The annual competition’s grand prize was awarded to 17-year-old Faouzia – the first time a teenager has won the contest
Today saw the announcement of the winners of this year’s Unsigned Only, a US-based music competition open to any artists who are not signed to a major record label. Selected from 6,000 entries from almost 100 countries, the winners share in over $150,000 in cash and prizes split among 28 winners. All entries are narrowed down to a group of finalists that are given to the panel of judges whose task is to select the winners. The panel is comprised of recording artists, music journalists, and music supervisors, including such celebrities as: Aimee Mann, MercyMe, The Killers, O.A.R., Phantogram, Montgomery Gentry, David Crowder and Delbert McClinton.
The 2017 grand prize has been awarded to 17-year-old Canadian artist, Faouzia, the first time a teen has won the overall grand prize since the competition launched six years ago. Her song Knock On My Door was the overwhelming favorite with the judges who were enamored with her vocal prowess and original pop sensibility. In addition to winning $20,000 in cash and other prizes, Faouzia also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper echelon music industry executives from Atlantic, Razor & Tie, Sony Music Nashville, Island, and more. Faouzia is also the first place winner in the Teen category and is awarded a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music’s five-week Summer Performance program as one of the prizes for winning this category.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity and the doors that it will open in the future,” said Faouzia. “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.”
Born in Morocco and raised in the rural town of Carman, Manitoba, Faouzia grew up in a French and Arabic-speaking household. She started making music at a very young age in the basement of her home and then graduated to singing covers and putting them on YouTube. Putting her poetry to music was the next step, and her original songs began to take form. Faouzia is currently working on her debut EP that will be released soon.
Submissions for the 2018 competition are currently open. Entry information can be found at unsignedonly.com