Changes to the monthly competitions

Hi and welcome back to Amazing OurStage. We want to let you know that there will be changes to the prizes we are offering. Every month will be different.
This month we are awarding prizes of $100 to winners of the competition finals. In the future there will be prizes to help your musical career. Check back to find out.

OurStage is now part of Amazing Media

Come back to see the improvements to OurStage over the next few months.

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The Latest From OurStage’s Greatest

With hundreds of thousands of artists making up the OurStage community, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the latest cool happening with our favorite musicians. Luckily, we subscribe to hundreds of OurStagers’ newsletters and email updates so we can always be there to lend a hand or a congratulatory high five. Consider this post a fist pump, thumbs up, ass slap, whatever you will, to these artists for their continuing hustle. Stay awesome.

You may remember the alt hip hop group OMG from their cooler than cool showing in the Coors Light Search for the Coldest Competition, where they froze out competition to become finalists and opened for N.E.R.D. Now they’re heating things up with their latest single “Chase the Sun” released on August 3 from their upcoming debut LP Mr. Mars. The funky hip hop beats will put you in a block party mindset complete with warm tall boys, but the swaggy hip hop vocals will melt you down into a groovy puddle right on the pavement.

Some music is just written for heartache. But if you’re really looking to torture yourself, you’re gonna want the songs that were written from heartache. Chris Akinyemi delivers in “Aya Mi” (means My Heart in Yoruba) of his debut Autumn EP, a soft acoustic song about what sounded like a wrenching break up with his college girlfriend. Just as you’re about to slit your wrists, female harmonies and the slightest percussion accents are dropped in (4:20) for a revitalizing finish. Regardless of the inspiration for the song, Chris has the last laugh, as the “Aya Mi” music video will soon premiere on MTV.

Our DVR may be slightly backed up with the new episodes of Entourage (what? Sunday nights are busy!) but The Niceguys video for their new single “Ari Gold”, off their upcoming The James Kelley EP, is enough to remind us why we need to make a date with our remote, and soon. Spitting a take-no-prisoners philosophy, we want to bump the song while driving around cursing off our boss (hypothetically, of course!).  In the latest issue of Rolling Stone (p. 56)  Jeremy Piven insisted he really is a “nice guy”… maybe The Niceguys can make him one of their entourage.

Amy Kuney makes the kind of music that lends itself to pop culture and relevant going-ons. Her song ”All Downhill From Here” made an appearance in the uber-creepy Catfish, a was-it-or-wasn’t-it documentary exploring online relationships. Most recently “Gasoline Rainbows” was used by So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Stacey Tookey to convey a wake up call in regards to growing environmental issues. Whether it’s intentional or not, Amy is certainly tuned in.

Being sick sucks. Being sick with food poisoning sucks even more. Being sick with pneumonia, food poisoning AND being in Germany probably sucks serious bratwurst. But Xoe Wise is bouncing back and getting ready to depart on a North American tour with Matt Ryd, hitting pretty much every major city and adding in five performances at Microsoft locations, who are sponsoring her. Look for our care package of TheraFlu in the mail, Xoe.

The New York Times, as they say, has all the news that’s fit to print. So it’s only fitting that Sarah Solovay popped up in the N.Y./Region section last month in an interview about her career as a seventeen-year-old musician juggling songwriting and prep school. Despite a respectable number of song placements in TV and film, “her biggest achievement was opening for [John] Mayer. Fans [judged] for her on OurStage.com, and on July 24, 2010, she took the stage in front of 18,000 people in Scranton, Pa.,” where our old friend music exec Bruce Tyler noticed and took special interest in her career. Taking the summer to work on her new album, it’s back to the stacks in the fall for Sarah.

 

Soundcheck: Unsigned Hype — Keaira LaShae

“It’s a passion like no other.  It’s a drive like nothing you’ve ever seen.”

For an aspiring artist, the road to stardom is paved with big dreams, big sacrifice and big letdowns.  The very nature of the music business breeds dishonesty, greed and broken promises. In a world where talent doesn’t ensure a thing, and opportunities seem few and far between, I have to wonder what life looks like for artists before we start watching? And how, after the hundreds of horror stories of the evils of this industry, do these artist continue their fight for fame?  How do they persevere through the pitfalls without losing faith? A case study on the subject with a particularly poised  up and comer should provide a clearer picture.

