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Artist Followup: Hometown Heroes Open For The Goo Goo Dolls

In October, Tulsa, Oklahoma pop-rockers Stars Go Dim won the Grand Prize in the Subway “Fresh Artists” Competition with their song “Get Over It,” which awarded the band the incredible opportunity to open for The Goo Goo Dolls at the Star 103.3 Jingle Ball in San Francisco, CA on December 10, 2010.  In addition to the to the performance, SGD will also receive $1,000 cash and a songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Bogart, famous for writing hits for artists the likes of Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Adam Lambert! The guys in the band got the incredible opportunity to meet the members of the Goo Goo Dolls, as well as share the bill with Hedley and former American Idol winner Kris Allen. Leading up to the show, the band was featured and interviewed on Tulsa’s rock radio station KMOD, which also broadcast their winning single “Get Over It”  to thousands of listeners. The band later performed at a local Subway in their hometown, drawing a crowd of dedicated local followers.  We caught up with Michael Wittig, bassist for Stars Go Dim, after the show to hear all about their experience.

OS: How did your performance go? What kind of  increased buzz have you guys seen up to and after the show?

MW: Our performance at the Star 101.3 Jingle Ball with the Goo Goo Dolls and Kris Allen went awesome.  We’ve been told we played very well. I don’t know about the other guys, but I rocked the bass that night, ha.

OS: How did the audience respond to your set?

MW: The crowd was very receptive and showed it spending their hard earned money on us after the show. I was surprised by the amount of CDs/shirts we sold. We took pictures with some of them after the show and have kept in touch with some via Facebook since the show.

OS: How did it feel to have the opportunity to open for the Goo Goo Dolls? Did you get to meet them?

MW: We were very excited about the whole thing. The Goo Goo Dolls have had so many hits and great songs. We did get to meet them. They set up a private meeting for us with them and had a photoshoot. The guys were very friendly and encouraging. John even gave us a shout out on stage during their set.

OS: How did you get your fans to come and judge in the competition?

MW: We asked them very nicely :) Many of our fans have become good friends of ours. We made sure that a handful of them were able to attend the show on us. And when that doesn’t work blackmailing sometimes helps get those extra votes.

OS: What do you think is the most important way to market yourself as a band?

MW: Be personable with fans and give them your time. You just might get their time in return and win huge contests like this. Oh, having good quality music helps too!

OS: How do you plan to use this opportunity to further your career?

MW: Every time something great like this happens, it just helps build our story. Not many independent artists can say they’ve played with John Mayer, Chris Daughtry, Jason DeRülo and now the Goo Goo Dolls. Being able to add this to our history just makes it easier to land new opportunities. Being a part of events like this opens doors.

OS: What has been the most exciting aspect of this whole experience?

MW: Being recognized by Clear Channel and the Goo Goo Dolls out of so many other great artists. Also, getting to meet and watch the Goo Goo Dolls perform. It was pretty cool to watch them play “Name” and their other hits live. We travel so much we don’t really get a chance to “attend” concerts for fun. We definitely look up to them and their songwriting.

Stars Go Dim is scheduled to be interviewed by local radio stations in and around their hometown in the coming weeks, and their story has been picked up by a local paper who will cover their entire experience in the Subway “Fresh Artists” Competition from start to finish. Stay tuned to the airwaves for word from this up-and-coming band. Click below to check out the video of the band’s meet and greet with the Goo Goo Dolls.

Winner Announced For The Ernie Ball November Punk Competition!

Congratulations to Skyler from Glen Ridge, NJ, winner of November’s Ernie Ball Competition on OurStage’s Punk Channel! This lucky group scored a complimentary year supply of guitar and bass strings.

Throughout November, punk artists submitted original songs and the Top 20 acts were reviewed by judges at both Ernie Ball and music experts at OurStage. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and judged in this competition! In December, Ernie Ball continues to give away free strings to  the best artist in Modern Rock! Click HERE for details.

OurStage Artist Update: Xoe Wise

OurStage artist  Xoe Wise is not one to sit still. Having lived in various parts of the US and tried numerous hobbies and activities, she ultimately realized that her heart was set on making music. Her laid-back and soulful tunes have reached the Top 10 four times here on OurStage, including a Number 1 win in the Pop Channel last February.

