With all the rapid advancements in digital media since the turn of the millennium, the decade has seen a corresponding explosion in the number of bands looking to take advantage of the new avenues for creating and sharing music. The variety of media channels both traditional and online through which musicians can let others hear their craft is unprecedented, creating an encouraging environment for new bands.
But while the band scene certainly is as healthy at the moment as it has ever been, with rock musicians receiving considerable coverage on mainstream radio and TV, the flipside is that it is also very easy for a fledgling group to get lost amid the din. With the number of young bands plying the gig circuit competing for audiences’ attention, talented musicians may find it difficult to break onto the county’s musical main stage.
Leading consumer electronics maker Philips is this year looking to help these undiscovered talents with the Bandwidth Virtual Battle of the Bands. The contest is meant to help unsigned bands take full advantage of new digital multimedia technology in sharing their music with the rest of the music community.
Bandwidth participants will each be required to upload recent performance videos to the competition’s Youtube channel. Each band will be asked to perform two original songs, with one video uploaded for each song. Videos will be cross-posted to the Bandwidth website where visitors will be allowed to vote for their favorite performances.
These performances will then be screened by Bandwidth’s three mentors and judges, all of whom should be very familiar to fans of Filipino rock: Francis Reyes (a DJ on NU 107.5 and guitarist for The Dawn), Cookie Chua (singer for Color it Red), and Raimund Marasigan (singer for Sandwich, keyboardist for Pedicab, drummer for Cambio and The Eraserheads). The final crop of bands will then receive special one-one-one mentoring with the three judges prior to the final phase of the competition.
The competition will culminate in a final performance night where the winning band will be announced. The grand prize winner will take home a prize of P50,000 worth of cash and prizes.
“The Bandwidth Virtual Battle of the Bands is our way of helping the many on-the-cusp bands in the country reach the audience they deserve,” said Vidyut Kaul, Consumer Marketing Manager of audio video and multimedia, Philips Consumer Lifestyle. “There is a lot of talent that sadly goes by unnoticed. We’re here to help point audiences in their direction. It’s only a matter of making use of the available technology.”