Microsoft and Muzu TV announce Unsigned and Online winner

14 Jun 2012

(From left) Microsoft's Orla Sheridan, singer-songwriter Carol Keogh and Ciaran Bollard, CEO of Muzu TV

Dublin-based singer-songwriter Carol Keogh has claimed the top prize in Microsoft and Muzu TV’s search for Ireland’s best unsigned music act.

Over the past 10 weeks, bands and artists from around the country have been battling it out to win points online to take the No 1 spot in Unsigned and Online, a competition aimed at promoting independent Irish music.

Unsigned musicians were challenged to use various Microsoft products and digital media to promote themselves. “We know that there are countless bands and musicians around Ireland using digital and social media as a powerful tool to gain and maintain their fan base. The power of online has been shown time and again as unsigned acts try to exploit its full potential by sharing their music,” said Orla Sheridan, consumer channels group manager at Microsoft.

“But it’s not just about making your music accessible; people need to know where to find you. That’s the reason Microsoft and Muzu TV came together to launch Unsigned and Online. We merged the best of Windows Live technologies, such as Hotmail and SkyDrive, with Muzu’s reach and expertise to deliver a platform that really delivered exposure for the acts.”

Keogh claims prize worth more than €10,000

During the competition, the artists’ videos were viewed nearly 100,000 times on Muzu TV, but Keogh’s song Into the Blue beat off stiff competition to see her crowned champion.

Keogh has been working the scene for a number of years now, writing, performing and recording with various bands. Performing as a solo artist since 2008, she is now demoing tracks for her forthcoming debut album with backing band, The City Fathers.

The prize, worth more than €10,000, consists of a digital marketing campaign across Microsoft platforms (including Windows Live and MSN), an acoustic session in Muzu TV’s studio, and a slot on-stage at The Academy, Dublin.

“It’s great to have won the competition, which was based on votes from the public, and the timing couldn’t be better,” said Keogh on her win. “Digital and social media are the bedrock for unsigned musicians as it allows us to share our music with large groups of people. The exposure that I will get through the prize from Microsoft and Muzu will help greatly in getting my album finished and ready for release.”

Gaining exposure online

“Unsigned and Online is a great example of what can be achieved by harnessing the power of the internet and technology to record music and create music videos at a fraction of what it used to cost for artists,” said Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Muzu TV. “There is an incredible amount of talent out there and Unsigned and Online is a chance for Irish artists to gain nationwide and international exposure.”

“We are thrilled for Carol on winning Unsigned and Online; Into the Blue is a really great song,” said Sheridan. “Carol has shown a real determination throughout her music career and the win will give her added exposure to help with her continued success.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.