Keaira LaShae knows a thing or two about the music business. At twenty-four, she’s been at it for ten years. Born in Tampa, Florida, La Shae began singing in the church across the street from her home at an early age, discovering her knack for entertainment after winning a local competition at seven, beating out competitors twice her age. At fourteen, she formed a group with two middle school classmates.  The trio got noticed at a regional competition for “Showtime At The Apollo” and was introduced to their future manger, M.  After replacing one member with younger sister, Ceaira, and renaming themselves Diversity 3, the girls were flown out to Los Angeles for an in-home audition for an industry insider. He was impressed, and told them to write three songs in an hour, which he then shopped to various record labels.  What resulted was an all-out bidding war, with Sony Music inking a $4 million deal with the group.  Like so many others, the deal fell through, with the middle man taking more than his ‘cut’ of the profits. “We were crushed,” recalls LaShae.

Despite the blow, the girls decided to keep the momentum going by executing a two-hour production on their own.  “They [the labels] knew about us, and I knew that wasn’t our only shot,” she recalls. The girls worked ‘round the clock on everything from musical arrangements to choreography; making posters, securing a venue, hiring a DJ and selling tickets.  “We sang the national anthem during morning announcements at every school in Hillsborough County.  We sang at malls, in the food court, on the street, at nail salons, anywhere someone would listen.”  When the big night came, lines formed down the street and around the building, forcing the doorman to turn people away after they exceeded capacity. Representatives from Virgin Records were in the crowd, and within days of the show, the group was flown to New York for a showcase for the label’s president.  After a successful fifteen-minute showcase, one group member blew their chances by getting sassy with an executive. LaShae had reached her limit.

Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Unsigned Hype — Keaira LaShae’

Eclectic Approach Releases New Song And Video

Eclectic Approach has got its wheels in motion. Just last month, the self-dubbed “gritty rock ‘n hop”  group competed on behalf of the country’s western states to be the “Coldest” MC in OurStage and Coors Light’s “Search For The Coldest” Competition. While their opening performance for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv didn’t land them the Grand Prize, Eclectic Approach shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, they’re just getting started, vowing to release a new song and video every month and embracing social media to get even closer with their fans.

Today marks the release of their new song “Brother”, a track that some might say is a departure from their older work due to a new, heavier sound.  Below is our exclusive interview with Justin MacDonald. Be sure to check out the new video and show Eclectic Approach some love by buying the new song!

OS: Why the transition to this darker subject matter? What’s the inspiration?

JM: I think that we write music for whatever is going on in our lives at that particular moment. One of the challenges in the current music scene is being consistent in your sound and style, but not so consistent that when you move a bit left or right of that one “sound”, your fan base rebels and you lose your listeners and supporters. Luckily, we have always been all over the map, so I think our fans are just interested in hearing what the next thing is for us, and don’t really expect us to stick to one musical sound, subject or emotion.

OS: What was it like taking your sound in this direction?

JM: On our last album Jump Into Life, we had a couple songs that were a little more dark and emotional, so this song isn’t a complete 180 for us. However, it’s nice for all of us in the band to be able to sit down and write a song called “Boobies Make the World Go ’round” and at the same time be able to come to the table with something really serious and work with that. I think it’s a much more honest way to approach music, because you listen to some band’s music and either they have no sense of humor, their life really, really sucks or they just don’t let themselves sing about the humor in life. But there again, perhaps they are just giving the fans what they want. I’ll be honest, if all of the sudden Radiohead started releasing comedy albums I might be a little thrown off! But, being serious or funny all of the time isn’t us, so we mix it up.

OS: What went into filming the video for “Brother”?

JM: Ben Hampton from Magical Touch Media is a good friend of ours, and he and Jowed came up with the concept. When we were writing the song, it was obviously very personal for Jowed, and I think the video reflects that. We can all get nostalgic watching old family videos, and when you are dealing with a family member who is battling addiction, that can be a powerful combination. There is a real innocence to children, and when you compare the carefree kid playing to the person you know now, I think its not uncommon to think, “What happened to THAT person?!” I think the song and video explores that idea in a pretty intimate way.

OS: What’s next?

