary music. Selected from 6,000 entries from almost 100 countries, the winners share in over $150,000 in cash and prizes split among 28 winners. Unsigned Only is open to all artists who are unsigned to a major record label.

All entries are narrowed down to a group of finalists that are given to the panel of judges whose task is to select the winners. The panel is comprised of renowned recording artists, music journalists, and music supervisors, including such celebrities as: Aimee Mann, MercyMe, The Killers, O.A.R., Phantogram, Montgomery Gentry, David Crowder, Delbert McClinton, and many more.

The overall 2017 Grand Prize is awarded to the 17 year-old Canadian artist Faouzia. This is the first time a teen has won the overall Grand Prize since the competition launched six years ago. Her song "Knock On My Door" was the overwhelming favorite with the judges who were enamored with her vocal prowess and original pop sensibility. In addition to winning $20,000 in cash (US) and much more in prizes, Faouzia also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper echelon music industry executives from Atlantic, Razor & Tie, Sony Music Nashville, Island, and more. 

Faouzia is also the First Place winner in the Teen category and is awarded a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music’s 5-week Summer Performance program as one of the prizes for winning this category.

“I am so thankful for this opportunity and the doors that it will open in the future,” said Faouzia upon winning the 2017 Unsigned Only Grand Prize. “Receiving approbation in such a prestigious competition brings a sense of honour and happiness that can't fully be put into words. This only pushes me to work harder to achieve goals that seem unattainable but can be achieved with perseverance."

Born in Morocco and raised in the rural town of Carman, MB, Canada, Faouzia may be a new artist on the scene, but she is astounding audiences and critics alike. Growing up in a French and Arabic-speaking household, Faouzia started making music at a very young age in the basement of her home and then graduated to singing covers and putting them on YouTube (her cover of Adele’s “Hello” is impressive). Putting her poetry to music was the next step, and her original songs began to take form. Her extreme vocal range and tone, coupled with songwriting that is mature, commanding, and inventive, is positioning her as a pop powerhouse. She is currently working on her debut EP that will be released soon.

“If there is one thing that we have learned over the years it’s that there is such an incredible wealth of talent in the world,” said Founders/Directors Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. “This is best highlighted by this year’s Grand Prize winner, Faouzia, who at only 17 years old is one of the most stunning vocalists and artists that we have come across in a long time. This is just the beginning of what is to come for this young, talented artist, and we are very excited to be a part of her journey.”

2017 judges include: Aaron Shust; Aimee Mann; David Crowder; Delbert McClinton; Excision; Frank Foster; Jack Ingram; Lucero; Lydia Loveless; Melanie Fiona; MercyMe; Montgomery Gentry; O.A.R.; Phantogram; The Killers; Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Zach Long (Associate Editor, Time Out Chicago); Caine O’Rear (Editor-In-Chief, American Songwriter); Michael Molenda (Editor-In-Chief, Guitar Player); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Jed Gottlieb (Music & Theater Writer, Boston Herald); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Suzanne Cadgene (Publisher, Elmore Magazine); Sarah Jones (Editor, Electronic Musician Magazine); and many more. 

Mentors include: Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); Nick Haussling (Sr. Director of A&R, Razor & Tie); Taylor Lindsey (Sr. Director, A&R, Sony Music Nashville); Jeffrey Sledge (VP of A&R, Atlantic Records); Matt D’Arduini (VP of A&R, Island Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment); and Riggs Morales (VP A&R & Artist Development, Atlantic Records).

Unsigned Only is sponsored by: Berklee College Of Music; Celebrity Access; D’Addario; D'Angelico Guitars; Disc Makers; Eventric; Eventide; Groove 3; Lurssen Mastering; Magix; Merch Cat; Musicians Institute; PRA Audio Systems; Radio Airplay; Shure; Symphonic Distribution; The Music Business Registry; Valve Industries; and VOX.

For more information, please contact Candace Avery at 615.251.4441 or press@unsignedonly.com.

Submissions for the 2018 competition are currently open. Entry information can be found at https://www.unsignedonly.com

Other winners include:
Adult Album Alternative (AAA)
First Place: Megan Slankard (San Francisco, CA, USA) – “Cold Hard Sharp Dark”
Second Place: Danny Starr (London, England) – “Elixir”

Adult Contemporary (AC)
First Place: Daphne Willis (Nashville, TN, USA) – “Somebody's Someone”
Second Place: Matt Epp (Owen Sound, ON, Canada) – “The Sound”

First Place: Grace Askew (Memphis, TN, USA) – “Yours”
Second Place: Dale Boyle (Montreal, QC, Canada) – “Gasoline”

First Place: Jordan St.Cyr (Niverville, MB, Canada) – “In My Lifetime”
Second Place: Emma Mullings (Sydney, NSW, Australia) – "Skinny Roads”

First Place: Katrina Burgoyne (Gunnedah, NSW, Australia) – “When I'm Broken”
Second Place: Kaylee Rutland (Flower Mound, TX, USA) – “Pick Me Up”

First Place: Arc North (Stockholm, Sweden) – “Meant To Be Ft. Krista Marina”
Second Place: Sphiral (Helsinki, Finland) – “Fate Ft. Breana Marin”

First Place: EL Cosgrove (Dalby, QLD, Australia) – “Nobody's Gettin' Out Alive”
Second Place: Erick Macek (Bethlehem, PA, USA) – “You Say”

Pop/Top 40
First Place: CAPPA (Philadelphia, PA, USA) – "Next Ex”
Second Place: SALIO (Tbilisi, Georgia) – “Lost World”

First Place: Kris Evans (Manchester, England) – “N.U.M.B”
Second Place: Matt Cue (Detroit, MI, USA) – “Freedom”

First Place: Kid Brother (Leesburg, VA, USA) – “Good News”
Second Place: Needshes (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) – “Time To See”

Screen Shot
First Place: Big Little Lions (Royston, BC, Canada) – “In The Quieter Times”
Second Place: IV4 (Pretoria, GP, South Africa ) – “When Stars Collide”

First Place: Faouzia (Carman, MB, Canada) – “Knock On My Door”
Second Place: Reed Deming (San Antonio, TX, USA) – “I Wish”

Vocal Performance
First Place: Jamal Moore (Augusta, GA, USA) – “Why I Love You (You Are So Beautiful)”
Second Place: Tamar Davis (Houston, TX, USA) – “Gift Of Goodbye”

Fandemonium (public online vote)
Winner: Aaron Michael (Peoria, IL, USA) – “Like Wildfire”

Triple Play (special promotion)
Get Played With Digital Promotion
Winner: Carly And Martina Spiro (Glencoe, IL, USA) – “Better”
Get Exposed Online
Winner: Benjamin Dakota Rogers (Brantford, ON, Canada) – “The Soldier Song”
Get Published
Winner: Matt Epp (Owen Sound, ON, Canada) – “The Sound”
Hit A Home Run
Winner: Needshes (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) – “Time To See”

Win Some Love (special promotion)
First Place: Streets of Laredo (Auckland, New Zealand) – “Wild”
Second Place: The Small Glories (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) – “No Friend Of Mine”
Third Place: Jordan Layne (Dallas, TX, USA) – “Confetti”

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