Monday 19 January 2015

Chordblossom Kickstart 2015

Although The Metaphorical Boat has been taking things relatively easy in 2015, that's not to say that other haven't. Our good friends over at Chordblossom, Northern Ireland's premiere local music website have kicked into gear their annual competition to support Northern Irish musicians, Kickstart. Press release below -

We are pleased to announce that Chordblossom's annual Kickstart competition is returning for 2015. Previous winners of the competition include SOAK (recently longlisted in the Blog Sound of 2015), Those Ghosts (just released their debut EP, "Delays") and In An Instant (released an acclaimed debut EP and are selling out shows across the province).

Aimed at giving Northern Irish artists the chance to Kickstart their year, the prizes include a single recording, music video and a slot at a local music festival to name just a few.

Kickstart is open to any musicians or bands from Northern Ireland interested in pushing themselves in 2015. All genres and ages are welcome, the only restrictions are that you are originally from NI and that you haven’t released a full length album.

Once all the entries are received, the Chordblossom team will decide who will initially be shortlisted. These shortlisted acts will be subhect to a public vote to decide the final four musicians in contention. These final four acts will perform at a showcase gig in The Bar With No Name after which a collection of local music industry experts will decide the winner of Kickstart 2015!

Editor of Chordblossom, Robert Brown had this to say, “Yet again we're delighted and extremely grateful that a host of great organisations are willing to join us in nurturing and developing the wonderful talent we have in Northern Ireland. The winner of this year's Kickstart will have all the necessary tools and backing to ensure they have a successful 2015. We can't wait to unearth some hidden gems."

- Professional Career Advice – Courtesy of Third Bar Artist Development
Before you begin collecting the rest of your prizes you will sit down with Third Bar Artist Development, a joint enterprise between Davy Matchett & Gary Lightbody to decide which song you should record as a single and develop a plan for taking your career to the next level.

- Single Recording – Courtesy of Millbank Studios
You will have the privilege of recording a single at the prestigious Millbank Studios. When you consider that artists like Rams’ Pocket Radio, The Rupture Dogs, A Plastic Rose and Malojian have all recorded here, you know your release is going to sound sumptuous.

- Video for your Single – Courtesy of Dog Kennel Productions
To accompany your single you will work with Dog Kennel Productions to produce a stunning video. 2014 was a busy year for the company as they produced videos for Escobar, Owen McGarry, Amanda St John & LORIS to name but a few.

- Festival Slot – Courtesy of Stendhal Festival of Art
2014 played host to the best Stendhal Festival of Art yet. Combining established artists from overseas like Turin Brakes, Frightened Rabbit with the cream of Northern Irish music, you will join the bill of this Limavady festival in 2015.

- First Play of your Single – Courtesy of Electric Mainline
To ensure your single gets some much needed radio airplay, Stephen McCauley of BBC Radio Foyle’s Electric Mainline will play it live on air as soon as it has been recorded.

- Graphic Design for a Poster along with Printing – Courtesy of Alice Kearney Design
Our own in-house graphic designer Alice Kearney will design you a spectacular poster for your single launch and will kindly cover the printing costs as well.

- CD Duplication – Courtesy of Botanic Media
So you’ve recorded your single now you just need to get it to the masses. Botanic Media will provide you with 50 copies of your new single for you to distribute how you see fit. Previous clients have included Ben Glover and The Bonnevilles.

- Single Artwork – Courtesy of DSNT
There is no point in having a stunning new single if you don’t have some spectacular artwork to grace the cover. Never fear as DSNT have kindly agree to design your single sleeve. They are a multi-disciplined creative company based in Belfast and have worked with the likes of Ryan Vail, Ghosts and Unknwn.

- Professional Photoshoot – Courtesy of Ciara McMullan Photography
You’ll find Ciara McMullan at hundreds of local music shows across Northern Ireland every year and quite a few of our bands use her images as promotional material. Lucky for you, she’ll make sure you have your own quality images as part of a professional photoshoot.

- Single Launch Gig in Belfast - Courtesy of Chordblossom
Not only are we offering you all these wonderful prizes but we will also host your illustrious single launch. In 2014 we hosted EP launches for the Wood Burning Savages and LORIS, so have a fair idea how to put on a memorable show.

How To Enter -
You must be a musician or band originally from Northern Ireland and have not released an album. If you meet this criteria please send an email to with the following information:
- Band/Musician Name:
- Hometown:
- Influences:
- A Social Media Link
- An MP3 of your best track (if you entered in 2014 please send in a different track)

Timeline For The Competition  -
- Monday 18th January 2015 - Competition announced and entry opens
- Sunday 1st February 2015 - Entries Close
- Sunday 8th/Monday 9th February 2015 - Top 20 Announced – Voting Opens
- Sunday 15th February 2015 - Voting Closes
- Monday, 16th February 2015 – Final 4 Announced
- Friday 27th February 2015 – Showcase Gig & Winner Announced

So if you're a Northern Irish purveyor of fine music, you should definitely get involved with this. Here's a brief taste of the sound of previous years' winners -

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