JM: We are rethinking how we are going move forward as a band. It used to be that touring was the most effect way of getting a following, but with how powerful Web sites like YouTube and Facebook have become, it almost seems like as a band you are better off focusing on giving your fans consistent content. We are committed to writing at least one new song a month with an accompanying video. We are going to sell these songs through our Wazala store initially (featured on our Web site www.eclecticapproach.com as well as our Facebook page), and then iTunes after they go through the approval process. We want to create a relationship with our fans that they can count on us for new music and content, and we can count on them to support us! Of course we will still tour and play shows, but we want to grow new markets through our online presence before going to them in the ol’ tour van!

PyInfamous Takes The Title Of The “Coldest” MC In The Nation!

Thousands entered, four were selected, one prevailed.

In March, Coors Light and OurStage threw down the gauntlet for hip-hoppers nationwide to step up and claim the title of the nation’s “Coldest” MC. To say that Mississippi native PyInfamous simply “stepped up” would be doing him a disservice.

Py submitted his song “Bliss (Cooler Than This)” in the Coors Light “Search For the Coldest” Competition South Channel and was selected as a finalist by the competition judges, including DJ Khaled, PacDiv and Bryan Michael Cox. The footage of his energetic opening performance for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv along with his relentless promotion helped him rack up over 45% of the votes in the final round to secure the title of “Coldest” MC!

PyInfamous will perform on July 2nd in New Orleans during ESSENCE® Music Festival weekend and grab $10,000 in studio time. Stay tuned to the OurStage Magazine for our interview with PyInfamous and stop by his OurStage profile to show him some love. Check out his winning performance in Atlanta below!

Vote For The Coldest MC And Win A Trip To ESSENCE® Music Festival!

Coors Light “Search for The Coldest” finalists Pyinfamous, Billa Camp, Eclectic Approach and OMG are fresh off their opening performances for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv. Now it’s time to turn the tables over to you, the fans, to decide once and for all who will be crowned the “Coldest” MC.

Videos of each artist’s performance have been uploaded to searchforthecoldest.com and are ready for your discerning tastes. Vote for your favorite performance, and help send one lucky MC to a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans. Lend a helping hand by June 17, 2011, and you could win an all-expenses-paid trip to the festival!

The opportunity is yours in just three easy steps:

  1. Head to searchforthecoldest.com and verify your age (sorry kids, for the 21+ crowd only)
  2. Click the “START JUDGING NOW” button on the home page
  3. Watch each artists’s performance and vote for your favorite! (all four videos must be opened before you can lock in a vote)

For an exclusive re-cap of the finalist performances and more, check us out on YouTube.

Follow Up With Coors Light “Search for the Coldest” Midwest Winner Billa Camp After His Baltimore Bash With N.E.R.D. And PacDiv

Billa Camp charmed listeners with his ode to his favorite state in “California” and reigned supreme in the “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” Midwest Channel. The result: Billa got to fly to Baltimore to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv, and has a chance at being crowned the “Coldest MC”! We caught up with Billa after his performance in Baltimore to see what it was like to open for heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv and how he plans on winning the Grand Prize—a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans.

OS: How did you react when you found out that your song was the winner of the Midwest Channel?

BC: I was hyped! There were plenty of worthy emcees from the Midwest. It’s an honor to have came out on top.

OS: What inspired you to choose “California” a song about your love of the West Coast, to be the track you submitted into the Midwest competition?

BC: Personally, I love the entire make up of the continental United States. You can drive from one end of the country to the other and feel as if you’ve stepped into different worlds. I was born in New York, became a man in Chicago, but I was always intrigued by how filmmakers portrayed California life. Being from the Midwest you’re in the middle of it all. I feel the song connects with people not only from the Midwest, but all over. Simply because, mostly everyone has dreamed of going somewhere or doing something to escape the realities of everyday life.

Billa Camp performing in Baltimore

OS: What was it like opening for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv? Were you a fan of them before you entered the competition?

BC: Of course, I knew who both the groups were. It was sick, crazy, bananas, inspirational, motivational and any other complimentary word used to describe a situation. Actually, six months ago I had an interview where they asked me: “Who would I most like to work with”? I answered “N.E.R.D.” Positive thinking goes a long way!

OS: What was the most memorable moment from the show for you?

