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How a "Low Profile" Artist can get nominated for a High Profile Award (HMMAs)

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How I Got (and YOU can get!) Nominated for Best Jazz Song at:

The HMM (Hollywood Music In Media) Awards

(Thurs., Nov. 18th, 2010)

(by Cheryl Hodge)

I'd like to take a moment to share my recent experience with you all, and to let you know that - YES! - there is hope for ALL of us to be acknowledged in the industry for our work & talent... and plenty of room, if you do the right things. And, to be competely honest, I'm also hoping that you will join me at Reverbnation.com after you read this article. I'd like for all of us to immediately join each other's fanbase there, and mailing list. It is an awesome site!

It isn't often in this life that we unsigned singer/songwriters experience true recognition for our craft from our peers in the industry; especially in the highly competitive world of music. When I received my nomination for Best Jazz Song from the Hollywood Media& Music Awards committee for my song, "INDIGO"; I'll be honest; I thought there must've been a mistake!

However, it turns out that I was in fact, nominated for my song INDIGO (hooray!). I thought to myself, this was going to be a good month. I knew I would have lots to share with my Songwriting and Business of Music classes especially when it meant that I would also be attending the Interactive Music Symposium (sponsored by the NAMM show folks). In my http://reverbnation.com/thecherylhodgegroup).case the nomination was mostly due to the visibility I have recently garnered as a top ten jazz musician for Canada on the ReverbNation charts (to check out my site, go to

Of course, the whole awards show was done with impeccable taste. The red carpet walk at the Kodak Theatre Complex in L.A. was a long one, though; and while in line, I talked with many of the honourees and managed to make a few (always valuable) contacts.

Once inside, I immediately began connecting with other potential winners and various giants of the music industry. The night flew by, and I barely even shrugged my shoulders when it came to my turn to hear my category - and found that my name was destined to stay in the nominated (not winning) category. It didn't really matter to me. I had already felt as if I had won, just by being present as a nominee. I was rubbing elbows with the Big Boys, like members of Matchbox 20, and producers like the infamous Nile Rogers.

I was most impressed, though, by the executive producer of this event, Jim DeCicco, who has a mandate and purpose for this whole event: to help unsigned (should be signed), and talented songwriter/composer/performers, through honouring them and providing them with a slew of contacts in the industry.

Naturally, I was curious about the selection process, and here's where YOU come in... I want you all to realize that there are still avenues out there for you that WORK. I was selected by submitting my music through the HMM contest at Reverbnation.com I went ahead submitting, even though I didn't think I had a chance in hell. Turns out I DID.

Unlike some other sites I have read about and even joined, and put money into (like Sonicbids.com - which was a complete BUST, and yielded NOTHING after pumping money into it for over a year!), it turns out that Reverbnation is quite reputable, and actually comes through with real, tangible opportunities.

Contests, my friends are THE way to go, for unsigned artists. Keep your heads up, and hang in there. It may be your turn next!

All the best, Cheryl Hodge




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