Unsigned Only 2012 music competition winners announced


Unsigned Only announced its 2012 winners selected from almost 7,500 entries worldwide. The Grand Prize, Unsigned Only’s highest honor, goes to San Francisco, CA artist Lara Johnston with the song, “K.I.S.S.” Johnston was the highest scoring artist overall in the competition and a favorite among the judges.

What makes Lara Johnston so captivating, aside from her girl-next-door beauty, is her powerful voice, dynamic stage presence, creative spirit, and great songwriting. Only 22 years old, she has shared the bill with such acts as Willie Nelson, Huey Lewis and the News, Journey, Heart, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, Don Henley, rapper J. Dash, and many others. Over the past three years she has toured throughout the world, writing and co-writing songs in LA, London, and Nashville, and balancing her career pursuits with her time as a student at USC’s Thornton School of Music. This summer, Lara is touring locally, collaborating as a writer and singer with multiple producers, and putting the final touches on her debut album.

Launched only a year ago and judged by a roster of celebrity notables such as Cyndi Lauper, 3 Doors Down, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Rogers, St. Vincent, and many more, Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label. With 36% of the entrants and 47% of the winners coming from outside the USA, Unsigned Only has quickly established itself as the international music competition for unsigned artists.

Unsigned Only’s goal is to find outstanding, talented artists: newcomers or veterans… raw or polished… the “gems” that need to be discovered. Candace Avery and Jim Morgan, the founders and directors of Unsigned Only, emphasize that what is different about Unsigned Only is the mentoring component. “The Grand Prize winner will be mentored by a group of upper echelon music industry executives, ranging from label presidents to heads of A&R. Because these industry pros are typically hard to reach, this is a rare opportunity for an artist. Gaining access to them for guidance on a one-to-one basis could be a career changer, and we are pleased to offer the opportunity to this year’s Grand Prize winner, Lara Johnston. She is an exciting artist with a great future.”

2012 Judges include: 3 Doors Down; Kelly Clarkson; Robert Smith (The Cure); Kenny Rogers; Jeremy Camp; Musiq Soulchild; St. Vincent; Manchester Orchestra; Angie Stone; G. Love; Craig Morgan; Aaron Shust; Charlie Daniels; Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Matt and Kim; Cyndi Lauper; The Mountain Goats; Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine) and Scott Lapatine (Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Stereogum.

2012 Mentors include: Monte Lipman (President of Universal Republic); Pete Ganbarg (Executive VP/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); David Wolter (Senior VP of A&R, RCA Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R/Capitol Music Group); Trevor Jerideau (VP of A&R, J Records); David Wilkes (VP of A&R, eOne Music); Pete Giberga (Head of A&R, Razor & Tie Records); and Jason Geter (President, Grand Hustle Records).

Sponsors include: Posse, Steamboat Ampworks, Verve Management, Music Business Registry, Mrs. Fields Cookies, and Spider Capo

Unsigned is now accepting entries for 2013. Many new judges will be added, as well as a new Teen category for artists 18 years old and younger. Information on how to enter can be found at www.unsignedonly.com.

The complete list of 2012 Unsigned Only winners is below:


Lara Johnston – San Francisco, CA, USA – “K.I.S.S.”


First Place

Jacob Butler – Melbourne, VIC, Australia – “Mind Waltz”

Second Place

Village (AKA The Village Musicians) – Yakima, WA, USA – “All This Time”

Honorable Mention

Jen Foster – Nashville, TN, USA – “Venice Beach”

Jonell Mosser – Nashville, TN, USA – “Come On Home To Me”

Kelsy Davis Radical Soul – Atlanta, GA, USA – “No Grudge (Classic)”

Lee’Mon – Albury, NSW, Australia – “Land On The Moon”

Matthew Curry & The Fury – Normal, IL, USA – “Blinded By The Darkness”

Oh Village – Abbotsford, BC, Canada – “Red Death”

OTiS – Brooklyn, NY, USA – “Making Love Easy”

Skipping Girl Vinegar – Melbourne, VIV, Australia – “You Can”

Tommy Indian – Prague, Czech Republic – “Slow Slow Slow”


First Place

The Franklin Electric – Montreal, QC, Canada – “Old Piano”

Second Place

Kate Vigo – Melbourne, VIC, Australia – “Wanna Run”

Honorable Mention

Amoric – Burgas, Bulgaria – “Symphony”

Benjamin Dunn & Friends – Santa Cruz, CA, USA – “Circus Of Love”

Jen Foster – Nashville, TN, USA – “There For You”

Jessica Beach – Vancouver, BC, Canada – “Warning Signs”

Lucio Rubino – St. Augustine, FL, USA – “Fallin’ From The Start”

Tiki Taane – Waitakere, New Zealand – “My Lion (RWC Remix)”

Worldfly – Darwin, NT, Australia – “A Small Boat”


First Place

The Amorous – Clarksburg, WV, USA – “Here It Goes”

Second Place

AMP – Burtonsville, MD, USA – “Shine”

Honorable Mention

Alathea – Unicoi, TX, USA – “The River”

American Swim Lesson – Saratoga Springs, NY, USA – “Lovers”

Anna Weatherup – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Miracle”

Dan Bremnes – Kelowna, BC, Canada – “Beautiful”

