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A&R MUSIC – ADVICE FROM THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

A&R music industry professionals provide advice from the Grand Final. 

A&R Music

A&R Music: The Open Mic UK 2017 music competition grand final hosted the best unsigned singers from across the country. The singers and songwriters performed in front of A&R music industry judges in the hopes of being crowned Open Mic UK 2017 Champion. The A&R music industry professionals have provided advice and feedback on their performances. 

The A&R music judging panel included;

  • Platinum selling songwriter and artist Dane Bowers
  • Celebrity vocal coach and TV judge CeCe Sammy, who has worked with Diana Ross, Will Young, Simon Cowell and Leona Lewis.
  • From Universal records Leon Haynes
  • Head of talent at Syco Music Barney Addison. 
  • Preye Crooks from Columbia Records. 
  • James Ellet from Modest Management who manage Olly Murs, Little Mix and One Direction. 
  • Head examiner at RockSchool (RSL) Stuart Slater.
  • Head of Future Music and responsible for discovering Birdy, Lucy Spraggan and Luke Friend Chris Grayston

A&R Music: See industry feedback below. Please be aware views expressed by judges are opinions and subjective to that particular judging panel. These views in no way reflect the views of the Open Mic UK competition, and are published with a view to being beneficial to the performing acts.

Under 16's Feedback – A&R Music

Rosie Trentham - You were composed, introduced the song confidently and delivered this tasteful original securely, Attention to image worked for you too. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. In truth, overall presence needs a stronger stylistic identity, but you engaged well, and this was a solid opening to the show. Click here for tips on audience engagement. You have great clarity and a sweet tone in your vocal, you we’re well-spoken so we could hear every lyric. Click here for tips on how to improve diction. Always difficult to be the first act, especially in the grand final. Well done Rosie!

Nezza - The combination of vocals and keys is a hard mix to convey a narrative – it is hard to be convincing in communication, especially with emotionally charged songs, so well done here…You connected well to the song. You do need to think more about your image, but promising. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Much better eye contact, which really helped us connect to your music and performance. Click here for tips on eye contact. Original was promising too – you set the bar high for the grand final! A good piece of work Nezza. 

Shehana - This was an individual delivery, filled with ornamentation, lovely shaping to phrases and well considered image. It would be great to see you write your own parts within the mash up, click here for more on performing song mashups. Good use of stage – now try and develop this further. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. You have a solid vocal but try and express a bit more personality into the performance. Technically less exact / convincing in pockets, but it is obvious why you made the final today. Hope you enjoyed the experience and keep up the vocal training and overall development. 

Giacomo - Mature delivery and song writing. Nicely intensified, good use of sparse / considerate placement of sustained values structurally, building suspense and giving opportunity for effective layering. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Always a little risky playing over a backing track, it’s important to get the balance right; the live playing and backing track always needs to be in time. Make sure you have plenty of space within the instrumental to avoid some clashes – it was a little messy at times. Have a think about musical support which I think will be benefit to you. With work and advice, you do have something to build on here. 

Whitney O’Nicholas - Interesting song choice! Lovely warm tones. You have a powerful voice, you’re one to keep an eye on for the future! Great attempt to convey with use of body language, although it did come across a little bit forced – try to be careful here. Low range not quite there also (watch support / commitment). Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. You clearly prepared all aspects of this performance right down to the spoken introduction and for one so young, you have good potential. Keep up with the training and live experience. Extra performance and practise will ensure your performance is natural. Click here for tips on the importance of Open Mic nights for singers

Nicole Sherwood – A nervous start, a great way to cope with the nerves is to perform as much as you can and at as many different venues, this will better your experience. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers to tests songs that are normally out of your comfort zone. Committed delivery, with a well-constructed and confident/balanced vocal for the most part. Tasteful shaping evident which added colour and personality. Much to like about the delivery but needs an edge to stand out more at this level. Have a think about how to make greater use of stage, and also consider musical support to allow you to focus more on you. Click here for stage performance tips for singers

Misha - Powerful delivery, good song choice. You have a super tone, it was great to see you change the original song delivery to make it a little different. Click here for more on performing a creative cover as a singer. We would like to have seen you commit more to the song, really vary the dynamics and climb into the chorus for a more climatic finish to the performance. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Even at such a young age, you have talent and a mature musical understanding / conveyance of story and mood. Scope for greater originality in the context of this competition, but this was a surprising delivery, transforming from a nervous walk-on stage to an authoritative delivery. Nailed it! 