BC: Just being there was memorable, but if I had to pick one thing it would be…Seeing N.E.R.D & Pac Div on the same bill for “free”. Priceless!

OS: What are your plans for promoting yourself to earn that Grand Prize—a performance at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans?

BC: I’d rather not say right now, but all you can do is go BIG.

OS: What kind of impact do you think this will have on your career going forward?

BC: I want to use this as a stepping stone, and these are definitely steps in the right direction.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans and your supporters on OurStage who helped “California” win in the competition?

BC: I want to say “Thank You” to everyone who voted and took the time to support independent music. Without them, there would be no independent artists.

OS: After seeing Eclectic Approach performing live, what do you think of the competition in the finals?

BC: Jowed is dope. He’s got good crowd control. It was a great experience and I had fun. You can’t beat that.

Check out Billa Camp’s winning track below:

Eclectic Approach Talks About Rocking Out With PacDiv And N.E.R.D.

Eclectic Approach won big in the “Coors Light Search for the Coldest” Competition. Chill doesn’t begin to describe the laid back vibe these hip hoppers bring to the table and thanks to their track, “Cool”,  Eclectic Approach was crowned the winner of the West Channel. We caught up with Eclectic Approach MC Jowed Hadeed after his performance in Baltimore to see what it was like to open for heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv and how he plans to win the Grand Prize—a performance at ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans!

OS: How did you react when you found out that your song was the winner of the West Channel?

JH: I was so excited. Ryan (our guitarist) called me and said that we won and that we [would] get flown to Baltimore and I was like “NO WAY!” This is my first time ever being flown for a competition so I was stoked. We have worked so hard these last two years since we started music full time (nine years all together) and it feels good to have something good come our way.

OS: As the only finalist in the competition that uses live, organic instrumentation in your hip hop production, how do you think this will effect your chances in the competition?

JH: I hope that it will improve my chances. We spent a lot of time in the studio making the song “Cool” sound big and I feel that not a lot of music these days is taking the extra time and effort for live instrumentation and good production.

OS: What was it like opening for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv? Were you a fan of them before you entered the competition?

JH: Opening for N.E.R.D. was amazing. I consider them to be one of the top five hip hop producers and performers today and of all time. I had not heard of PacDiv up until this performance but they put on a good show.

OS: What are your plans for promoting yourself to earn that Grand Prize—a performance at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans?

JH: My plan is to use the social networks to the fullest. Our fans, friends and family have all seen the hard work we put in and are ready to do everything they can to vote and promote. We will be using all communication channels possible to spread the word about voting.

OS: What kind of impact do you think this will have on your career going forward?

JH: My hope is to win, and meet with a rep from Universal. I think that our band displays such a wide variety of styles and talent that someone with the right platform could focus the “best” sound for us and put us on the road in front of big crowds so that we can prove our music is good.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans and your supporters on OurStage who helped “Cool” win in the competition?

JH: OurStage has been so awesome to our band. We couldn’t be more thankful that OurStage exists and that they have such wonderful and supportive people there. I really get the feeling from them that they want to see our band succeed and we hope to make them proud. Our fans are so amazing as well, they have all been rooting for us since they heard about the competition.

OS: After seeing Billa Camp performing live, what do you think of the competition in the finals?

JH: All I can say is that going into this competition it was my goal to be who I am and nothing else. I got up and only performed two songs but I feel as though I did a good job of speaking to the crowd and giving them an experience that left them feeling good about my music. I wish all the other contestants the best of luck!

Check out the winning track from Eclectic Approach below:

Search For The Coldest North Channel Winner OMG Talks About Opening For PacDiv And N.E.R.D.

In March, OurStage and Coors Light teamed up for the Coors Light “Search for the Coldest” Competition to give artists a chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to open for hip hop heavyweights N.E.R.D. and PacDiv along with a shot at performing at the ESSENCE® Music Festival in New Orleans! Brooklyn’s own OMG might be relatively new to the scene (having only been a proper group since early January 2011) but the trio—consisting of pianist Olalekan, songwriter Mojeed and guitarist G.C.—have been making big moves in their career so far. Case in point: the boys fought alongside hundreds of other artists with their track “Blah to win the Coors Light “Search for the Coldest” North Channel which means they earned an opening slot for a N.E.R.D. and PacDiv gig in New York City! We caught up with frontman Mojeed after his performance with N.E.R.D. and PacDiv to see how things went.

