The first three performers for this year’s Unsigned Music Awards (UMA’s) have been confirmed as Elle Exxe, Broken Witt Rebels and Alex Francis.
The awards, to be held at The Troxy Theatre, London on October 27, have been designed to discover, fund and reward the most promising emerging and proudly independent musical talent. Partners of the awards include Jack Daniels, See Tickets, Marshall Amplification, LADbible, TimeOut and Richer Sound.
Elle Exxe’s extravagant and adventurous nature has captured the hearts of many on both sides of the Atlantic. She has been championed by BBC Introducing and Kiss FM and received glowing praise from The Guardian, Popjustice, The Quietus and Gay Times, just to name a few.
Her most recent track ‘Lately‘ is taken from her upcoming debut album, Love Fuelled Hate, which will be released on September 9. It explores the concept of love’s transition to hate and journeys through a gloriously twisted tale of flirtatious glamour and irresistible lust, into the seedy depths of adulterous behaviour and its dramatic conclusion.
Elle has been busy playing sold out shows across London and Edinburgh, as well as four shows at Canadian Music Week. She has also had jam-packed shows at The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City and Xpo North this year.
Broken Witt Rebels
If you don’t already know about Broken Witt Rebels, you soon will.
The Birmingham group caught the attention of Buzzfeed earlier this year. A live version of their single ‘Low’ was uploaded to their Facebook page and garnered 130,000 views in four days. This prompted Buzzfeed to invite the band to play a live streamed gig to their 1.3 million strong Facebook following.
Their second single ‘Guns’ was released in June, quickly amassing more than 447,000 hits in a matter of days. A nationwide marketing campaign saw them take over the home page of YouTube as well as front page features on Yahoo! Tumblr and Shazam. In addition to this, there came a whole host of billboards across the country, as well as the band making their way onto the A-List playlist of a number of notable radio stations.
Check out ‘Guns’ below.
Alex Francis is one to watch this year. His emotive melding of rock, soul and blues emerged from the London grass roots rock scene in late 2015 after a rapid and completely organic rise to prominence that few singer song-writers have experienced.
The singer was spotted by the UMA team during one of the Time Out London ‘Rising Stars’ events. Performing to a sold out crowd at Camden Jazz Café, Alex captivated the crowd, and UMA, with his magnetic energy.
Alex’s debut EP is due to be released later this year, which will no open up even more exciting prospects for the talented singer.
The UMA’s will be hosted by MTV’s Laura Whitmore, and Chris Stark, co-host of The Scott Mills Show on BBC Radio 1. Talking about her hosting role, Whitmore said: “I am delighted to be hosting the first ever Unsigned Music Awards. Music is a huge passion of mine, so naturally, I’m very excited to discover lots of new unsigned talent and support the stars of the future”.
Winners of the awards will be rewarded with the chance to work with some of the industry’s most reputable publishers, booking agents, managers, studios and much more. Applications are open to bands, singers, and musicians of all genres, via the UMA’s website. There will be a number of gigs, sessions, online features and more from selected artists over the next few months.
Such acts will also benefit from UMA’s unique music fund which has been set up alongside Stephen Pell (former business manager to Calvin Harris) and Music Economist and former Global Insight Director at Universal and EMI, Chris Carey. This funding scheme has been established to invest in the wealth of talent flowing through the doors of the Unsigned Music Awards, offering a powerful and realistic alternative to the traditional record deal.
The UMA’s were created by Simon O’Kelly, Georgina Thomas and Ben Connor. The three share a wealth of experience within all aspects of the industry and have an infectious passion and energy for both music and business. In a recent interview with Noisey, O’Kelly said: “I feel that unsigned artists deserve the same airtime, attention and glamour as international superstars, because with that leverage, we can start to build a new and respectable industry for some truly deserving artists.”
Here at CelebMix, we love to keep up-to-date with the latest unsigned artists, so expect further UMA’s updates from us in the run up to the awards ceremony! Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @CelebMix.