Alfie Arger - Liked this - A heart felt emotional performance. Well delivered, convincing and stylistic. You have something, both musically and possibly also commercially. Creditable original also, packaged well with image and performance. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. You also did well to contain the nerves and own the stage. Another surprising delivery, packed with promise. One of the stronger acts today. Well done…

Katelin Tierney - Nice tones, with creative interpretation, use of dynamic contrast and creditable range. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. You have a super vocal one of the best of the day! Look to reach out with your eyes and connect us to your performance. Click here for more on the importance of eye contact. Good idea to slip into a rap breakdown but you lost your timing slightly which was a shame (keep working on this!) Not certain about pitching consistency, but effective melisma (personalised and comfortable). It is easy to forget you are in the U16 category and whilst, yes, technically work is needed, you do look like someone who could develop into an established live performer. One to watch!

Taiya-Mae - Ah-ha! A sparkle! You looked great and seemed very much at home on stage. Not completely sure about the material (sorry) but nice idea for the accompaniment and great guitar licks. Backing guitarist gave it a real live feel. These added something. Nice contrast in spoken parts too. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Good technically, and promising aspects, but I wanted the who thing to get going more than it did. Shame! 

Lauren - A strong committed performance. Deserved your place in this final Lauren - nice delivery, vocally secure, considered image, which in the main aligned with the song choice and performance. Click here for tips on act image and synchronisation. Loved that you took the microphone off the stand and worked the stage, this was engaging for your audience! Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Please take care not to force the vocal at the detriment of losing control. Take as much from the experience as you can and build it into your musical journey. Overall presence and package needs more of a commercial angle to be more effective at this level, but you did well.

Kevin Fernandez Montoya - Great introduction, bucket loads of confidence! You have a lovely deep tone, try and look to develop your dynamics in order to highlight the rich deepness in your vocal, click here for tips on vocal dynamics. In particular really commit to the chorus. You've clearly done this before, and you enjoy it - that much is obvious, plus you have good vocals to go with it. You now need advice, polish (and some construction), as to how to package yourself, and in which direction. There is a rough diamond here. Keep at it, you have something,… 

Cassi - Engaging and well conveyed, but for me the song choice did not work unfortunately! Click here for the importance of song choices. Top end ‘thinned’ also today, losing depth in some bigger moments. You clearly have something beyond the norm for your age, you now need to develop technically, plus work on your sense of image, identity and how this aligns as an overall package with your chosen style. Look to engage with fellow performers on stage, by looking over now and again. This will show your audience that you’re connected – this will be engaging for your audience! Click here for tips for music duos and groups.

Brooke Burke - Amazing confidence and ability for such a young performer! It is obvious why you made it to the grand final today, and you nailed it! Of course, techniques and personalisation will come, but you have stage presence and personality in bundles. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Keep developing and ensure you start writing to find yourself as an artist. Vocally try to ensure you don’t force the vocal at the detriment of losing your control. Many strong foundation points to build up a repertoire and give you choices stylistically. Well done. Amazing! You are so talented for your age. 

Isobel Wannell - Amazing development in a year to be holding the stage with your own original whilst many around are still doing covers – it’s a good song! Good tempo and style - gave you a presence and momentum. The flip side with a ‘safe’ approach is that I am sure there is more of you which did not come out! The delivery was secure and comfortable, but a little reserved. You could climb even more to the vocal at the end for a climatic end! Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Try to find more of a commercial angle with greater sense of identity to move further. Nicely performed though, sold overall. 

Girl Talk - Now then. It would be easy to find fault with unison of movement, cohesion and technical exactness. But do you know what? Loved the energy, and you sang through a smile! You will be popular, and you stand more chance of being noticed in this format and style at this age. We loved your image and styling – click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Take care with your vocals especially as you start to get out of breath. Click here for breath control exercises – these will help you! Work on unison, and original material will help, but good potential here overall…

Hollie Hunt - You stepped up to the plate Hollie, well done! Pace well held, balanced projection, sustained values and support/consistency mostly maintained. Trouble is, song choice did not do you justice! Click here for tips on song choices. You are confident working the stage and the more you perform the more comfortable and natural it will come across. Keep up the training, gaining live experience, and have a think about which stylistic route you might want to take. Aim to develop technique/s also too to give you more options. The delivery of the song would benefit from more dynamics, click here for tips on vocal dynamics

Kazia - Oh yes! You immediately captured the moment and did well to hold it throughout. Impressive vocals and confidence presence. Considered image, just about within age context, and strong vocally. Good stage craft and engagement too. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Great dynamics to give us range, colour throughout. Super song choice, click here for the importance of song choices. Techniques / consistency of tone and support could be more established in places, but this will develop. In this age group, definitely a stronger act. 

