In conversation with Feargal Sharkey as he discusses the excitement and opportunities from new style competition – Salute Music Makers competition
BD: Huge thank you for making time to speak to Bluesdoodles about Music and your new project as the face of Salute Music Makers
BD: Announcement of another competition with TV and Public vote! What is Salute Music Makers and why is it needed now?
FS: This is different, it is a very simple idea, and there is nothing clever about the concept. Not to be overly jingoistic but the fact is the UK has produced some of the best, long lasting popular music across a range of genres. I truly believe the talent continues the great music was not a blip of a generation or two. We are the second most successful nation when it comes to music outside of North America. Given our population this demonstrates the massive impact on music across the genres. Simple truth in the world there are only two teams in the premier league of music U.K. & U.S.A.
What musicians need is the opportunity to showcase their extraordinary talent I feel passionate about this. The next truly original artist is just around the corner and they need help to develop.
BD: How does Salute Music Makers differ from other music competitions like The Voice, and Britain’s Got Talent?
FS: Firstly and most importantly there are no strings attached to the prize money. It is entirely up to the winners how they spend the money Salute Music Makers will have no influence on this decision, as much power and control as possible will be in the hands of the artists themselves. They have the control to use the money on their terms, make several albums, set up a management company, make a film whatever they feel is the best use of the money for them. It is open to all types of music it has to be original. If you see the competition as an easy way of reaching the top leading the life of a rock star then this is not the competition for you. The competition is to find the great musicians out there – with the winners having a financial platform to develop and grow. This is for great musicianship where you can appreciate the talent. The key to great music is songwriting, it is the song that sells, and it is the song that identifies the group. We are looking for the greatest songwriter’s great melodies and powerful words this is the heartbeat and foundation of music. The focus will be on the craft of songwriting.
BD: With the opportunity for aspiring Music Makers to upload their music from 27th April when does the upload window close?
FS: The upload window closes on June 30th then the competition begins in earnest.
BD: How will the listening and judging process be conducted. Who are the Judges and what will they bring to the process?
FS: We have a huge panel of judges at our disposal. The judges will be matched to the genre of music, so experts will listen and interpret, judge – Electronica, rock, blues etc.… The judges are experienced industry experts with a depth of knowledge in the area of music they specialize in.
Then it will be opened to public opinion for the hundred entries selected by judges. They will vote using an App they download. The public then can listen to all 100 entries or fewer as they please. The system is clever voting fifty-nine times is not going to happen IP addresses will be filtered. This is a super cool process if there is any belief that votes to an artist are suspect that an entry will be suspended; if investigation confirms they are cheating they will be removed from the competition.
The Public vote will decide the Best Six Acts.
Two Television Programmes will then be aired in October and these finalist will receive £10,000 and the overall winner a further £40,000.
BD: Sounds a really interesting concept how did you get involved?
FS: I was introduced to three young men at the beginning of the year and thought it was a fantastic idea. BD: The brainchild of entrepreneurs of Salute Music Makers are Lars Bylehn, Michael Bylehn, Jean-Claude Charnier, Patrick Butterfield and Minesh Patel.
It took me back to the early days of The Undertones. Terri Hooley’s record shop Good Vibrations. Terri gave us £100 to use. We paid for Eight hours of studio time recorded Teenage Kicks as an Ep. This would probably not have happened if did not have this support in the early days. It was a pat on the back and practical help Salute Music Makers is a modern equivalent. With the focus on the songwriting for me an innate talent often overlooked. It is an exciting project to be involved in. With songs the heartbeat of music taking centre stage.
BD: I asked about dream band Feargal laughed said my tastes are too diverse changes with the moment. We did though get an insight into a play list on random while on a twenty-minute drive around the North Circular in London.
FS: Hard Floor – Spencer Davis Group – Little Dragon – Paul Weller …..
BD: Thank you for your time and looking forward to the Public element of a completion focusing on the signwriting Salute Music Makers