BBC World Service and BBC World Television are looking for the future of music. On 22 October 2007, they launch a major global music talent search – The Next Big Thing 2007. The competition will be scouring the world looking for exciting new music, bands and performers who will shape the future.
Anyone can enter the competition and it is completely free and unmediated. Forget the big labels and mainstream music business, The Next Big Thing is looking for boldness and brilliance – musical pioneers who really deserve attention.
Entries last year came from thousands of musicians from over 40 countries and with BBC World Service, the biggest international broadcaster in the world with an audience of 183 million listeners in 33 languages worldwide, the 2007 competition will be the biggest yet.
This year BBC World Service will be joined by BBC World Television in the search for The Next Big Thing to expose the new and establish a platform for musicians to create and perform original music.
Last year’s winner, Silva, went on to have a number one hit in her home country of Armenia and played the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Geoff Travis, the founder of Rough Trade who signed The Smiths, Travis, The Strokes and many more, said on behalf of last year’s judges: “We are very glad to have been asked by the BBC to be a part of this. We are astonished at the standard of the entries, we are very very pleasantly surprised.”
And the head of the jury, music producer William Orbit, enjoyed the competition so much that he is returning in 2007.As well as taking entries via the online site, BBC World Service will be out on the road, with local events in Mumbai (India), Kingston (Jamaica), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and Istanbul (Turkey).
The BBC has selected a panel of international music experts including Caspar Llewellyn-Smith, Editor of the Observer Music Monthly; Will Hodgkinson, music journalist for Mojo and the Guardian; and Paul Stokes, Features Editor of NME to help choose five finalists.
There are just two rules: artists must be unsigned and must perform their own original material.Entries close on 18 November 2007, and finalists will perform for an all-star jury in London in December.
One act will be crowned The Next Big Thing 2007 and will perform to a live audience of 3,000 people at London’s O2 stadium, alongside some of the most exciting names in music, to celebrate BBC World Service’s 75th anniversary in December.