Ryan Granger - Good intro to get the audience involved, you are a natural performer! In a commercial / competitive environment, like this one, your image needs much work! Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Technical ability could be stronger too, even at your tender age. However, this said, there were great elements too – a classic rough diamond! Good audience participation, confident, and personality in bucket loads! With a little more structure these songs could release their potential. Keep going Ryan….

Eve - Confident performance, considered image, and you nailed this! Good presence and vocals with a bold song choice. Good technical delivery, (very good in part), and much to like. More originality would help you even further, but you have a clear ability and talent to perform and engage on a bigger stage. Aim to develop this experience and try also to extend the degree of your own stylistic identity. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Well done….

Ella Brown - Assured, technically comfortable for the most part, confident stagecraft! You worked the stage well and had good presence, click here for stage performance tips for singers. We liked the song choice, but it’s something we’ve heard loads of times! Think about bringing your own spin to it, to make it your own. Click here for performing a creative cover as a singer. Give thought to image which worked only in part, and in similar vein, make sure the material is fully age appropriate context wise – your approach today will not prove popular with everyone. (There is more to you than this). Good attempt, just not sure about chosen identity. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician

Milo George - Committed delivery, conveying the story and narrative maturely. You are really developing; super passion, commitment and a huge improvement this year. Find a unique sound, write in a key that  suits your vocal and you will go up another level. Image needs greater attention - at this level the successful performers will have a greater package of ability, communication and how this is all presented as a combination. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Greater experience on stage will benefit too. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers. This said, you nailed the track and warranted your place in the final today. Good luck…! 

Rosie Ugalde - You sang through your nerves – well done Rosie! The delivery settled, and it is obvious you have an ability to sing / perform. We loved that you made the song your own, it showed us your originality. To get to the next level, there is a big stage to use, there is room for a clearer statement through image, and try to align these with appropriate choice of genre. Click here for stage performance tips for singers and finding an image as a musician. Liked you went over to the keys, some interaction from the pianist would have enhanced the performance. Needs more experience and training to put everything together, promising though. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers.

Mia - What an amazing dress, you looked fantastic and made you stand out! You nailed it! Huge delivery, and notwithstanding a tentative opening, (and occasional breathing sips as a result), this was vocally very good. Remember there is a big stage and in order to compete, you need to command more. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Engagement was good owing to the strength of the music, but scope to grow as a performer not just as a singer. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Think about your song choice, we would like to see more originality – click here for tips on song choices

Alice - Long introduction when you only have such a short opportunity to present your work – but then wow! Such a great idea to sing alongside a recorded guitar which had such a groove – it had such a different feel. Click here for performing a creative cover as a singer. It is obvious why you are on stage today. You looked great, sang beautifully, had individual presence, image worked for you (one of the few which really did today) and lovely tones. What will assist you further is originality, and a development in your expression and eye contact, but a stronger act in this final. Click here for tips on eye contact. Well done. 

Lola Warman - You made me want to cry. This happens when I see something so huge and powerful. So awesome and different. Image? No. Stagecraft? No. Commercial potential? Huge. Loved it. You have a super gravelly vocal and this song choice really suited your vocal. Click here for tips on song choices. With advice and original material (to show us your individuality), you could be excellent. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. Unique tone / communication style which sets you apart. Others today had a more rounded package, but one to watch all day long. 

Grace Garcia - Super tone in your vocal to really express the emotion in the song! Click here for tips on how to sing with emotion. Secure, comfortable delivery. Clearly an ability there, but as with many vocal / keys combinations, it is always going to be difficult to stand out and maximise engagement and conveyance of mood successfully. You could imagine London Grammar or a band like that doing this song, fantastic and great atmosphere. Think about musical support to accompany you, to allow you to present yourself more? I think there is more to come….

Lisa Marie - Amazing dress – you looked fantastic! You have masses of potential - we would like to see you doing more contemporary songs rather than the classic ballad. Click here for tips on song choices. Intonation did need to settle, and watch mic technique, (more accurately the microphone could be utilised to greater effect.) Click here for tips on microphone techniques. Strong technical foundation, and much potential here. Style choice was interesting, you may want to explore different options but great work today. You’re extremely passionate, and this oozed through your performance. You should be proud of yourself…. 

