K!CKSTART Finalists Interview Part One

by / April 2, 2013

We’re now already into the final week of public voting for our K!CKSTART! 2013 Competition, and so we thought we’d do a small interview with each of the final 20 acts in order for you to find out a little more about why they got involved with the competition, how they picked their submission song and what it’d mean for them to win. Here’s the first 10 bands (we’ll be posting the remaining 10 tomorrow). Remember, you can vote for your favourite act daily at THIS link.

Howl

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

It sounded like such an amazing opportunity, and would lay a brilliant foundation for us as such a new band we are extremely pleased to be on the list.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

Our pals on twitter said we should apply, very glad we did.

How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

We put it to a vote, to the band and to the fans, Mannequins, which is more of a remix won.

Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

Some of the bands on the list we have had the honour to share the stage with, it’s a great selection and shows the wealth of musical talent, in a variety of different musical genres.

Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

It would be brilliant the year has already been great – being offered shows every week supporting some the best bands locally, and this will hopefully allow us to go further afield and play some shows in the UK. We are very much looking forward to recording a single, and buying musical toys.

Hologram

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

Having followed “SOAK’s” progress the past year or so I’ve been blown away at how she is doing both locally and nationally so it just made sense to enter a competition with such a strong background to it. Essentially setting up an act for a year, taking away the need for the dreaded financial backing…you’d be crazy not to enter!

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

Just from generally browsing the site/facebook. I was a little late to the party last year and only really heard about it after it had been and gone but this year I managed to keep in the loop.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

For us the tune we put forward represents as left-field as we go really. It’s not as instantly recognisable as a Hologram song. It’s a bit trip-hoppy. All of that said I think we have a softspot for it. So, without it being our favourite tune I definitely think it’s our most “out there in a good way” track.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

I personally have heard of/played with a number of the acts and they have my greatest respect. The others who I haven’t got around to hearing have all turned out to be very pleasant surprises as well. So it’s safe to say that this will be (and should be) a very close run race.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?
It would be a massive blessing for us. The thing that has been holding us back along with probably the majority of independent acts and bands has been financing. So to win a prize that essentially takes away the cost of a years graft would be monumental.

► Patrick Gardiner

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

I decided to enter Kickstart 2013 just as a way of becoming more involved in the musical community and the creative community in Northern Ireland. As an Independent and Unsigned artist, it’s very hard to get noticed (being 17 years old doesn’t help your credibility much either) so I thought that Kickstart was a great way to boost my profile and let more people hear my music.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

I followed Chordblossom on Facebook and Twitter and saw the submissions call.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

I found it really difficult choosing my ‘best’ song, because I love them all equally, they’re like my babies. Instead I chose the song that I thought best represented my music. ‘He Isn’t Right For You’ is the opening track of my debut EP and it’s a bit more lively than the rest of my music, but I think in essence it sums up my sound… acoustic music, but with a bit of a twist (hopefully). It’s also the song of mine that has received the most media attention and radio airplay, probably cause it’s my most up-beat song. I like it because people can sing along and dance to it. I’m a bit annoyed at myself because I’m supposed to be a depressing, introspective, melancholic singer-songwriter, but deep down I just love songs that you can dance to! I was raised on James Brown. That explains it!

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

When I found out I was in the final 20, I immediately went and listened to the other artists on the shortlist to see what I was up against. I think I’ve definitely got my work cut out!  I’m friends with a few of the other artists and have actually shared a stage with Andrew Martin. I saw Pretty Child Backfire at a gig at Radar just a couple of weeks before the shortlist was released so that gave me a real sense of perspective! All of these artists are top calibre.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

Yeah, the grand prize would hopefully help me on the path to finally realizing my ambition of joining one direction! … But seriously, winning the grand prize would be an unbelievable boost for me in 2013 and beyond. Hopefully it would let more people hear my music, and gain me more opportunities to play live, which is one of my favourite things in the world to do. Booking gigs, getting PR photos, and buying studio time are all seriously hard things for a young independent artist like myself to do. Winning Kickstart would help me with the industry side of things and let me focus on the actual music, which is ultimately my central focus.

► Andrew Martin

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

I saw Soak supporting Snow Patrol in the Waterfront in December and I realised that this competition could really give people a Kickstart in to the NI music industry which I really need so I decided there was nothing to lose by entering!

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

I have been following Chordblossom since the middle of last year so I saw the advertisements on social networking sites.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

I was torn between  2 of my songs but decided to submit “Outside these Harbour walls” because I think people can relate to it more than others!

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

I had a listen to all the other competitors last night. I’ve been following Feet for Wings and Prettychildbackfire for a while now and I think they are brilliant. I’ve played gigs with Sara Crockett and Patrick Gardiner and I have Patrick’s ep which I love! The list is incredible this year, there’s so much talent to vote for. I love the feeling of finding new artists that I haven’t heard before which is why this competiton is so special and vital for the NI music industry.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

If I were to win it would definitely affect the progress for this year and beyond in more ways than I could imagine. I have plans to record again in August and again early next year and this competition would open doors that could make that easier! But getting this far is already going to make an impact as I’m sure people will hear the shortlist that haven’t heard my music before and hopefully it will enable me to be able to play more in bigger venues (Fingers crossed) and to get my music just a little further out there! As long as I can keep playing music even for fun I will be happy I’m sure!

► Team RKT

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

We heard about the competition and thought it suited us down to the ground. We’re a new band trying to break into the UK music industry and this competition absolutely helps do that!

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

We follow Chordblossom on twitter and saw tweets about it.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

When we released a new single every week last summer, ‘LTD’ had the most positive reception and it was the first track we got played on national radio. It’s really upbeat and has super positive lyrics, it shows people exactly what we’re about!

