Representatives of the Academy of Contemporary Music were out in force at the first ever Unsigned Music Awards (UMAs), held at The Troxy in East London on Thursday 27th October, and later broadcast on Sky TV on Monday 31st October. ACM had three students/alumni nominated for awards on the night, with two of these walking away with coveted gongs.
ACM alumna, Elle Exxe, won the ‘Best Female Solo Act’ award, and also performed a spectacular rendition of her song ‘Home With You’ on the night, in front of the 1,500-strong mix of invited industry guests, UMA judges, music lovers and fellow nominees. The Scottish singer-songwriter has been making waves in the industry of late with her ‘dirty pop’, especially after two seconds of her single ‘Lost In L.A.’ was used worldwide on a Google Android TV ad.
ACM alumni band, Brother & Bones, also celebrated on the night, taking home the ‘Best Live Act’ award. The band, made up of Richard Thomas, Alex Karban, James Willard, Yiannis Sachinis and Robin Howell-Sprent, has been described as ‘Mumford & Sons meets The Dead Weather’ and just like both of these groups, we know they’re going to be huge!
Current ACM student, Connor Daniel, is the singer-songwriter and producer for Southampton-based 2-step duo UHURU. Along with his guitar and keyboard musical partner Rob Jones, the act was nominated for ‘Best Electronic Dance Act’ on the night, unfortunately missing out to fellow electronic duo, Majik.
The evening’s hosts, Laura Whitmore and Chris Stark, presented an exciting and fun-filled night which included nine incredible live performances from not only Elle Exxe, but also fellow award nominees including Skies, Alex Francis, AKS, Chasing Cadence, Darby Ward, Hunter & The Bear, Dani Sylvia and Broken Witt Rebels.
The Unsigned Music Awards were founded by Simon O’Kelly, Georgina Thomas and Ben Connor; three 20-somethings with a shared love for music and business. After graduating in music in 2008, Simon spent the best part of his early 20s trying to build a successful career as a performing artist. He became disheartened with the lack of industry surrounding unsigned bands and artists, so in 2015 he teamed up with music manager Georgina and TV producer Ben with the idea of developing an awards ceremony for unsigned musicians… and the rest, as they say, is history!
If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Elle, Brother & Bones and Connor and be part of the Unsigned Music Awards next year, applications for the 2017 awards will open in January. Most categories of the UMAs are for those aged 18 and over, but if you’re between 11 and 17, you can enter the Youth Music Award category.
We’d like to offer huge congratulations to our nominated and winning UMA students and alumni – we always knew they were destined for great things and we couldn’t be more proud!
If you’d like to be a student at ACM and learn how to forge a successful career in the music industry, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to register your place on an ACM Open Day today.