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June Monthly OurStage Prize Winners

At the end of each month, OurStage awards prizes to the top-ranked artists in a diverse array of genres. Congratulations to the following talented artists for harnessing their fan power and topping the charts in their respective genres! And remember, if a band you love missed the boat, keep judging. Next month your favorite could win big with your help.

Grand Prize Winners

Top-ranked artists in the seven finals channels win $1,000 to go toward recording their next album, funding their next tour, getting new gear or anything else to take their career to the next level!

Click on the artist’s name to view their profile, or click on the song title to listen to their winning song.

Urban Winner: Flo “ “You Are Lord

Triumphant guitar licks pulsate behind Flo’s smooth vocals in “You Are Lord.”  Combining rock and R&B influences, the song delivers a powerful lyrical message with equally powerful production to boot!

 

Rock Winner: EarlyRise “ “Wasteland

“Wasteland” strikes the perfect balance between being aggressive and melodic.  Pounding drums and muscular guitar riffs complement singer Orly Lari’s soaring melodies.  It’s no surprise that this catchy melodic rock tune topped the rock charts this month!

 

Country Winner: Michael Thomas “ “Shackles & Chains

Michael Thomas’ voice has just the right amount of twang to pull on his listener’s heartstrings in this wistful song about a prison-bound lover.

Pop Winner: Enation “ “Glorious

Enation are no strangers to the top of the OurStage charts.  They’ve topped the rock charts in previous months and now find themselves on the top of the pop heap.  Their beautiful track “Glorious” makes a strong statement for their continued chart dominance.

 

Specialty Winner: Jeremy and Rebecca – “Have You Got The Time

Jeremy and Rebecca showcase their songwriting skills in this sultry, slow-burning love song.  Having already won the Urban Grand Prize in April and May of this year, they continue to top the OurStage charts this month with their mix of jazz, pop, and R&B.

 

Video Winner: Katie Todd “ “Love Love Love You

Katie Todd’s lighthearted video is an ideal match for her poppy, upbeat tune.  Watch it until the end for a surprise from the “statue!”

 

Pro Performance Winner: BEDLAMOpening for Godsmack: “Spit Me Out,” and “Monster”

BEDLAM kill it in their 2009 performance of two hard-rocking original songs during an opening set for Godsmack.

Channel Winners

The artist in the Number 1 spot in each regular channel at the end of the month is awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift code.

Wanna hear/see the highest ranked music in all OurStage genres? Check out the audio and video playlists below.

 

OurStage Best Predictors

Fans who judge battles with the highest degree of accuracy are deemed Best Predictors and rewarded with Amazon.com gift codes. Meet May’s Top 3 users who possess an outstanding ear for identifying talent and who help build the foundation of the OurStage community for the other members.

Gold Predictor: Karlene

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Silver Predictor: shiningtear

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Bronze Predictor: pkjmn

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May Monthly OurStage Prize Winners

OurStage is known for its many talented artists in dozens of different genres. Every month, we award prizes to those that have made it to the very top of the charts. Join us in congratulating the artists that ranked Number 1 in their channel!

Remember, while enormous talent accounts for a lot, your fan support also helped bring these musicians to the top. Keep judging, and next month you might see your favorite artists featured here!

Grand Prize Winners

Top-ranked artists in the seven finals channels win $1,000 to go toward recording their next album, funding their next tour, getting new gear or anything else to take their career to the next level!

Click on the artist’s name to view their profile, or click on the song title to listen to their winning song.

Urban Winner: Jeremy and Rebecca – “Rise and Shine

You saw them featured here last month with their song “Miracle”, and now Jeremy and Rebecca are back with their signature sound! “Rise and Shine” is a captivating song with influences from both pop-rock and R&B. One listen and you will understand why this duo is consistently topping the charts.

Rock Winner: Endless Grey – “Once Again

Endless Grey has been regularly appearing towards the top of the Metal and Rock Channels, and listening to their winning songs, it’s easy to understand why fans love their “melodic goth-rock” sound. In May, their song “Once Again” hit Number 1!