Joslyn - Looked tentative, then a mature, commanding delivery! Super presence and confidence, so mature for your age, if we close our eyes you can hear maturity beyond your years! Stage craft will come with experience, but convincing body language and communication, mood painting tastefully done. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Watch support in upper range, but this was a very good piece of work and performance. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Definitely one of stronger stand out performances today – good luck! 

Brieya May - Liked the guitar work, image and tone. Liked the mood you created too! Much going for you. If being very honest, the track was good but not excellent, and this affected your scores across the judges. The song need’s some structuring and focus on the hook, click here for tips on writing a killer song chorus. As an artist and performer, you do have much potential, with clear ability already established. Seek advice to maximise the potential of your direction. Well done. 

T’mya Fyffe - What a super pure tone! Does your chosen genre work for you? Oh yes…! Image worked, strong technical delivery. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Composed and assured overall. Of course, this style commands more of a niche and this will always run the risk of dividing opinion. Sure enough the judges were split to whether there was enough originality / commercial angle to compete at the top end – this being the only apprehension! Well done though…

Sophie Green - Last in the show but definitely not least! You always come alive when you get on stage. Lovely voice, controlled the pace and timing with assurance, technically strong, though a little reserved (more so than the style could accommodate). However, you more than justified your place in the grand final and looked / sounded great! Keep developing techniques and live experience to move to the next level. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers. Keep working hard on your song writing to compliment your sweet vocal. 

16-20's Feedback – A&R Music

Zoe Unsworth - Loved it Zoe! Good original, great delivery, great range, great showcase. Not much not to like about this. Your image worked, a stylistic identity was established, and overall a strong opening to the show. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Original could be very good indeed with some work (intensification and layering at the right moments springs immediately to mind). The verse flowed really well and is super catchy, however needs a stronger chorus, kind of limped after such a big impact. Click here for tips on writing a killer song chorus. Well done Zoe – nailed it…!

Richard Fairlie - Great authentic sound, a super song we can all relate too. Nice guitar work, supplemented the vocals musically. Click here for tips on playing guitar. Not too busy either – a well-judged balance. Good dynamics kept the interest and gave the song dimension. It is obvious how you made to to the final, and you delivered with technical security, personality and character. All this said, watch image, and I cannot help but feel there is more to you – just a little reserved. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Try to develop experience to bring this out. 

Lucy Taylor - A nervous start, a great way to cope with the nerves is to perform as much as you can and at as many different venues, this will better your experience. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers to tests songs that are normally out of your comfort zone. Liked the original, clear vocal ability, some promise overall. The delivery was affected by a tentativeness, perhaps the impact of the event / bigger stage? This hampered quality and engagement. Scope also for more command in communication, which will come with experience. (Watch mic technique - plosives / consistency of balance - too far from the mic). Click here for tips on microphone techniques

Ryan Sparrow - You took just a few bars to set the tone and bring the audience into command (well done here), and nice use of rhythms and co-ordination to supplement vocal lines. All good. Musically there was substance with a mature sense of control in the main. Suggest much more work is required on overall package stylistically and commercially to go further. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Try and look up more to engage with your audience as you have a message to communicate to them, click here for tips on eye contact. Change of guitar playing works really well as a breakdown and showed us something different.

Olivia Flemming-Smith - A long introduction! These initial moments are so important to establish a relationship with the audience - perceptions are formed very quickly. However, once settled, it is obvious you technically and vocally skilled, comfortable and conveyed the narrative with sense of mood. You looked very nervous on stage, try, and perform as much as you can to get yourself familiar with the nerves. Click here for tips on how to calm nerves. You perform in your chosen genre very well, but of course there is always of the risk of this niche market commercially. Try and get more into character to express the emotion and message of the song. Click here for tips on how to sing with emotion. Split the judges!

Olivia Irvin - Confident, and in some ways, there is potential here. In other ways there are key areas still needing work. E.g. Image will work for some but not everyone, and material needs greater substance / range and variety in truth. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Identity also a bit blatant. We liked that you made the song your own, it showed us your originality as an artist. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Keep developing technically and seek advice as to which direction will be best for you to move forward. 

Goosey Tyson - Really wanted this to get going! It is a refreshing style, presented at a good pace and liked the overall identity / mood. Definitely something there to build on. Take the experience, lessons learnt and feed it back into your ongoing journey. Watch plosives into the mic – work on technique here – and oh yes, good choice of bass player – added something! Click here for tips on microphone techniques. Be sure to show us your connection with the bass player, by glancing over now and again. This will be more engaging for your audience, click here for tips for music duos and groups

Yasmin Depp - Very contemporary cool track. Dancey / higher tempo, began convincingly and maintained well. Image worked for the style, although content ultimately a bit safe. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Whilst a secure performance, needs a greater edge overall. You used the stage well, this was engaging for your audience. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Needs more originality too in truth, although what you do, you do well. Your place in the final was justified - commercial promise with the right material. Well done. 