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

There’s an amazing range! There’s acoustic through electronica so it’s a really cool list. Hologram are friends of ours and their last single was amazing so we’re stoked to see them in there.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

Hugely!!! Up to this point we’ve done everything ourselves and we feel we’ve achieved a lot. So we believe with the help of this competition we could do big things! Spread our music, connect with new fans, play new places and begin to lay the foundations of a career in the music industry. This competition takes artists as seriously as we take our band! We think this could take TeamRKT to the next level!

► Those Ghosts

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

Chordblossom have been doing so much for local music that we really wanted to get involved with them in anyway possible. Once the competition was announced and we saw the prizes that were on offer it was a ‘no-brainer.’

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

Initially we were made aware through the Chordblossom website. Daveit was then kind enough to invite us via Facebook to enter so we jumped at the chance!

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

It was a tough call but given the amount of plays and attention “Evelyn” was receiving on our Soundcloud we felt that it was our strongest option.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

The calibre of talent in the shortlist is incredible and really shows what Northern Ireland has to offer in terms of music. We’re really humbled to be put in the same bracket as so many amazing acts.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

Given that we’re a relatively new band I think winning the competition would be an ideal way for us to progress in the long term. The exposure alone from the competition is phenomenal and like I mentioned previously we’re really humbled and honoured to have even made it this far.

► Novo Rapids

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

We frequently read reviews and interviews on the Chordblossom website. It’s great that there’s a resource like this for bands in NI to use and the content is of a really high standard. To be involved in something that Chordblossom is running is a great achievement for us, being a relatively new band. Even if we don’t win, we’ve been able to spread the Novo Rapids band name and our music to new people through the competition and that can only be a good thing.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

As we use the website and follow on Facebook and Twitter the competition was advertised well and we were able to submit an entry. Knowing that SOAK won last year and seeing their progression since then is great encouragement to us.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

We chose the opening song of our debut EP ‘We used to be robots’ because it’s the song we start our set with and we feel it’s one of our strongest. It has received radio play both in Ireland and England and so we felt it would give us the best chance.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

The competition is really strong, which itself is a great reflection on the local music scene. I (Daniel, guitars) am a big fan of Pretty Child Backfire and Deerstalker so to be picked alongside bands like them is a great achievement! We have gigged with 20 second Century and we’re delighted to see them as part of the shortlist, they’re a great band who have a great sound and enthusiasm live!

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

Winning the grand prize would be the boost Novo Rapids needs to take us to the next stage of our development as a band. To record and release a single, shoot a video and get the professional backing to promote the band would be something that, on our own, we might never have been able to make happen. The expertise of the people involved would be a massive advantage for us in moving the band forward.

The Jepettos

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

It looks like a well organized competition with some buzz about it.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

Facebook.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

We chose ‘Good Times’ as we felt it needed to be heard. It’s the 5th track on our first recording so needed an outing before we move on to our next release. It’s also the most fun song to start our set with.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

We like Hologram and Howl – but good luck to everyone!

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

It would be great- especially being drawn as Zombies! Thanks for all your hard work putting this all together Chordblossom!

► Feet for Wings

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

After seeing the prize list we thought it would be silly not to enter! Also, last years winner SOAK has had an incredible year so it shows the prestige that comes with winning this competition.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

We have been following Chordblossom since it started as it is a great way to keep up to date with the northern irish music scene and we spotted the competition as soon as it was advertised.

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

Everyone has different tastes in music and the quality of a song is very much subjective. We believe ‘Rose Before Bloom’ is the best representation of where we are as a band and how we have evolved since the rest of our recordings.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

We had heard of some of the artists on the shortlist before, Pretty Child Backfire and The Jepettos are quite prominent in the Northern Irish music scene at the moment and we think they are both great! It was really fun going through and listening to all of the final 20 and discovering some great new acts!

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

Winning the competition would be absolutely incredible! The prizes would be endlessly beneficial to us and a win would be a great confidence boost. Recording a single, distributing it and making a music video are things that are normally very financially exhaustive so to be able to do those things for free would mean the world to us. The publicity of the win is equally as important too!

► PrettyChildBackfire

► You’re through to the Final 20 in our K!CKSTART Competition. What made you decide to enter?

The sheer amount of effort put into the organising of the competition and opportunity provided for musicians willing to put themselves forward was fantastic. Those situations should be taken full advantage of, so we put ourselves forward in the hope to be involved in whatever way possible.

► How were you made aware that Chordblossom was running this competition?

From the social networking extensions of the website, there was a great buzz surrounding the competition after the prize list was announced (and rightly so!)

► How did you manage to select One Song (Your ‘best’ song) to send into the Judges?

We felt that it was the song that best represented us in terms of musical direction, lyrics and production.

► Have you seen and/or heard the Shortlist? What do you think of your Competitors?

As soon as the shortlist acts were announced we all checked out the soundcloud playlist and were blown away by the quality of songwriting and musical ability on show. It was really special to find such a wide ranging display of talent from within the country at a time when many of the bands who pushed the boundaries of what was defined as the music scene in the country, have moved from Belfast or parted ways. To have that presented to the wider audience for local music, within the country and beyond, in such a complete and quality assured format is something that the guys at chordblossom should be congratulated for.

► Finally, if you were to win the prize, how do you think this would affect your progress in 2013?

The sheer amount of prizes in the form of help with recording, media, band management, gig opportunities would have such a drastic effect that its hard to describe, and its just fantastic that this kind of package is being made available to bands.

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  1. […] our K!CKSTART! 2013 Competition, and here is part two of our interview with the finalists [Part One Here]. Remember, you can vote for your favourite act daily at THIS […]

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