Awards season is upon us once again, meaning it won’t be long before music’s biggest names grace the red carpets at this year’s most glamorous ceremonies. For the UK’s best-unsigned bands and acts, this marks the return of the Unsigned Music Awards (or UMAs). Run by BIMM alumnus Simon O’Kelly, the awards will mark the start of this year’s anticipated The Great Escape Festival at the 4500 capacity Brighton Centre on May 16.
2018 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for the UMAs and BIMM. That’s because of not one, but nine of our brightest students up for awards in several major categories. BIMM acts from across our network of colleges will be hobnobbing with industry insiders and artists on one of the UK’s most talked about events for new and unsigned artists.
They include Best Female Solo nominees Ayelle, Hattie Marsh and RAHH! (all BIMM London); Best Electronic Act, Laoise (BIMM Dublin); Best Songwriters Jess Kemp (BIMM Manchester) and Storme (BIMM London); Best Rock Act, Tigress (BIMM London); and Best Jazz/Blues Act hopefuls Cha:dy (BIMM London), Miles Goodall and Jo Harman (both BIMM Brighton), who will all be looking to claim an UMA gong, following what has been an incredible breakthrough year for all of these acts.
Reflecting on her nomination, UMA hopeful Jess Kemp said: “It’s a huge honour to be longlisted for Best Songwriter in the UMAs; it’s definitely started my 2018 off with a bang! One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that the songs I write are listened to and enjoyed by the people out there who can relate to them. I can’t begin to thank the UMA judging panel enough for getting me to this stage as this industry is tough, so to be recognised is a massive achievement for me, and I’m deeply grateful.”
“Being longlisted for an Unsigned Music Award is absolutely mental! I was so excited when I found out, there are so many amazing artists on the list, and it’s just so cool to be included with them! It’s reassuring that someone other than myself thinks the what the band and I are doing at the moment is good,” added Miles Goodall, who is currently preparing for a European tour and recording two singles at Eastbourne’s Echo Zoo studio.
Discussing our involvement with the UMAs, Suzi Ireland, BIMM’s Artist Development & Events Manager, said: “BIMM are proud to be a part of an event that celebrates and rewards the hard work that goes into launching, running and maintaining a band in this competitive industry. We are sponsoring the ‘Best Record’ award this year, and cannot wait to hear who wins. At the awards, keep an eye out for loads of our students working behind the scenes helping to make the show happen, and gaining valuable experience and contacts at the same time.”
BIMM London’s Michelle Humphreys, who heads up our Events, Masterclasses and Artist Development department, also expressed her glee at seeing so many students nominated at the UMAs. She told BIMM: “It’s a massive achievement and great recognition for such hardworking artists as they begin or continue their ventures in the music industry. Huge congratulations and good luck from everyone at BIMM!”