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The web factor! style Bands fight it out in The People's Music Awards HAVE you got what it takes to win over the public with your musical skills? A new web-based talent contest has been created to test just that. The People's Music Awards work like the X-Factor - but without the tears, sob stories and Simon Cowell's sarcasm. With several Huddersfield artists involved, RYAN KING took a closer look at what they will be up against....

Byline: RYAN KING

EVERY now and then a website comes along and captures the imagination of those surfing the binary waves. The People's Music Awards has done just this.

In its first three months of operation the site has attracted over a thousand musicians and a similar number of fans from all over the world.

TPMA is an intriguing venture, run with the intention of promoting unsigned music. The concept is fairly simple. Bands or solo musicians upload their song to the site and create a personal page with some basic information.

People then visit the site, listen to songs and cast a vote for the ones they prefer.

There are a number of categories to place your song in.

From pop, indie and dance to best overall male and female, the site caters for most musical styles.

Once music has been uploaded, people listen through the entries and cast votes for their favourites. The awards are truly interactive, if a vote is cast for a song, its position is instantly altered in the chart.

At the end of every week, the winner in each category makes it through to the second round. It's in this round that the awards get very exciting.

Songs that have been picked by the public make it through to the guest judges stage.

Judges will pick their top five and provide feedback and advice to those who make it through.

This advice will come from some of the industries key players - Annie Nightingale from BBC Radio 1, Tom Lewis head of A&R for Universal Records and Huddersfield musician Pat Fulgoni. Once they have picked their top five, these songs are then placed back on the site for a final public vote.

Pat Fulgoni runs local record label Chocolate Fireguard and is committed to promoting new talent. He thinks TPMA will provide a vehicle to get more new and exciting music into the public consciousness.

He said: "It's always good to get the opportunity to discover and listen to new unsigned musicians."

Voting closes for the contest on March 22 next year and the artist who comes out top will play at an awards ceremony, where they will be announced as the winner.

Not only will they get the very first TPMA trophy, they will be included on a 2008/9 compilation album being produced by the organisers.

The TPMA website will act to promote the work of artists and entries must be unsigned. It's for this reason that Dylan Satow, the founder of TPMA, set up the awards.

After finishing his music production degree, Dylan was shocked by the lack of places around to support newly emerging artists.

He told Fresh: "I was DJ-ing at a gig with my brother when the light bulb flickered. I had just finished a music production course and I was trying to get my music out there. All I had to go on was sending my demos to record companies and A&R executives and this didn't really help.

"So I was looking for an alternative way. I think that we are at the dawn of a new music revolution where being signed to a major label is not what it's going to be about. It's going to be about what the people want.

"The internet has allowed people to step in and say 'this is what we want to hear' and artists to say 'here it is'."

Huddersfield band Augustus Ghost have entered the folk, lounge and blues chart and their bassist is Stuart Lammiman-Hinkley a final year music student at Huddersfield University.

He joined the site to try to promote his band in a new, innovative way, saying: "I loved the whole ethos behind the awards. Music for the people by the people is a great idea, I have realised that there is a vibrant unsigned music scene and to receive feedback from peers is amazing."

The site is offering a new way for bands to gain exposure and also an interesting way for music lovers to listen to music.

Any musicians out there who would like to enter the awards should head over to www.thepeoplesmusicawards.com and enter their song for free today.

The closing date for entries in round one is December 7. To enter, you must be either unsigned, on your own label or an independent label with no more than eight other bands on their books, or signed to an independent label for less than six months.

You can enter up to three different categories. Material should be original and any samples cleared for use.

CAPTION(S):

BATTLEGROUND: The People's Music Awards website featuring Huddersfield band Augustus Ghost. Right: Stuart Lammiman-Hinkley, music production student at Huddersfield University and a member of Augustus Ghost; ADVICE: Legendary Radio DJ Annie Nightingale will be among the music industry representatives involved in The People's Music Awards; OPPORTUNITY: Pat Fulgoni backs new artists
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2008
Words:818
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