Twenty-year-old Xoe has had a busy year. She filmed a music video, released a full-length record, played at the Microsoft Store and is slated to play a massive benefit concert for Michigan cancer foundation Believe in Miracles in 2011. We caught up with the quirky and passionate singer-songwriter to hear about her life, her music and how the two continually inspire each other.

OS: You started getting involved with music at a young age when you took up the flute. What eventually made you decide to pick up the guitar and become a singer-songwriter?

XW: As a kid, it’s almost silly how many foods, instruments and dreams I tried out before I decided to stop eating everything on trees and stop pushing the concept that a kid could really grow up to be a mermaid. While this may seem semi normal for a little kid, the scattered  passions and curiosity that was in my heart grew strong into my high school years where my plans ended up towards a soccer scholarship in SC. Sometimes I’ve wondered what it would have been like…I’ve learned to respect the destiny of my realizations though…the love I feel for sound and art held intensity, leading it to surface past a million other activities I felt decent love for. I do remember my dad having a guitar in his woodshed and I would write songs for baby goats we were raising. As moving as those goat songs probably were, I don’t consider that my origin of songwriting. Like everything, singing and songwriting’s surfacing point parallels love. We can go through events and relationships bitter and confused, but at some point, even by contrast of another human being, love will surface. It’s not that flute wasn’t enough for me at the time, but eventually my heart fell deeply in love with music, so deeply that I wanted to ask it to marry me, scream it from the rooftops, or become a musician perhaps.

OS: Your music is very influenced by the beach, but you’re currently living in Chicago. Without the beach close to you, how do you spend your free time in the city?

XW: This question is so important because I had to ask it to myself after moving here. In a lot of ways I’ve been able to write about the sea, and feel its intensity and importance from a new perspective. I have a huge interest in geographical relationships. Do some people need to be in the sun? Feel the salt? Humid air? Does it have to do with our ancestors or experiences? There are places, people, and smells that we feel at home with and sometimes it hits us later in life. The idea of a soul mate transcends into the world of geography. Where I sit and write music and who I sit with, are very similar questions. This long distance relationship with the East Coast has helped me know the world better through its resonating and haunting memories, therefore again I write. More specific activities in the city consist of open mics, running, spending time with my god moms and friends, making tea, writing, I daydream on my apartment floor a lot. I like finding weird spots and imagining who and what was there before. If this is too heavy for some of you who wanted to be my friend until you realized how much I’m absorbed in thought…I also like eating sour straws…no talking…just eating…walking around hardware stores and listening to music while I pretend to need something. In the end I always leave happy with a few random plants and bolts. I take some classes at a schoolhouse too.

OS: You recently released your first full-length album, called Echo. What would you say are some of the main themes of the album?

XW: Echo in the end became not only relevant to this album, but future albums, past albums, in fact all art. There were some great people bringing this album to life. My godparents helped connect this dream to reality, my mastering master Collin Jordan, Arthi Meera doing some great vocals, Chris Blasingame on pedal steel, and Ryan Neuschafer engineering. I collaborated with an amazing producer. His name is Ethan Stoller and he is one of my greatest friends. They say that Cancers and Leos don’t get along but we truly had some solid musical chemistry. His wife, who is just as fantastic for listening to Echo for months, is also a Leo and they are are a beautiful couple.  Anyway, both of our minds helped to make this album with talk of heartbreak, some hope, falling  in love, a lot of talk about driving, summer in cars..some of it is for everyone’s imagination. “This is our love, thought you should know, this is the sound of our love’s echo” is a line from the song “Echo.” It’s hard to remember what happened, but somewhere inside of me, something knows, that love has an echo. A song is an echo of love. This is why it’s hard to pinpoint themes; because essentially the songs are as far as I could go with labels of feelings. I do believe this album is a testimony to trusting love as well. Love can take us away from our comfort zone and sometimes things turn wild and unforgiving. Relationships can create confusion as to what we even want, and make us really dig into ourselves. Love also can take away this pain. In a round about way I think that represents how we HAVE to love ourselves and believe in ourselves.

