Music Nation Launches Season Two ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Music Nation Launches Season Two

I hate American Idol but Music Nation's contest is pretty cool. They are running a concurrent rock and hiphop competition and the prize is recording contract with Original Signal Recordings (for the hiphop winner) or Epic Records (for the rock winner). This isn't Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell judging (neither of which I had heard of prior to American Idol) but Gang of 4 bass ace Dave Allen and former V2 president Andy Gershon (who also discovered the Smashing Pumpkins). Anyway, check out the full press release below...


Rock & HipHop Acts Wrangle For Label Contract, FUEL TV Appearance and DJ Green Lantern Mixtape

NEW YORK, June 18, 2007 –Music Nation, the artist development company, today officially kicked off its second season of online music competitions. Over the next 12 weeks, Music Nation’s judges panel will vote together with intrepid music fans to choose finalists in the concurrent rock and hiphop competitions. Original Signal Recordings, Music Nation’s 360-degree music company, and Epic Records will jointly sign recording contracts with one rock and one hiphop winner. More than 2,500 artists entered the first Music Nation competition and resulted in an overflowing reservoir of the best of the best in unsigned talent. The company expects the most skilled artists from across the web to again flock to the site and compete for not only invaluable exposure, but also the shot-of-a-lifetime recording contract and a wealth of additional prizes.

“The Music Nation site is designed to give artists an outlet for exposure and a real chance to expand their fanbase. Our goal is to provide artists with the best opportunities possible to launch their careers,” said Daniel Klaus, co-founder and CEO of Music Nation. “We’ve spent the last few weeks since the first competition’s close setting up our winning artists with producers and writers best-suited to meet their needs and goals. We’re looking forward to seeing what new talent rises to the top and to begin working with them as well.”

Music Nation’s competitions afford artists a palpable chance to see how their riffs or their rhymes are received in cyberspace both by the fans and Music Nation’s crew of industry judges. The fans’ ratings of videos and viewing of profiles are compiled into real-time statistics that determine the weekly Nation’s Choice winner in each competition, while the judges will also make their weekly Choice and offer invaluable feedback. The current line-up of Music Nation’s judges is:

Hip Hop
· DJ Green Lantern: Having worked with artists like Eminem, Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes, Green Lantern’s legendary mixtapes have become a staple in the hiphop community, with artists vying for the chance to be featured.

· Saigon: Saigon, the Fort Knocks/Hip Hop Since 1978/Atlantic Records artist, is best known for his successful string of mixtapes and his recurring role on Season Two of HBO’s series “Entourage.” He is the first artist signed to super-producer Just Blaze’s Fort Knocks label.

· 9th Wonder: Formerly one-third of Little Brother, Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder has worked alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige and Lloyd Banks, among others.

· Dave Allen: Bassist for the seminal post-punk band Gang of Four and operator of the popular music blog

· Andy Gershon: Executive VP of Epic Records, Gershon also helped discover and break such artists as The Smashing Pumpkins, founded Outpost Recordings (home of The Crystal Method, Veruca Salt, and Whiskeytown), and served as President of V2 Records (home of acclaimed artists The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Blood Brothers).

· Carrie Schupper: Music program manager for Gen Art, the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing and supporting emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists.

In addition to offering artists community response, judges’ feedback, and a recording contract, Music Nation then sets up the winners with additional career-making opportunities. The first competition’s winners, Kid Deposit Triumph in rock, Yolanda Ruiz in pop, and T-Max in urban, are currently being matched up with a diverse lineup of acclaimed producers and/or writers, and will soon head in to the studio.

Music Nation also offers enticing prizing to its artists. In hiphop, the winner will have an opportunity usually reserved for only hiphop’s biggest names: the chance to have Green Lantern create a custom mixtape for the artist, which will include an exclusive song produced by the renowned DJ/producer. Additional prizes for the winner in the hiphop genre include: the chance to perform at the 2008 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, presented by The Room Service Group and Brooklyn Bodega; styling by L-R-G for the artist’s first music video for Original Signal/Epic (weekly winners will also receive t-shirts from L-R-G); a Pacific Drums & Percussion X7 Gold to Black Sparkle Fade Kit w/8.155 Hardware pack and throne; a run of 1,000 commercial quality CDs furnished by DiskFaktory.

In rock, the winner will perform on FUEL TV’s “The Daily Habit,” a half-hour show on Fox Cable Networks that mixes top pop culture stories with leading action-sports personalities, music, and comedy. Additional prizes for the winner in the rock genre include: a custom-branded Epiphone guitar by Izze Fruit Sodas and a completely stocked Izze fridge; a Pacific Drums & Percussion Black 805 kit; a run of 1,000 commercial quality CDs supplied by DiskFaktory; an LR Baggs M1 Active guitar pick-up. Prizing for rock finalists and quarterfinalists qualifiers also includes custom-branded Gelaskins, guitar and bass Coffin Cases, and guitar knob prize packs from Custom Shop Guitar.

Garage bands from coast-to-coast, underground MC’s and any aspiring musicians with a dream, mp3s, and/or a webcam have the chance to be discovered online by simply uploading their content to the site – thereby putting themselves in front of the panel of artist-credible judges, Music Nation and Epic’s experienced staffs, and the competitions’ numerous partners…let alone a multitude of hungry fans. Moreover, as Music Nation re-launched last month as a true online music community, the site now boasts a cornucopia of tools for artists to use in circulating their music around the Web. These tools include an embeddable multimedia player and an embeddable electronic press kit (EPK) that automatically generates when an artist profile is created (the EPK also separates into gig and mp3 widgets), among many other features.

About Music Nation
Music Nation is an artist development company at the helm of an online music community, empowering independent artists with tools to market, promote and find an audience. Through this dynamic community, the company supports music competitions both domestically and abroad. Utilizing the best of Web 2.0 technology, Music Nation looks to serve as the ultimate portal where artists, records labels and fans alike can connect in today's digitally driven climate. Founded in 2006, the company is the brainchild of Daniel Klaus (CEO), Lucas Mann (CMO), Kevin P. Ryan (Chairman), and Peter Read (Managing Director, UK and Europe); visionary figures whose expertise crosses the Internet media, e-commerce, artist management/development and the recording industry divides.

About Original Signal Recordings
Original Signal Recordings is Music Nation’s 360-degree music company, offering a unique value to new and established artists through equitable, joint venture deals on multiple platforms. With a focus on long-term development, Original Signal employs new media and other channels to generate sustainability for its roster. Original Signal also has the ability to operate in partnership with Epic Records.

About Epic Records
EPIC RECORDS is the creative music habitat of some of today's most vital musical artists. The company is home to chart-topping artists and trailblazing icons such as Modest Mouse, Incubus, Natasha Bedingfield, The Fray, Franz Ferdinand, Ozzy Osbourne, Los Lonely Boys, Ben Folds, Tori Amos, Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Fiona Apple and Jennifer Lopez. Epic’s hot newcomers include fiery dancehall diva Kat De Luna, Jamaican wunderkind Sean Kingston, Atlanta punk pop band Cartel, hip-hop artist Yung Berg, bi-lingual Latin trio The D.E.Y., pop singer-songwriter/pianist Nikki Flores, and the enchanting singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. Epic recently partnered with MTV and Reveille to re-launch Latin supergroup Menudo.