OMG opening in NYC. Photo: Jo Castillo

OS: How did you react when you found out that your song was the winner of the North Channel?

OMG: The feeling was ecstatic and unbelievable at first for my group and I. After a few minutes, we realized that we deserved the position and began to believe in ourselves more.

OS: What was it like opening for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv in your hometown? Were you a fan of them before you entered the competition?

OMG: We have always been fans of N.E.R.D and always will be. So opening for them was definitely a pleasure and honor. We knew we were opening for one of the best so we had to do our best. I never heard of PacDiv, this opportunity knocked our door. But honestly, they are worth knowing and listening to as well.

OS: What was the most memorable moment from the show for you?

OMG: I would say when Pharell hit the stage, LOL. I learned a lot from him, the energy, the passion behind his performance, even meeting his humble self was incredible. Just made me realize the world is too small to act too big when you are well known.

OS: What are your plans for promoting yourself to earn that Grand Prize—a performance at Essence Music Festival in New Orleans?

OMG: Now I wouldn’t publicize my strategy, would I. LOL. It’s a competition.

OS: OMG is a pretty young project, it looks like the group’s only been active for a few months. What kind of impact do you think this will have on your career going forward?

OMG: It will definitely have a great impact on us. We are motivated by progress and to acquire such in such period of time is not just progressive, it’s a blessing, so with prayers and consistent hard work, the sky is the limit.

OS: Any shout outs for the fans and your supporters on OurStage who helped “Blah” win in the competition?

OMG: Shout out to the road manager of PacDiv, pretty dope guy, the fans, we do this for them, much love and every other OMG supporter and non supporter. We love them all.

Check out the video below for a recap of the NYC event and don’t forget to come back and vote for the “Coldest” MC on June 10th!

Search For The Coldest West & Midwest Winners To Open For N.E.R.D.

“Coors Light Search for The Coldest” finalists have already faced some stiff competition but this doesn’t mean they’re done yet, folks. After duking it out against hundreds of other OurStage competitors, MC’s from four hip hop acts—one from each region of the competition—will battle against one another to earn the chance to open for PacDiv and N.E.R.D. at the ESSENCE® Music Festival, and earn the title of “Coldest” MC in the country!

Before the festival, the winners get a chance to open for PacDiv and N.E.R.D. in three cities across the US. The victors in the Midwest and West Channels will get to meet in person, before the final face off, when they perform together in Baltimore on May 31st! Straight out of Chicago, rapper Billa Camp wowed OurStage listeners and the competition judges across the heartland with his funky, dirty track “California”, securing his win in the “Search for the Coldest” Midwest Channel. Rap-rockers Eclectic Approach bring the good-time vibes with the party jam “Cool” which garnered enough love to be crowned the winner of the “Search for the Coldest” West Channel.

Billa Camp

Eclectic Approach

 

Their Baltimore performances will be filmed and the footage will be hosted on OurStage and searchforthecoldest.com alongside the video performance of South Channel winner PyInfamous and OMG, the winner of the North Channel. Fans will then be able to vote for their favorite performance and decide, once and for all, who the “Coldest” MC really is. Congratulations once again to Billa Camp and Eclectic Approach—good luck at the show!


OMG To Bring The Heat From The North In Search For The Coldest Finals

Make way for the “Search for The Coldest” contender from the north! The “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” Competition is about to pit the four “Coldest” hip-hoppers in the country against each other in a massive war of words. Out of the Top 40 entries in the “Coors Light Search for The Coldest” North Channel, OMG arose victorious with the song “Blah”.

Brooklyn natives OMG will get to open for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv on May 31st in New York City, the birthplace of hip hop. The performance will be taped and hosted on OurStage and searchforthecoldest.com side by side with the three top contenders from the South, West and Midwest Channels. Fans can then vote for their favorite performance and help choose which artist will be crowned “Coldest” MC!

The Grand Prize winner will be given an opening performance for N.E.R.D. and PacDiv at Essence Music Festival 2011. Congratulations and good luck OMG from OurStage and Coors Light—you’ve earned it.

 

 


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