x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Rolling Stone is looking for a new sound with online competition

The music magazine has launched its Street to Stage contest for local bands.

What it's about

A multimedia Battle of the Bands launched by the Dubai-based Rolling Stone Middle East, the Street to Stage competition invites unsigned artists from any genre to compete to be mentored by Sony Music Middle East and possibly secure a record deal, not to mention gain an endorsement from arguably the world's most famous music magazine.

Plug in and click on

You have until July 12 to enter the competition by uploading an MP3 of an original song to www.soundcloud.com before entering the song links on to the competition website. The magazine will then whittle the entries down to 15, who go on to the next round.

If you make the 15

Now the real work begins: a pack will be sent to each finalist containing a video camera and other gear. By August 20, each finalist will have their own page on the competition website where they can upload a new MP3 and a video clip.

But I'm a songwriter, not a film director

Take it easy, it can be something simple that has the song and artist in it. Do put in some effort because people will have to dig it if you want to succeed.

Public voting

After being picked by the magazine as part of the final 15, the power is then handed over to the masses. On September 3, judged by the number of votes on the website, a new top 10 will be announced. The new finalists will have to upload a new song and video, to be voted on again by the public. This occurs over two more rounds until the finalists are cut down to three. Those three will then go on to the final at Dubai's Hard Rock Cafe on September 17.

Showdown at Hard Rock

When setting foot in the Hard Rock Cafe Dubai - those outside the UAE will be flown over - you will be at the mercy of the judges. While the panel has yet to be revealed, Waref Hawsali, the CEO of HGW Media, which publishes Rolling Stone Middle East, states it will include members of Rolling Stone and Sony Music Middle East. A celebrity guest judge is "yet to be determined". Each band will perform a set in front of the panel, after which a winner will be selected.

The prizes

It's a dream package for an aspiring artist: the prize includes mentorship and a potential record deal from Sony Music Middle East, and editorial coverage and endorsement from Rolling Stone Middle East, not to mention a shiny Street To Stage trophy to parade around future gigs.

Entries close on July 12. Visit www.rollingstoneme.com for details