<em>Music Nation</em> Awards Record Contracts to Winners of its Video Music Competition ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Music Nation Awards Record Contracts to Winners of its Video Music Competition

Music Nation, the artist development company, today announced the three grand prize winners of its online video music competition. Kid Deposit Triumph, in the rock category, Yolanda Ruiz, in the pop category, and T-Max, in the urban category, beat out nearly 2,500 artists to win a global recording contract with Epic Records. Additionally, on the heels of this first competition’s success, Music Nation has today beta launched a redesigned site and opened up their online music community to a wider audience in advance of the second competition, set to officially begin June 18th.

Beyond the Epic recording contract, the three winners will also be showcased on an episode of STRIPPED, Clear Channel Radio’s exclusive in-studio performance series, and a year-long endorsement from Gibson Guitars, among other prizes. The competition served as an opportunity for independent artists to have their music heard by a judging panel of industry heavyweights Charlie Walk, President of Epic Records, producer Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem (pop), Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte, Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (rock), and multi-platinum rappers Nelly and The Game, as well as Mark Pitts, President of Urban Music at Jive Records (urban). The Music Nation competition, in offering artists the chance of a lifetime, attracted some of the top unsigned talent from across the Internet.

“We created Music Nation as a platform for artist discovery and empowerment. The quality of these winning artists clearly demonstrates the potential that exists online to find and develop talent,” said Daniel Klaus, Music Nation co-founder and CEO. “We’re excited to be working with these artists in partnership with Epic and leverage the success they’ve had online into a sustainable recording career.”

The three winners represent a varied selection from the Music Nation community. Las Vegas, NV’s Kid Deposit Triumph excels at combining intense melodies with ruthless rhythms; Santa Monica, CA’s Yolanda Ruiz captivates with her fun, Latin-pop sensuality; and Atlanta, GA’s T-Max holds court with his smooth, relaxed flow. These artists will now join the ranks of such celebrated Epic recording artists as Good Charlotte, Modest Mouse, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and Matisyahu, as well as up and coming artists like Eighteen Visions, Yung Berg, and Sean Kingston.

“KDT wanted to put our best foot forward and we wanted to maintain that our driving force isn’t popularity, wealth, or fame but to express ourselves through what we love! Music and the integrity it expresses,” said Chuck Bailey, Kid Deposit Triumph bassist. “This contest was that chance, that outlet for us and everyone else that entered to show what they love and to have a chance of acknowledgement from fans, the other contestants and from people that are in the business.”

“Words cannot express how honored I feel to be part of the Music Nation and Epic/Sony BMG family!” said Yolanda Ruiz. “I still can't believe something I've dreamt about since I was a little girl is a reality today...Music Nation has changed my life and has made my life-long dream come true!”

“I want to thank Music Nation, the judges, and everyone who voted for me,” said T-Max. “I’m living proof that if you follow your dreams and stay true to your heart, you can do anything you put your mind to.”

As the first competition closes, the redesigned Music Nation site has now launched and opened its doors as a true artist community through which competitions will run. The community, which grew organically from fan participation in the first competition, will now be accessible to any musician regardless of competition entry; to artists in any genre (rock, pop, hip hop, country, R&B/soul, latin, spiritual/gospel, dance/electronic, world, jazz, and their subsets) looking to take advantage of active community feedback and the powerful features the site offers. Designed around Music Nation’s focus on empowering independent musicians, the new site has added a number of tools for artists’ use in garnering exposure, including: an EPK (includes bio, tour dates, mp3s, photos, press) that automatically generates when an artist profile is built and can be linked to or work as embeddable code, providing a digital demo for artists’ marketing use; an embeddable, multimedia player for artists to program with clips of videos, mp3s, and photos; and statistics compiled from data on profile views and video plays to offer valuable real-time, detailed feedback for artists.

The competition side of the Music Nation community, launching first in the rock and hip hop genres, will formally begin when voting begins on June 18th. Over a 12-week period, a quarterfinalist will be chosen each week by a judging panel of leading industry figures (to be announced) while the user-generated statistics will determine a Nation’s Choice winner. At the close of the competition, a winner from each genre will be awarded a recording contract with Original Signal, Music Nation’s label through Epic Records, among other prizes.

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 multi-genre, video-based 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 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.