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First ever Unsigned Music Awards highlight the best in emerging talent

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Making their debut this year at London’s Troxy, the Unsigned Music Awards celebrated the work of the best emerging musicians.

Over 50 nominees across 16 categories,including Best Album/EP/Record, Best Live Act and Best Songwriter, the UMAs shone a light on acts who have got to where they are without the backing and support of a record label.

MTV’s Laura Whitmore, a frontrunner in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, joined BBC Radio 1’s Chris Stark, famed for his appearances on The Scott Mills Show as hosts.

Laura Whitemore and Chris Stark

The pair were joined on stage by a number of esteemed guests from the music industry to give away awards to prospective stars of the future.

“The Unsigned Music Awards are really important, because, us unsigned artists, we work possibly doubly as hard as any signed artist’,” said Elle Exxe.

!We’re working as our own A&R, our own distributor, we’re packing our CDs ourselves, we’re going out there to the bars ourselves to try and meet people, and put ourselves out there.”

“We’re doing 101 different jobs!”

A diverse range of artists took to the stage to showcase the best live talent from across the categories.

Dani Sylvia, impressed with a captivating and emotional solo performance, taking to the stage just shortly after winning the award for Best Songwriter.

Sylvia spoke about the everyday challenges that she faces as an unsigned artist: “Every gig that you do is coming out of your own pocket. Basically you’re working for yourself every day.”

On keeping herself motivated, she admitted,”‘I am quite lucky because I am like a crazy driven human, so it comes quite naturally to me in that capacity, but it doesn’t meant that it’s not hard. Some days I wake up and I don’t want to write a song, but you have to keep going, keep trying.”

Bristol-based, singer-songwriter Rothwell impressed the panel of judges with her EP 'Two', coming out top in the toughly fought Best EP/Album/Record category.

Other notable winners included Brothers & Bone who won Best Live Act, while Mullally swept up Best Male Solo Act.

Jerry Williams took home the award for Best Produced/Engineered Record.

Jerry Williams

Birmingham blues rockers Broken Witt Rebels, closed the awards triumphantly having just won Best Rock Act Award.

James Dudley, Broken Witt Rebels’ drummer noted, “I can’t think of any other award show that champions unsigned music like this. The clue’s in the title.”

The show will be broadcast on Showcase TV on Sky, Freesat and Freeview tonight at 9.30pm.

The full list of winners can be read below:

Best EP/Album/Record: Rothwell - Two EP

Best Music Video: Gunship - Revel In Your Time

Best Live Act: Brothers & Bones

Best Produced/Engineered Record: Jerry Williams - Let's Just Forget It

Best International Music Video: Madyx - Some Kisses

Best Counrty/Folk Act: Westerman

Best Songwriter: Dani Sylvia

Musicpreneur: Anno Domini

Best Male Solo Act: Mullally

Best Female Solo Act: Elle Exxe

Best Urban Act: Mugun

Best Electronic/Dance Act: Majik

Best Rock Act: Broken Witt Rebels

Best Jazz/Blues Act: Malaika

Youth Music Award: Momac

UMA Icon Award: Boyce Avenue

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