If you’ve been considering nominating a band or DJ for the Kootenay Music Awards, now is the time to do it.
All artists who live in the Kootenays are eligible to enter a song in one of the 10 award categories that recognize the range of musical talent coming out of the region. There’s a category for everything from best DJ to best roots and blues band.
More than 70 songs have already been submitted online at kootenaymusicawards.com and KMA president Chad Hansen hopes to see many more roll in before nominations close on March 29.
“If you’re an artist yourself or even just a fan of a local band, I’d encourage you to go to the website and submit an MP3. Let people hear it; you never know what could happen,” Hansen says.
Fans can check out the music that’s been submitted so far by clicking the “nominate” tab at the top of the page, then going to “view entries.”
Hansen has listened to many of the submissions and is impressed by the variety.
“There’s some really eclectic, interesting music that’s been posted up there,” Hansen says.
After nominations close, the panel of five industry judges will shortlist their favourites for public voting. The judges include music festival producers Christine Hunter from Shambhala and Lea Belcourt from Starbelly Jam, Nelson live music venue managers Ryan Martin from Spiritbar and Paul Hinrichs from the Royal, and Kootenay Co-op Radio program manager Jay Hannley.
“These are great people to get your music into the ear of,” Hansen says.
So far the nomination page is dominated by Nelson-based artists. But Hansen is encouraging bands from every corner of the Kootenays to get their music in. Bands who entered last year are also welcome to enter again.
Shane Johnsen, frontman for the Automation — winner of best new band in last year’s KMAs — says he saw a surge in new listens on the band’s Soundcloud page during the public voting period.
“We had about 2,000 unique listens, which is huge boost for a band just starting out,” Johnsen says. “We recorded everything ourselves, without a producer, so we were really proud to be recognized last year.”
The Automation has submitted an early release off their next album for this year’s awards and will be playing at the awards gala event, along with last year’s best artist winner Shred Kelly, on May 10 at Spiritbar in Nelson.
To enter a song in the Kootenay Music Awards, go to kootenaymusicawards.com.
The Kootenay Music Awards are presented by Nelson Brewing Company and Black Press. Platinum sponsors include, Kootenay Co-op Radio, Vantage Point, Nelson and District Credit Union, AM Ford and Selkirk College.
Other sponsors are Wapiti Music Festival, Kootenay Savings Credit Union, Bee Kissed Body Piercing, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, Chatterson Drive, Our Glass, Ric’s Lounge and Grill, Tribute Boardshop and Whitewater Ski Resort.
—BY SAM VAN SCHIE, Nelson Star