OS: You have a music video for the song “Before Waves.” Can you tell us the story behind the video?

XW: The song “Before Waves” regards a love story where two people fall in love by the ocean. The lovers do not realize their connection to the warm air and sea until returning to where they first met. I think we constantly do this in life. We feel something and then explore it more and watch our heart expand its senses to other beauties of the earth. Things we don’t even realize impact us, will resonate in our souls and play a role in our destiny. The video was directed by Ryan Eakins with help editing from his friend Lev. Ryan and my God moms and my friend Casey contributed to stunning ideas like Ryan’s concept of our walk creating words. The idea of our journey painting love in sand absolutely parallels this love story. Emily Blood is a character in the video who not only did beautifully on camera but is one of the most hilarious and life filled people I’ve met. Her presence added to what love is.

OS: Some of your influences include singer-songwriters like Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson, which is clearly heard in your music. Are there any artists that people would be surprised to learn inspire you?

XW: I do have a pool of artists that inspire me. Jason Reeves, John Mayer, Andy Davis; they are all amazing. On a more surprising note perhaps I’ll mention Yann Tiersen. I have a large fascination with accordions. When I first saw the film Amelie, I would blast the soundtrack on my way to surf early mornings. Also João Gilberto and Stan Getz give me quite the Brazilian comfort I need sometimes. On a completely different side of things, Jimmy Rodgers truly entertains me and makes me want to eat popsicles and play scrabble or something like that. I have a huge respect for some artists I’ve found along the way of really long YouTube journeys. Chelsea Lee, JayMay, are some brilliant upcoming artists. When I’m thinking of the sea I’m inspired by Mishka. People laugh at me for this one, but Taylor Swift and Frank Sinatra are absolutely on a ton of my playlists together…just the two of them…that’s another story…love story…ha.

OS: You’re playing a benefit concert in March with Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay. Can you tell us more about that?

XW: Yes this is a very moving and exciting event. Believe in Miracles is a non- profit organization based out of Troy, MI, that helps children fighting life-threatening illnesses by granting them wishes. The mission of Believe in Miracles is to enrich the lives of these children by bringing joy and hope to their lives. On Wednesday, March 2, 2011, Believe in Miracles will host its 1st Annual “Believe in Miracles: A Benefit Concert” with performances by singer-songwriters Jonathan Clay, Zach Chance and myself in the O’Rena of Oakland University in Rochester, MI. The goal is to raise $15,000 for the organization and have 1,500 people from the university and surrounding communities in attendance. All profits will go directly to Believe in Miracles. I am proud to be part of this concert and am looking forward to being a part of art’s healing ways. You can also get more information on the Facebook event page.

OS: You also played at the Microsoft Store. How did that opportunity come about? How did you feel about playing on the same stage that John Legend and Colbie Caillat have played on?

XW: The Microsoft store was so much fun. All the staff treated me wonderfully during their grand opening weeks where they were featuring musicians. My manager reached a development specialist for the store and we went from there. There may be a future appearance there as well. It’s fantastic to have had the opportunity to play shows where I feel connected to great artists like Colbie and John. All three of us have been best friends since the third grade where we would do word searches and jigsaw puzzles together. Just joking…and I’m not sure that third grade is a jigsaw puzzle kind of age anyway.

OS: Are you a Mac or a PC?

XW: (Laughs) PC.

OS: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans on OurStage?

XW: Well, I think it’s important to live a romantic life. I’ll send that out to everyone. Be romantic in everything you do. If you’re picking a flower, treat the flower nicely. If you’re walking across the street talk about the beautiful eyes you see. Treat yourself this way too. Tell lots of knock knock jokes.

Check out Xoe’s video for “Before Waves” below!

Winner Announced For Big D NYE 2010!