Country Winner: Graham Greer – “You’re the One

You’ll find your mood lifting just a few seconds into Graham Greer’s “You’re the One”. The upbeat tempo and catchy melodies combined with the sweet lyrics makes this a country song that you can’t listen to without smiling!

Pop Winner: Robyn Dell’Unto – “Ghost

Robyn Dell’Unto’s sound can be described as both playful and haunting, but no matter what words you use to define it, it’s clear that she has talent. “Ghost” showcases her lyrical prowess and stunning voice, so it’s no surprise that this song topped the pop charts!

Specialty Winner: Meghan Beaudry – “You’ve Got A Friend

Meghan Beaudry puts her own spin on this classic cover, making it obvious that she has some serious talent. The beautiful music showcases her even more stunning voice.

Video Winner: Flo Anito – “Uh Oh!

Shot in a local diner, Flo Anito’s video for “Uh Oh!” goes perfectly with the fun, upbeat song. Through a series of amusing mishaps and scenes playing her acoustic guitar, the video is both entertaining and adorable.

Pro Performance Winner: ps1504 – “Around Again Solo

PS1504 is an extremely talented funk/jazz musician. The live video of the solo in his song “Around Again” showcases his amazing skills!

Channel Winners

The artist in the Number 1 spot in each regular channel at the end of the month is awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift code.

Wanna hear/see the highest ranked music in all OurStage genres? Check out the audio and video playlists below.

OurStage Best Predictors

Fans who judge battles with the highest degree of accuracy are deemed Best Predictors and rewarded with Amazon.com gift codes. Meet May’s Top 3 users who possess an outstanding ear for identifying talent and who help build the foundation of the OurStage community for the other members.

Gold Predictor: shiningtear

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Silver Predictor: Kellyterese

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Bronze Predictor: Deborah Diamond

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April Monthly OurStage Prize Winners

Each month, OurStage awards prizes to over forty talented artists in a wide variety of genres. Congratulations to these OurStage members who won the support of the fans and topped their respective channels in April 2011!

Want to see your favorite artists here? Keep judging, and next month, it could be your help that brings them to the top.

Grand Prize Winners

Top-ranked artists in the seven finals channels win $1,000 to go toward recording their next album, funding their next tour, getting new gear or anything else to take their career to the next level!

Click on the artist’s name to view their profile, or click on the song title to listen to their winning song.

Urban Winner: Jeremy and Rebecca – “Miracle

“Miracle” by singer-songwriter duo Jeremy and Rebecca is something completely unique”combining influences from pop, disco, rock and soul, just to name a few. It’s easy to see why it’s become so popular with OurStage listeners!

Rock Winner: Enation – “Burst Wide Open

For the third month in a row, Enation placed high up on OurStage’s Rock Channel with their song “Burst Wide Open”. Listen to the meaningful lyrics and the catchy vocals, and you’ll understand why it’s always at the top of the charts.

Country Winner: Brad Dunn and Ellis County – “Feed the Chickens

Brad Dunn and Ellis County formed in Austin, TX, and their country roots are evident in their winning song “Feed the Chickens”. The twang of the guitar and the strong country vocals helped make this song a winner!

Pop Winner: Marina V – “You Make Me Beautiful

When listening to Marina V’s “You Make Me Beautiful”, the first thing you’ll notice is her angelic voice. But keep listening, and you’ll notice the lyrics and rhythms that brought this song to number one on the pop charts!

Specialty Winner: Dusty the RoboDrum – “Amen”

Blue’s musician Dusty the RoboDrum adds a unique, modern twist to the typical blues sound. His winning song “Amen” shows off this combination of classic blues with a contemporary flavor.

Video Winner: Sierra Noble – “Possibility

It’s hard to believe that Sierra Noble’s “Possibilities” could get any more beautiful than the song itself, but this winning video only enhances the sweet music.