David Upton – Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA – “Unshackled”

Nathan Ironside & The Stirring – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Born To Worship”

The Amorous – Clarksburg, WV, USA – “Free”

The Classic City Collective – Athens, GA, USA – “God On High”


First Place

Molly Hunt – Franklin, TN, USA – “He Only Broke My Heart”

Second Place

Burly Clyde – Nashville, TN, USA – “Enjoying The Ride”

Honorable Mention

Brandon Lepere – Seabrook, NH, USA – “She Drives Me Country”

Brantley – East Dublin, GA, USA – “Plainville”

Brantley – East Dublin, GA, USA – “Country Life”

Bryce Hitchcock – Franklin, TN, USA – “Fortune Cookie”

Chance Cody & Spur 503 – Denison, TX, USA – “You Can’t Argue With That”

Codie Prevost – Saskatoon, SK, Canada – “Rolling Back To You”

Jaylene Johnson – Winnipeg, MB, Canada – “When It All Goes South”

Kenny Scharlatt – Marshalls Creek, PA, USA – “Lie”

Memphis High – Memphis, TN, USA – “Pistol Heart”

Michael Whitworth – Athens, GA, USA – “Just As Surprised As You”


First Place

Timothy Nelson & The Infidels – Perth, WA, USA – “Let Her Go”

Second Place

Ed Romanoff – Brooklyn, NY, USA – “I Must Have Done Something Right”

Honorable Mention

Andy Brown – Fredericton, NB, Canada – “Ashes”

Ben Glover – Belfast, Ireland – “Memo”

Jesse Terry – Mamaroneck, NY, USA – “Let The Blue Skies Go To Your Head”

Keith Moody – Spring Hill, TN, USA – “One Big Ending”

Luke O’Shea – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “How Well Have You Loved?”

Markus Rill – Munich, Germany – “The Kid From Tupelo”

Paul Creane & The Changing Band – Wexford, Ireland – “All For You Baby”

SJ – Miami Beach, FL, USA – “I Like You”

The Robbie Boyd Band – London, England – “I Won’t Let You Go”

Tony Villiers – Armagh, Northern Ireland – “Radio”


First Place

Laura Steel – London, England – “Kriminal”

Second Place

KK Holliday – Kingston, Jamaica – “Shugga Daddy”

Honorable Mention

Adam Katz – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Adore Ya”

Chinkie Brown – Atlanta, GA, USA – “Human Nature”

Juliette Ashby – London, England – “Bounce Right Back”

Kuba Oms – Vancouver, BC, Canada – “Electrolove”

Ladi6 – Christchurch, New Zealand – “Like Water”

Michael And Marisa – Boston, MA, USA – “You Feel Like Saturday”

Radio INK – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Who We Are Tonight”

Vice Vega – Saint Louis, MO, USA – “Lose Your Mind”


First Place

Young Clipp – North Hollywood, CA, USA – “So High”

Second Place

Juliette Ashby – London, England – “Crazy”

Honorable Mention

CWolfe – Santa Monica, CA, USA – “Sophisto Black Negro”

Flight School – Fuegen, Austria – “Let Me Go”

Fore – Zimbabwe – “C’est Pas Bon”

Gyles – Toronto, ON, Canada – “On One Knee”

Illin’ P – Cambridge, MA, USA – “The Pick Up Problem”

Irrelevent – Dallas, TX, USA – “Cookie Cutter Club Banger”

Lady Bonsai – Buenos Aires, Argentina – “Drama Queen”

LaJon – Atlanta, GA, USA – “Try Me”

Santino Noir – Toms River, NJ, USA – “Break You Down”

T. One – Miami, FL, USA – “Gone Too Long (Ft. Leiah)”

Tasha Taylor – North Hollywood, CA, USA – “Queen”


First Place

The Family Crest – San Francisco, CA, USA – “North”

Second Place

Golden State – Los Angeles, CA, USA – “Bombs”

Honorable Mention

Everybody Else – Los Angeles, CA, USA – “First Class”

Hug The Dog – Dublin, NH, USA – “Painted Faces”

Hunting Grounds – Ballarat, VIC, Australia – “In Colour”

StereonoiZ – Lima, Peru – “Painted Faces”

Stone Parade – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Paranoia”

The Trews – Antigonish, NS, Canada – “Hope & Ruin”

UNITE IT – Moscow, Russia – “Turn Off The Light”

V For Volume – Bogota, Colombia – “Cheap Universe”


First Place

Ms. Monet – Sylmar, CA, USA – “At This Moment”

Second Place

Liam Burrows – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “I Could Write A Book”

Honorable Mention

Alexandria Maillot – Vancouver, BC, Canada – “Be My Love”

Anna Weatherup – Sydney, NSW, Australia – “Wade In The Water”

Gabrielle Sterbenz – Huntington, NY, USA – “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

Jasmine Thompson – London, England – “Safe And Sound”

Kelsy Davis Radical Soul – Atlanta, GA, USA – “Special (Ain’t I?)”

Schascle – Saddle River, NJ, USA – “Justice”

Tasha Taylor – North Hollywood, CA, USA – “I Got Love”

Tiffany Desrosiers – Langley, BC, Canada – “Like I Would For You”


Lucio Rubino – St. Augustine, FL, USA – “Fallin’ From The Start”