In October, OurStage joined forces with Big D NYE, the premiere New Year’s Eve event in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to launch the Big D NYE “Fast Track to Fame” Competition. Artists in the Dallas/Fort Worth region were encouraged to enter their best original song in the competition for a chance at performing at Big D NYE on New Year’s Eve 2010. After a month of intense competition, the best and brightest artists rose to the top of the channel. The Top 10 artists in the channel were then reviewed by music experts at OurStage and WFAA employees, and a Grand Prize Winner was chosen! Texas natives Sleeperstar beat out the rest of the competition to perform live at Big D NYE 2010 in front of a live audience of 30,000 people and a televised audience of over 450,000 viewers! In addition to performing live at Big D NYE, the guys will receive $1,000 cash, an editorial feature on Big D NYE’s online platform and OurStage.com along with tickets to the Big D NYE VIP Party. Be sure to check out their OurStage profile and join us in congratulating them on a hard earned win. Stay tuned to the OurStage blog for when we interview Sleeperstar to find out about their big night.

Introducing The Winner Of The SUBWAY Fresh Artists Competition

After thousands of submissions from artists nationwide and months of battling, the “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™” Competition has finally come to a close. At the end of September, ten Number 1 artists from the Regional phase of the competition walked away with $1,000 cash and gift cards to SUBWAY® Restaurants In October, the competition moved into the National Finals phase, offering the Top 50 artists from each of the regional channels a shot at the grand prize: to open for the Goo Goo Dolls on one stop of their upcoming tour.  At the end of the month, a panel of judges consisting of Clear Channel Radio Programming executives, music experts at OurStage and members of the Goo Goo Dolls came together to pick one winner out of the Top 20 artists in the channel. Meet Stars Go Dim,a pop-rock four piece hailing from Tulsa Oklahoma. In addition to opening for GRAMMY Award winners The Goo Goo Dolls, the guys are scoring a songwriting session with professional songwriter Evan Bogart, $1,000 cash, and an editorial feature on “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™” online platform, iheartradio, and OurStage.com. To check out their music and OurStage profile, click HERE. Stay tuned to the OurStage blog for when we interview Stars Go Dim about their experience opening for The Goo Goo Dolls.

Intel Superstars Winners Announced!

The Top 5 OurStage artists in the Latin, singer-songwriter and urban genres, who entered their original songs in the Intel “Superstars”Competition via Intel’s Facebook page, are now the lucky recipients of an awesome prize package courtesy of Intel and Cakewalk. Each package includes a personal computer with Intel® Core™ Processor Technology and Cakewalk music software! The Top 20 artists in each of the Intel “Superstars” Competition Channels have automatically made it to the Intel “Superstars” National Finals Competition to compete for $10,000 cash, to be awarded in January 2011 by a panel of music industry experts.

Remember to Judge in the Intel “Superstars” National Finals Competition and help the best artist rise to the top and take home the grand prize!

Congratulations to these Intel “Superstars” Competition Winners:

Singer-Songwriter Winners:
“Worth The Fight” by Marie Hines (Nashville, TN)
“Running Into Walls” by Lily Holbrook (San Francisco, CA)
“My Way Home” by Made To Break (Bothell, WA)
“Quicksand” by Anthony Rankin (Pittsburgh, PA)
“Gotta Get Away” by Seth Glier (Shelburne, MA)

Urban Winners:
“What’s On My Mind” by Kjae (Mentone, CA)
“I Need You” by Mac (Gods Gift) (Fresno, TX)
“Little Do They Know” by Arenbe (Houston, TX)
“Save The World” by Luci (Nashville, TN)
“Thomas Edison” by Bravo Young (Riverdale, GA)

Latin Winners:
“Cuando Mas Te Neccisito” by Luis Guillermo (Berwyn, IL)
“Sunshine In My Mind” by Laura Ault (Astoria, NY)
“Le Propuse” by Berto Lavos (Tampa, FL)
“Live It Up” by Luci, featuring Thrill Coleman (Nashville, TN)
“Elena” by Soulsa (New York, NY)

Check out the playlist below to listen to the winning songs from the Intel “Superstars” Latin, Urban and Singer-Songwriter Channels!

Ernie Ball Metal Winner For October Announced!