Pro Performance Winner: Eddie Bush - “Another Dry Place

Country singer Eddie Bush showcases his talent in this live video of “Another Dry Place”, shot at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Channel Winners

The artist in the Number 1 spot in each regular channel at the end of the month is awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift code.

Wanna hear/see the highest ranked music in all OurStage genres? Check out the audio and video playlists below.

OurStage Best Predictors

Fans who judge battles with the highest degree of accuracy are rewarded as Best Predictors with Amazon gift codes. Meet March’s Top 3 individuals who possess an outstanding ear for identifying talent and help build the foundation for the other members of the OurStage community.

Gold Predictor: Midnight Joe

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Silver Predictor: Rod Smith

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Bronze Predictor: johnnyapollo

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March Monthly OurStage Prize Winners

OurStage features many talented artists in many different genres, and each month, we award prizes to over forty top-ranked artists. Congratulations to the following OurStage members, who have made it to the very top of their respective channels in March 2011.

These artists win because of fan support”so keep judging, and next month, you could be seeing your favorites at the top!

Grand Prize Winners

Top-ranked artists in the seven finals channels win $1,000 to go toward recording their next album, funding their next tour, getting new gear or anything else to take their career to the next level!

Click on the artist’s name to view their profile, or click on the song title to listen to their winning song.

Urban Winner: BrashOn That

Hailing from Connecticut, rapper Brash has been opening for national acts at shows throughout the northeast since 2005. His winning song “On That” showcases the passion and powerful lyrics that have brought him to his current level of success.

Rock Winner: EnationBurst Wide Open

It’s impossible to miss Enation’s presence on OurStage”in 2011, they’ve regularly topped the charts in a variety of Rock Channels. Featuring strong vocals and thoughtful lyrics, the song “Burst Wide Open” is a perfect example of Enation’s anthemic rock sound.

Country Winner: Devin BelleWhisper

Devin Belle has been singing for as long as she can remember, and has placed in the Top 10 on OurStage many times over the past few years. Her song “Whisper” showcases not only her incredible voice, but her skills as a songwriter and musician as a whole.

Pop Winner: Jenna BrysonHappy

Jenna Bryson rallied her fans with a YouTube video encouraging them to vote and it worked! “Happy” is just as the title describes it”the cheerful lyrics are highlighted by Jenna’s sweet voice, and when you listen to this song, you can’t help but smile.

Specialty Winner: ReflectionsNew Horizons”

Self-described “hobbyist” drummer Reflections enjoys playing music from the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s. This passion is illustrated in his heartfelt cover of Moody Blues’ “New Horizons”.

Video Winner: 1st LiberationI Got the Right to Lose My Mind

Swedish hard rock band 1st Liberation has been playing music together since 2001, and their chemistry as a band is undeniable. Their music video for “I Got the Right to Lose My Mind” shows that you can make a quality video that viewers will enjoy, even without a big-budget production company.

Pro Performance Winner: Megan DettreyThinking of You

Megan Dettrey has been singing since she was ten years old, and is self-taught on both guitar and piano. She’s still young, but it’s clear that this singer-songwriter is going somewhere. The live video for “Thinking of You” displays her musical talents as well as her beautiful voice.

Channel Winners

The artist in the Number 1 spot in each regular channel at the end of the month is awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift code.

Wanna hear/see the highest ranked music in all OurStage genres? Check out the audio and video playlists below.

OurStage Best Predictors

Fans who judge battles with the highest degree of accuracy are rewarded as Best Predictors with Amazon gift codes. Meet March’s Top 3 individuals who have an outstanding ear for identifying talent and help build the foundation for the other members of the OurStage community.

Gold Predictor: BB Queen

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Silver Predictor: Paul O. Myhre

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Bronze Predictor: shiningtear

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Click here to view the full monthly winners page.

February Monthly OurStage Prize Winners

Every month, OurStage awards prizes to over forty top-ranked artists in a wide variety of genres. Join us in congratulating these many OurStage members for their achievements in February 2011!