Mya Boyd – You have a terrific vocal! You made the song your own, which showed us your originality as an artist. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Needed to settle, a bit overawed perhaps by the event and stage? Clearly a very good vocal ability, you now need more experience in front of a bigger audience and attention to the wider commercial elements. Click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers. Needs a greater sense of identity too, which in turn needs to align more with the image. Greater variety in range / tone will assist – watch song choice. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics

Zoee - Nice attempt to talk to audience initially but rushed! Shame! You moved onto too quickly without allowing an audience response and interaction - could have been very strong here. This said, nice brother and sister ‘feel good’ factor, singing through a smile, always going to win over a few hearts with this warmth. Super catchy lively song, which made us all tap our toes. Good interaction between performers, which was engaging. Click here for tips for music duos and groups. Musical substance there too. Watch image, but very good. 

Sinead D'Abreu-Hayling – Seeing you perform with a smile is so engaging! You have a brilliant voice. You combined technical skill with confidence, stage craft, engagement and packaged it very well! As ever though with this genre, it will be opinion splitting as to whether commercial and it’s hard to be successfully original. Try to use more of the stage, click here for stage performance tips for singers. Some of the transitions could be smoother and more cohesive too. This said, and more than one judge said this, it’s the West End for you!

Kyle Rawson - Conveyed the story with control and a hint of emotion, engaging well with the audience. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Looked an established performer, with vocal security to go with it. Consider adding more dynamics especially towards the end, which will help bring your own spin to the song – click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Stylistically less certain, hence image was very safe / neutral. I couldn’t decide whether you were so causal as a deliberate statement, but either way more could be achieved here. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Look to use the stage with purpose! Promising though…

Alice Maria - Nice introduction – confident! Song obviously meant something to you, but unfortunately not the best choice to showcase your abilities and range in this environment. Click here for the importance of song choices. Looking down at the guitar also resulted in lost vocal balance (strayed from mic whilst singing– try to be careful here). Click here for tips on microphone techniques. The loss of eye contact meant your audience couldn’t engage with you, click here for tips on eye contact. Not sure about the guitar overall but would like to see again with the right material. 

Taylor Benfield - A very believable performance with an amazing vocal, there was so much power and projection. Use dynamics even more to brighten and emphasis your vocal even more. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Full of personality and character, nice tone, good sense of engagement and considered image which suited you. Lots to like here but does need more of an angle and depth to stand out and give you a competitive / commercial edge. Clear vocal ability, your next stage is to take advice on direction. Suggest material and tempo need to be major considerations. 

Jessie Dipper - Nice quirky sound and tone. An established delivery and I liked the musical backing. Strong elements to this performance overall. Communication style may not be for everyone, and whilst committed, and clearly technically able, more polish needed in part. Be sure to look up to your audience, this would make your performance more engaging. Click here for tips on eye contact. Give greater thought to image and there is scope for a stronger sense of musical identity. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Promising though...good luck Jessie. 

Ellie Grant - Composed, controlled, well prepared, well delivered. Good movement, stage craft is developing nicely, convincing stage presence. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Vocals are mostly there, needing work in pockets technically, and there is definitely scope to be more original, but as an overall package of abilities, this was a stronger performance in today’s final. We’re not convinced the song choice was best for you, seemed like you were trying to force it too much to make it your own. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Well done. 

Lizzie Malessy - Took a while to get going, but once you did this, it was engaging, and you have character which comes out in your music and delivery style. Song has a lovely flow and song writing appears to come quite naturally to you. Image works for you too. Musical content, consistent placement of rhythms and balance / consistency of tone. Commercially there might be something here. Be sure to look up to your audience, this would make your performance more engaging. Click here for tips on eye contact. Watch diction and clarity but another performer with potential. Click here for tips on how to improve diction

Jake Mulachy - I have to start with the backing track. Just not enough quality there I’m afraid. (Was this a deliberate stylistic decision?) Stage presence also could be enhanced. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Your song has potential but requires more hooks in the chorus, this would make your performance more engaging. Click here for more on writing that killer song chorus. Very well done for getting to the final and hope you enjoyed the experience. Strong elements there in part, but a little too hidden today. Come back stronger next time and do yourself justice!