In October, long time OurStage partner Ernie Ball sponsored the Metal Channel, giving headbangers around the country a chance to compete for a year’s supply of free strings. The votes are in and the folks at Ernie Ball have made their choice. A Vision Grotesque—hailing from Salisbury, North Carolina—shredded and rocked their way to the top of the channel, and into the ears of the judges. Their unique blend of wailing guitar solos, brutal vocals and furious riffage will have your head moving all night long. To listen to A Vision Grotesque, head to their OurStage profile and check out their tracks. Ernie Ball is currently sponsoring the Punk Channel. Hit up the playlist below to listen to some of the top artists currently competing in the channel. The competition continues throughout November, so be sure to head to the Punk Channel to vote for your favorite artists.

Announcing The Winners Of The Subway Fresh Artists Regional Competition!

Back in September we launched the “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™” Competition, offering artists across the US a chance to compete for $1000 cash, promotion through Clear Channel, OurStage.com and the Subway Fresh Artists™ platform and SUBWAY® restaurants gift cards. The competition was divided into ten regional channels across the United States with one winner chosen from each region by Clear Channel Radio Program Directors, ten winners in all, and the results are now in. The Top 50 artists from each of the regional channels earned themselves a spot in the “SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™” National Finals Competition, and are currently competing for a chance to open for GRAMMY award-winning band the Goo Goo Dolls. Check out the regional winners and their music below, and be sure to head to the SUBWAY FRESH ARTISTS™ National Finals Competition to help decide which lucky up-and-comer will open for the Goo Goo Dolls!

Region 1 Winner
Darlingside
View Profile | Listen to Darlingside | See All Entrants
Region 2 Winner
Devlin Miles
View Profile | Listen to Devlin Miles | See All Entrants
Region 3 Winner
Derren Raser
View Profile | Listen to Derren Raser | See All Entrants
Region 4 Winner
Cedar Avenue
View Profile | Listen to Cedar Avenue | See All Entrants
Region 5 Winner
Crash Coordinates
View Profile | Listen to Crash Coordinates | See All Entrants
Region 6 Winner
Again and Again
View Profile | Listen to Again and Again | See All Entrants
Region 7 Winner
August Rising
View Profile | Listen to August Rising | See All Entrants
Region 8 Winner
Snow Like It’s April
View Profile | Listen to Snow Like It’s April | See All Entrants
Region 9 Winner
hellokelly
View Profile | Listen to hellokelly | See All Entrants
Region 10 Winner
Runaway City
View Profile | Listen to Runaway City | See All Entrants



HOTSPUR WINS NEW MUSIC SEMINAR, IS AN “ARTIST ON THE VERGE”

The results are in and the band Hotspur has come out on top as the grand prize winner of the NMS “Artist on the Verge” competition on OurStage. The focus of the competition was to expose aspiring artists to top media, tech and music industry executives and give them a jump start to their careers. Hotspur was one of three finalists who made it to the New Music Seminar in New York to showcase their talents in front of some of the music industry’s top brass. The seminar was attended by major players from companies such as MySpace, Facebook, ReverbNation, Tommy Boy Records and, of course, OurStage.

Hotspur at NMS

Bands were stopping by our NMS booth all day to show their love and we even had to call in the reinforcements for more swag to give away!  We were there later that night when all three bands performed live in a showcase at Santo’s Party House. After hearing great performances from each of the finalists, the folks from NMS named Hotspur winners of the competition. The band will receive a grand prize package worth more than $50,000! Contents of the package include a Gibson SG Raw Power Guitar, a custom-designed website, a music business toolbox, and much more!

Winner Announced For Ernie Ball In September!

September is over which means another OurStage artist has been selected by the folks at Ernie Ball to be the recipient of a year supply of free strings. Meet The Meadows, a Los Angeles-based songwriting duo whose sound, according to Rolling Stone, is “steeped in the acoustic soul of Big Star and sprinkled with the arena-rock dust of Coldplay.” The pair were introduced by “future ex-girlfriends” a few years back and have been making music ever since. Their music has garnered acclaim from music giants such as the aforementioned Rolling Stone, Allmusic.com and Playback. The guys now join the ranks of past Ernie Ball winners Amy Kuney, Andrew Varner, The Black Rabbits and The Worsties, and are walking away with a years supply of free strings. To learn more about The Meadows, head to their OurStage profile. To check out some tracks, take a listen to the playlist below.

 


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