Keep listening, keep discovering, keep judging. Next month, maybe it will be your favorite artist making it to the top!

Grand Prize Winners

Top-ranked artists in the seven finals channels win $1,000 to go toward recording their next album, funding their next tour, getting new gear or anything else to take their career to the next level!

Click on the artist’s name to view their profile, or click on the song title to listen to their winning song.

Urban Winner: Xavier MarquisOpen Letter

Xavier Marquis started his first rap group when he was only 10 years old, kickstarting his journey into the music industry. He started his own production company, working with a variety of artists before focusing on his own music in 2009. He plans to release his second mixtape this year.

Rock Winner: EnationBurst Wide Open

Enation is a rock band with a bright future. Since they started making music in 2004, they’ve had songs featured on shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “General Hospital”, and played with a variety of artists in many prestigious venues. Their new album is set to be released this year.

Country Winner: Jenna BrysonYou & I

When she’s not making music, Jenna Bryson makes her living by portraying princesses at kids’ birthday parties. She says “I am not that which dreams are made of; I am not the picture of success. Yet.” But with her history of placing in the top of many OurStage competitions, it looks like Jenna is on her way.

Pop Winner: Adrina Thorpe - Everything Changes

Adrina Thorpe cites heartache, silence and solitude as some of her songwriting inspirations, but her catchy pop music is the opposite of depressing. This is illustrated in her constant reappearance in the OurStage charts”she’s placed in the Top 10 in a variety of competitions over the past year.

Specialty Winner: TeazerNever Been Any Reason

Teazer was formed in 1979, and split up four years later. In 2010, Teazer took the stage together once again for a reunion concert, and it all took off from there”all members agree that despite their 20-year hiatus, “the best is yet to come”. Congratulations on their first OurStage win!

Video Winner: Orange AvenueJust Refrain

Florida natives Orange Avenue released their first album in 2007, and they’ve since had the opportunity to share the stage with artists such as All American Rejects and Rihanna”and that’s just the beginning. They have a strong presence at OurStage, regularly placing in the Top 10 in the rock and video channels. Their video for “Just Refrain” has quickly risen to the top of the OurStage charts.

Pro Performance Winner: Motel DriveDrifter Blues

As Motel Drive puts it, “the slinky-rootsy-greasy-country-rock’n’roll-rockabilly music carries you off to that lone bar on the edge of town, the one mama told you to stay away from, where Gretsch guitars wail, an upright bass slaps you around and voodoo drums pound away.” This description is perfectly illustrated in their live video for “Drifter Blues”.

Channel Winners

The artist in the Number 1 spot in each regular channel at the end of the month is awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift code.

Wanna hear/see the highest ranked music in all OurStage genres? Check out the audio and video playlists below.

OurStage Best Predictors

Fans who judge battles with the highest degree of accuracy are rewarded as “Best Predictors” with Amazon gift codes. Meet January’s Top 3 individuals who have an outstanding ear for identifying talent and help build the foundation for the other members of the OurStage community.

Gold Predictor Winner: shiningtear

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Silver Predictor Winner: rathsam

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Bronze Predictor Winner: sometimeafter

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Click here to view the full monthly winners page.

Behind the Mic: Should You Ever "Pay to Play?"

It’s a common debate among up-and-coming artists: Should you ever “pay to play?”

The term carries a negative stigma in the music world, synonymous with sketchy promoters and misleading scams. Often times, the person who asks your band to play will require you to sell tickets in advance. Whatever money is not sold through tickets to the show is money that your band will owe back to the promoter/booking agent. The key here is to be absolutely sure in either your band’s ability to draw or your ability to promote to people who don’t know your music. The last thing you want to do is end up paying $300 out of your pocket and not bringing a soul to the show.

Beware: many promoters will require you to pay for tickets that you can't sell.