SAS - Great attention to image and a developed identity as well... You also enjoyed this which was infectious! Definitely something to build on here. The material was good without being excellent, but enough there to show us that you may well have an interesting commercial angle. The song has potential, but it was a little repetitive at times, you also need a stronger hook to be more engaging. Click here for tips on writing a killer song chorus. Keep working on vocals, but well prepared, ambitious, and impressive. Well done. You’re very unique! 

Shivani - You have a wonderful vocal, shame you lost courage to sing your own original. Tricky song, well tackled. Very brave and you nailed it! Well done Shivani. To move to the next level, you do need to use the stage more, and this was a little reserved overall. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. We would also like to see more varied facial expressions to show the emotion in the song, click here for tips on singing with facial expressions. Nice mood painting / body language but an overriding tentativeness. Strong technically, some stylistic certainty, communication was fair. Keep gaining experience / developing your style. 

Ollie Wild - Liked the vocal tone, some nice musical moments and secure sense of cadence in phrasing shape! You have to engage more with the audience, i.e. open your eyes! Click here for tips on audience engagement and eye contact. Great original, tasteful vocal, opportunity lost to nail the delivery as a package of style, statement and image. Some of your expressions are quite quirky but that is quite endearing. Click here for tips on singing with facial expressions. Quality of the material was much better than the delivery. Keep going though…!

Song Writing – A&R Music

Andy and Emma - Oh no! Awkward start -but well savaged! Liked elements of this, namely structure, some transitions, there was something about the hook, (catchy in part). Fair sense of melody and simplicity of theme. A bit fast maybe? Guitar a bit too much in truth, and phrasing / lyrics became repetitive towards the end. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. Overall, some potential, needs to be reworked though.

Denis Coleman - I hope you are very proud of this song Denis! Well put together backing, great pace, catchy for the most part, albeit with some less well worked moments (E.g. Sustained “Yeahs----" – didn't work for me…). Melody tastefully worked, structurally secure, lyrics worked with the music, and yes, much potential. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. Not much work required - very good piece of work!

Eve Rowlands - Cohesive, clear hook, music was easy to remember, although less so lyrically. Narrative less obvious, but strong musical element. Good use of rhythms / melody, nicely contrasting as the song progressed. (Well done here). Plentiful variety, right on the edge of being too much, but theme held and did not become too disjointed. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. Mostly successful today.

Roma - Very strong structure and sense of story, clearly demarcated verse and chorus working well in this context. Well-judged tempo, with simple, easy to follow lyrics, lending itself to storytelling style, intensifying logically in transitions. More commercial than others today, although scope for a little scope for more variety / intensification. Will command an audience. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs.

Georgia Fowler - Well-handled initial tuning glitch! Beyond this, not sure the song worked harmonically in all parts, and found it difficult to engage in truth. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Do give thought to simpler lyrics / musical lines. Complexity in song writing is not a bad aspiration in itself, but the danger is it can become hard to follow and enjoy. Less for the audience, more for the composer?

Megan Williams - Strong opening, secure structure, (mostly) logical progression, (mostly) easy to follow. Piano support had some nice ideas, some lyrics could he developed. Overall not quite cohesive and flowing in all aspects. Work is required to give a greater sense of hook / something memorable to take away, but a great attempt, especially given your age. Click here for tips on writing the killer song chorus. Well done…. 

21 and Over's – A&R Music

Copper Viper - Music from the heart, solid, established, able, mature. Quirky and endearing, like your guitar playing style. Click here for tips on playing guitar. Nicely performed, a committed delivery, focused and competent in your chosen style. You will need more of a commercial edge to finish in the top slots in this competition, but you will attract an audience. Good dynamics to keep the song and interest going throughout, click here for tips on vocal dynamics. You are good at what you do - well done guys. Keep going and come back stronger next year!

Hannah Thomas - Strong delivery of a well communicated narrative, individually conveyed. Technically secure. You have a booming voice and it’s important you work the dynamics to really show it off to its greatest! Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. You now need to aim for a greater sense of personlisation and originality. It would be good to make the cover more of your own, play around with the style and delivery. Click here for more on performing a creative cover as a singer. There is substance there for you to develop a heightened musical identity which I think you need to do to go further. In similar vein, there is scope for you to align your image to style also. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician

Kewen - Comfortable delivery, nicely structured track, solid guitar accompaniment. You need to think about who your target audience is then try to reach them with greater musical identity. Image needs further work also. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Elements of this performance showed promise, but there are also areas for further work both competitively and commercially. Perform as much as you can for practice, click here for the importance of Open Mic nights for singers to tests songs that are normally out of your comfort zone. Good luck!

