"It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you, and both competitions allow artists the opportunity to get known." Read APRA AMCOS' Q & A on what song comps mean in 2020.

– APRA AMCOS Q&A, 2020

"The news couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you all who judged and believed in the song. Thank you to everyone along the way that helped us reach the top. We are truly honoured and will use this achievement for the better." 

– Jared Porter and Kaylee Bell, 2015 Grand Prize Winners

Inspiring as always. A bracing reminder of how much talent lives in our world just waiting to be found.

– Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone Magazine) - 2021 Judge

"The connections that Unsigned Only has really helped us in the industry, one of them being that we got to meet in person Monte Lipman from Universal Republic. We got to sit down and have lunch with him. So that was really a blessing. For some little band like us, it was cool to have that introduction. We’ve had a lot of other great meetings and a lot of great attention from people within the industry. Unsigned Only competition was a big move, so we’re definitely thankful."

– Goodbye June, 2014 Grand Prize Winner

“You always hear about this happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me. It’s such an amazing and rare opportunity to have people care about you and your music. It’s very inspiring to feel supported by an organization (Unsigned Only) who just want you to do well because of your music ability and your love for your art.”


– Ingrid Andress, 2016 Grand Prize Winner

"The Unsigned Only Music Competition was a spectacular experience for me as an artist, from both a creative and business perspective.  With over 9500 entries from around the world, they really get to see and hear an unbelievable number of talented folks, and I feel exceptionally fortunate to have been named the 2013 winner. Beyond the obvious financial benefit (which allowed me to complete my album) the opportunity to be mentored by top industry people is truly exceptional and exposed me to a number of individuals that would have been entirely inaccessible outside this contest.  The added spotlight also was massively helpful in propelling my debut single “Duet” into the top 10 on the Canadian Country Billboard chart.   I continue to feel the benefits of this contest to this day… and the Martin guitar…. It’s pretty cool too.  Thanks, UO!"

– Wes Mack, 2013 Grand Prize Winner

"Being the Grand Prize winner of the Unsigned Only Competition has been a definite high point of my career thus far. The mentoring opportunities provided by Unsigned Only are nothing short of incredible: I've had in-depth conversations with the uppermost gatekeepers and leaders of the music industry.  I can't think of another music competition that would provide an unsigned artist the chance to have a face-to-face meeting with Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic Records; and Wendy Goldstein, the label's Senior Vice President of A&R. And that's not all (not even close)! For brevity's sake, here is a little list. I've been able to chat with Atlantic Records' renowned Executive Vice President Pete Ganbarg; go to lunch with Capitol Records' versatile A&R pioneer Kim Stephens, talk about career strategies with Pete Giberga, Vice President of the super-successful independent label Razor and Tie; and to get in touch with legendary A&R man Dave Wilkes.

Since winning the Unsigned Only Competition, I've garnered invaluable advice from a rich variety of perspectives, and I've had the chance to start relationships with people who can truly help me in my career. I'm excited to see where this all takes me and I would urge any aspiring artist to enter this year's competition- you never know, you might be the next Grand Prize winner!"


– Lara Johnston, 2012 Grand Prize Winner

"It's inspiring and exciting to hear what's coming. The production level and quality of writing on the batch of songs this year was way high. The future looks bright."

– David Crowder, 2014 Judge

It's always a great honor to be asked to judge this competition. The awesome artists never disppoint with their amazing talent!

– Bow Wow - 2021 Judge

"I want to take a second to give a huge shoutout to Unsigned Only for organizing and facilitating this music competition that, since winning the Screen Shot category, has put my foot in the door for the next stage of my career.  In an industry full of a lot of smoke blowing, this is the most legit and rewarding experience I've had.”

– Dustin Paul, 2016 Unsigned Only Screen Shot Category Winner

So awesome to hear so much great music from all over the world. Thank you for asking me to be involved.

– Derek Brown (The Flaming Lips) - 2021 Judge

"Awesome talent this year - can't wait for 2015!"

– Dustin Lynch, 2014 Judge

All of the songs are really good, and just being a finalist is a feather in the cap of all of the competitiors!"

– Matt Maher, 2018 Judge

“Being named the Grand Prize winner of the 2018 Unsigned Only Music Competition has truly been an incredibly humbling and life-changing experience. This opportunity has truly given me the chance to take my career to the next level and live my passion, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.”


– Eric Ethridge, 2018 Grand Prize Winner

"I am so thankful for this opportunity and the doors that it will open in the future. Receiving approbation in such a prestigious competition brings a sense of honour and happiness that can't fully be put into words. This only pushes me to work harder to achieve goals that seem unattainable but can be achieved with perseverance."

– Faouzia, 2017 Grand Prize Winner

This has been an honor to participate in. It's truly appreciating to witness such wonderful talent.

– Ruthie Foster - 2021 Judge

"Thank you so, so much Unsigned Only for creating this competition, and choosing me as an artist for the 2016 grand prize winner!!!!! I can't even begin to explain the perfect timing of this, and how honored I am. The EP I'm releasing in Jan 2017 is going to sound AMAZING thanks to you guys!!!"

– Ingrid Andress, 2016 Grand Prize Winner

Some really great music out there!

– Chris Daughtry (Daughtry) - 2021 Judge

I love searching for new music, especially when I find a new artist or song that is so great it makes me want to share it with others. There's no greater feeling than sitting a friend down and saying, 'You HAVE to hear this - and then bonding with them over that song for the rest of your lives. Unsigned Only really captures the spirit of this experience."

– Chris Culos (O.A.R.), 2017 Judge

It was a joy to be a part of judging this year's Unsigned Only competition. There are some very talented artists on the horizon!

– Vertical Worship - 2021 Judge

Thank you, Unsigned Only, for the opportunity to hear and support some fresh and brilliant talent!

– Janiva Magness - 2021 Judge

Once again, the musicality, the lyricism, the performances are all of an astonishing quality! Picking winners gets harder every time...to be honest, pretty much everything I listened to this year sounded like a winner!

– Robert Smith (The Cure) - 2021 Judge

Always amazed at the quality of unsigned artists out there! Really astounding and a rewarding listening experience!

– Victor Wainwright - 2021 Judge

What a pleasure to listen to all these new and talented artists. It was inspiring to hear them!

– Boney James - 2019 Judge

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of every track. All these players are operating at a very high level, and they all deserve recognition.

– Mac Randall (Jazz Times) - 2019 Judge

I really enjoyed listening to these artists and was impressed by the level of talent. I'm excited to do it again next year!

– Francesca Battistelli - 2029 Judge

Thanks for letting us be a part of this, and congrats to all of the artists that made it this far!

– Dustin Lolli (Sanctus Real) - 2019 Judge

These artists made it hard to judge. Lots of killer voices! Great to see much talent out there.

– Rhett Walker - 2020 Judge

It's always a pleasure to get to listen to the next wave of hit songwriters and artists. There are some super talented folks in this category that have big things in their future!

– Darryl Worley - 2020 Judge

It was good to listen to some new and fresh music by some of the young snd greatest musicians of our time out there.

– Lionel Loueke - 2020 Judge

There are few things I find more rewarding and exciing as discovering new music. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this.

– Bibi Marin (Reik) - 2020 Judge

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