But could it possibly be beneficial for your band to shell out a few extra bucks in order to get onto a good show? This week, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of paying to play, as well as some of the warning signs of a scam.

The Good

Let’s say one of your favorite national acts has confirmed a tour date in a nearby city. The venue is on the lookout for a local act or two to open the show and help bring in a local audience. If your band has the chops to impress the club promoter/booking agent and the money to buy onto the show, it may be a worthwhile investment. If the headlining band has a big following, you could potentially end up playing a sold-out show with a band you love and earning brand new fans just from one performance.

The Bad

We all know that being in a band is expensive. From merch costs to travel costs and everything in between, money is always tight for up-and-coming acts. In addition to that, any money that is made from music or merch sales is usually put right back into the band. Because of this, blowing hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to play one show is not typically a good idea. You run the risk of putting you and your band in debt and for little or nothing in return, as well as angering the person who asked you to play if you don’t follow through on your end of the bargain.

Think about it”it’s the promoter’s job to advertise the show and get a crowd in the building. Why should you be paying to do their job?

Is that promoter really a thief in disguise?

Warning Signs

Though we’d like to believe that everyone in the music industry is there to help us, the sad truth is that there are people out there who will try to use you or trick you for money. You should be wary of any potential opportunity that appears to be a scam to avoid putting your band into a bad situation.

If your band receives an invitation to a Battle of the Bands or an audition show for a festival, always read the invitation carefully before responding. Does it sound like a stock letter that could be sent to anyone? Do they name your band or song titles specifically or explain why you were selected to receive the letter? What promises are they making to your band about judges, label representation or prizes? You should always research whatever company reached out to you by visiting their Web site and speaking with other local bands who may have been invited or participated in their events in the past.

When you’re dealing with band money, you should always be overly cautious. Never take a risk on drawing for a show if you don’t honestly think you can pull through. Don’t fall for the “I can make you famous” line or trust in a company who name drops to get your money. You’re in the music business for the same reason as everyone else: because you have a dream of making it big. While it’s important to keep that dream in sight, you should always be smart and responsible about your decisions, and willing to accept any potential consequences.

What do you think? Is it smart to pay to play? Let us know in the comments below!

More Prizes, Greater Opportunities

In 2007, OurStage.com launched with the dream of helping the most promising independent artists illuminate their music and, hopefully, further their careers. To this end, we began to give away a monthly prize of $5,000 to the Number 1 ranked artist, but soon the artist community indicated they valued career-enhancing opportunities over a payout. In response, we worked to bring OurStage artists the chance to record singles with the likes of Keith Urban and T-Pain as well as the chance to open for national acts such as Bon Jovi and John Mayer. Each month we continue to provide artists with more opportunities to further their music careers. Now, what about the cash?

Since OurStage was able to make good on the request to offer more opportunities we thought it was time to address another long-standing artist request: distributing the 5k prize pot amongst the Number 1 artists in pop, rock, country, urban and specialty. Next month, the artists competing in these main music genres, and their respective sub-genres, will each have a chance to win 1k. This opportunity engages all artists in our community, not just the ones who perform songs in the most popular genres of music.

Beginning December 1st, the following genres will be eligible to win:

1K Prize for Rock

1K Prize for Pop

1K Prize for Country

1K Prize for Urban

1K Prize for Specialty

Alternative Indie Pop Alt Country Alt Hip Hop Acoustic
Hard Rock Pop Country Hip Hop All Instrumental
Indie Rock Singer Songwriter Female Southern Rock R&B Ambient Chill
Metal Singer Songwriter Male Traditional Country Rap Blues
Modern Rock Soul Christian
Punk Cover Bands
Rock Electronica
Soft Rock Folk
Southern Rock Funk
Jazz
Latin
World

We will also continue to award 1K for the Best Video (country, hard rock, hip hop, pop and rock videos are eligible) as well as 1K for the Best Live Performance Video (open to all genres of music). See our FAQS for more information on our monthly prizes, eligible genres and our competition-judging season.