Sara N Junbug - Song flows well and the Cajon really drives the song well. Confident, musically composed but in truth the performance was disjointed visually. All musicians clearly having a great time, but stage presence did not quite work together. Click here for tips for music duos and groups. Scope to be more cohesive / polished between you. Smiling and interacting is very engaging and helps us connect with you as artists. Good track, showcasing fair range, allowing some personality to come through. Another act with promise, also needing more work at this level.

Hugh Livingston Barclay - Nice vocal suiting the song, and comfortable guitar accompaniment. Song melody sounded sweet, look to develop the dynamics to really drive through the hook as it needs to be heightened. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. You justified your place in the final - well done! Image a little safe, but an emotionally conveyed theme, supported with technical security. Will need a greater commercial angle to stand out both in this competition and in this genre, but scope there to keep developing. Good luck Hugh….

Infecta - Wow! Great stage presence and commitment. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. You gave this absolutely everything and deserve everything you get. Very exposed vocal, but mostly consistent tone, techniques, and within limited reference you maintained tempo and energy levels really well. Take care to focus on your tuning as it times you lost your pitch. What an individual performance, with guidance and attention to material, you might just have something. Really well done. 

Charm cee - Watch intonation Charm, this did not work for you tonight. Looked good, confident in delivery with nice vocal tones, but something mis-aligned with backing harmonically. A nice idea to bring on second performer midway, but overall this was unsuccessful technically which made it difficult to critique the wider commercial potential and stylistic content. Look to commit more to the performance; just go for it! We would love to see more of your passion, click here for stage performance tips for singers

Peter Green - Comfortable, well held tempo, consistency of sustained phrases, style suited your voice, and you nailed the delivery. Not sure the material itself allowed you to showcase to the level you need to be at to compete with and edge the other acts in the grand finale, but you are a good performer. You need to change the dynamics to really climb into the vocals and know when to take down a level to give greater emphasis to the chorus. Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. More originality would assist your commercial potential. Have a think about bringing your own spin to a song, to show us your originality as an artist. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Well done Peter. 

Anon - Looked good, sang well, technically strong, musical and talented! Really funky and engaging. You have something extra in your artillery, which does make you stand out, delivered with a sense of effortlessness. All this said, try to engage with your audience more, I know you are concentrating and there is a lot going on, but you need to establish that relationship with those watching you. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Focus on delivering the song and its message to your audience. 

Stefano Corona – You certainly made the song your own! It was refreshing to hear your originality through this, click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Captured the mood, set the tone, great vocal, very big voice, big presence, big sound! Could be in danger of over doing it on the theatre front, but you set out to make an impression and you certainly did! You really committed to the song and left nothing behind! You have put a lot of time / investment in how you look and sound and there will be a market for you. Careful it is not overdone Stefano, but very good. 

Evie Rowlands - Liked the track and clarity, nice story telling style. Musical shaping to phrases. Some stage presence there - scope to develop this. Solid guitar work. Commercially there are elements which could be developed, and there is the basis of a confident performer here. This is a better song than what you performed in the song writing competition - lyrics are engaging and organic dynamics allows the song to drive with a nice flow. Click here for some useful tips on how to write songs. Overall, a bit safe at this level to be competing at the top but be proud of what you have achieved.

Hannah Glencross - Lovely voice, considered image, secure technical delivery, and good use of stage. Material was well chosen to showcase your range and expression. Good communication also. Consider your expressions, try to embrace the positivity and not just the pain and anguish. Click here for tips on singing with facial expressions. It is obvious how you reached the final and were one of the stronger performers tonight. Liked the engagement with both song and audience alike. Click here for tips on audience engagement. Well done Hannah…

Joe Peace - Such a cool song, you delivered it so well with the subtle dynamics that we can all relate too! Click here for tips on vocal dynamics. Great guitar hook initially, interesting register, lovely technique, and use of catchy rhythmic groupings. But you took too long! Vocals suited song choice, you were confident, giving attention to stylistic / expressive devices to maintain interest and in doing so gave a good showcase of musical ability and as a performer. You have something Joe, keep going…. 

Davey Blast - You stepped up from the Area final – well done Davey. Committed delivery and a great build up with some super lyrics. Love the lyrical content, use of percussive rhythms, stylistic identity, use of statements, honesty, purity, rawness. You have got something, and your delivery was good, perhaps a little overawed. Song has potential, but you need hooks in both the melody and vocals! Click here for tips on writing that killer song chorus. Watch clarity in part - take more control of audio balance / tone as well. Scope for image to be polished. Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician.  

