Los Angeles indie rock band Barnaby Saints, Boston rock group Gentleman Hall and Baltimore R&B singer Phillip Magnus Hartley are the first three winners of the Recording Academy’s new program connecting aspiring musicians with Grammy-winning recording artists, Center Stage.
The program has been created to help fill the gap left by diminished or vanished artists-and-repertoire operations at many record companies, the divisions historically charged with artist development. Center Stage honorees will get a recording session with a Grammy-winning producer, shoot a music video with a recognized director-producer and play an opening slot for a more established touring act.
The first mentor in the Center Stage program is Linkin Park member Mike Shinoda, who curated entries posted in the program’s online platform allowing emerging acts a chance to have their music vetted by industry pros. Winning artists were named Tuesday night in Austin, Texas, at Soundcloud’s South By Southwest party.
“We were overwhelmed, not only by the amount of artists’ submissions, but the level of talent that is still to be discovered,” Recording Academy chief marketing officer Evan Greene said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with [program sponsor] Hyundai in documenting these artists during their creative process.”