For the last few years I’ve been asked by Glastonbury Festival to act as one of the judges for the first round of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. The judging panel consists of 40 music writers from across the UK and their job is to whittle the thousands of entries down to a manageable long list of 120 artists who are put forward to a further round of judging which is carried out by a different panel, including the festival organisers. From the 120, 8 acts are chosen to compete in a live final, the winning act getting a slot on a main stage at the festival and £5,000 from PRS to help develop their music and take it to the next level.
Each of the 40 judges is sent a list of between 100 and 200 acts to listen to and watch a live performance video and has to choose 3 to put through to the next round. Every year I find that the 120 long list is of very high quality and there are usually a number of acts that I have already featured on the blog. This year current Breaking More Waves favourites Violet Skies and Glass have made the list as have previous Blog Sound of 2013 nominees Randolph’s Leap. You can listen to all nominated acts (apart from one who chose to enter a ‘private’ track) on a Soundcloud playlist on this link. (Here)
The three acts I chose for the longlist were Ajimal, 4th Project and AK/DK who you can listen to below.
Breathtakingly beautiful, haunting and reflective, Ajimal produces piano based songs of the highest order. An absolute must choose for me.
A trio who produce elegant understated chilled pop with soulful vocals from the Bristol area.
A Brighton based duo who bash two sets of drums and synths to make bonkers electronic noise.
Good luck to all the acts on the long list and I hope to see some of you at the live final in April as well as on a stage at Glastonbury this summer.