Bryn Teeling - Confident, consistent in tone and projection, reasonable material performed. You’re a solid singer songwriter, would like to hear more focus on driving the hook of the song. Click here for tips on writing a killer song chorus. The delivery was mostly secure, although watch harmony - not quite always there. I’m not sure there was enough quality on the day to compete or stand out - needs an edge to become more commercial. This said, it is clear why you made your place in final, promising overall. 

Matthew Joseph - Looked great, convincing presence not sure the material worked for you! Some of the moves and overall use of stage looked too contrived, less flowing and natural, although well prepared. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. Vocal tone less warm in places. I think do you have something but be careful with material choice. We would like to hear something more original, something that will show us your originality as an artist. Whether that’s putting your own spin on a song or writing your own material. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. Suggest advice as to how to best use your skills moving forward.

James Neilson - Took a while to get going but once it did, I loved this! Would like to see a wider repertoire of this original material. This song has a cool vibe, killer bass line and catchy as hell! In truth, there could be more connection between the two of you, more effort visually / engagement wise, and your image needs work. Click here for tips on tips for music duos and groups. Nor were you the best technically, but as far as conviction, originality and having that sparkle goes, just so great! Well done…. 

Michael - Huge voice and committed performance, thoroughly justifying your place in the final - well done! You do need a greater sense of musical and commercial identity, which you can then use to establish a stronger image, and there is scope for greater stage craft. Click here for stage performance tips for singers. We would like to hear something more original, something that will show us your originality as an artist. Whether that’s putting your own spin on a song or writing your own material. Click here for tips on performing a creative cover as a singer. But good expression, conviction and technical content. One of the better acts in this final, requiring more work to go further. 

Koho (Matt Butler) - Nice to see a duo sing thorough the smiles! Vocals sounded amazing with super harmonies, try and reach out to each other as performers to show your connection to the audience. Click here for tips for music duos and groups. Male performer had a less convincing image, and may I be really honest and say the original did not do you justice today. Really wanted this to get going, but it didn't. My guess is there is more to you than you showed tonight. Tech glitch well handled at the beginning, would like to see again with different material. 

Beth Barlow - Do I detect a hint of Stevie Nicks?! Watch plosives into the mic (became distracting), but nicely communicated, clear ability to sing and perform. Click here for tips on microphone techniques. Good eye contact and an engaging performance overall, click here for the importance of eye contact. Hope you enjoyed the experience, which you need to feedback into your development. Remember, the performance industry is an ongoing journey - take all the advice you can to sustain an existence. Go for it….!

Melody Hodgson - Great image, this really worked for you! Click here for tips on finding an image as a musician. Liked the quirky instrument support, and overall you were engaging in an interestingly individual way. To choose no backing was brave, and you did well to hold pulse and tempo. Relative pitching consistency also secure. Convincing as a performer and will attract an audience. Room for a greater sense of stylistic identity.

Laura Hicks - You’ve come on so much as an artist in the last few years, well done Laura! An impacting presence, liked the vocal, confident performer, but not sure as to the identity you are trying to achieve, nor the genre you would be classed as – you need to keep developing to be able to definitely make these statements. Technically a little too reserved too, I felt there was more. Really drive through the hook to do this, click here for tips on vocal dynamics. All this said, comfortable and you nailed the delivery. Well done Laura. 

Casey Adam - Nailed it! An emotional performance, full of character. You have a clear message and chose your material carefully. Vocals did the song justice. Take care with your facial expressions as they came across quite harsh, click here for singing with facial expressions.  Inevitably, delivery and communication style will divide opinion. The intsensity is likely to be an attraction for some, a distraction for others. Clearly emotional and performed with conviction. A very interesting performance….

Emmy Owl - Amazing image, almost dreamy, childlike, stripping back any complexities to reveal a purity through a gentle voice with simple guitar, all capturing the mood. Captivating in fact. Originality at the core. Bring this quirky and unique style into your image, then you would complete the package. Click here for tips on act image and synchronisation. I can see you being popular for some, and less convincing for others. For me, I liked it. Well done Emmy. Try to develop this theme, it may have something… 

Fine China - Great opening, liked the image, although not sure it reflected your musical identity. Not sure the track did you justice either. Well prepared and nicely delivered but it didn't grab me. Click here for tips on song choices. You move well on stage, which helps us to connect to the message in the song, click here for stage performance tips for singers. In context of the competition, the opportunity wasn’t taken to compete, which I think you might be capable of doing. Remember material choice is as important as ability! Keep at it…

A&R Music

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