Follow Up: Presenting Philips’ New Talent Competition Winner

By David Ponce

Some of you may remember that Philips brought us to Amsterdam last year to witness the production of a musical piece titled “I’m No Prototype”. It was part of their Obsessed With Sound campaign and was meant to highlight the company’s commitment to excellence in audio products. As part of the campaign, they were also sponsoring a musical talent discovery competition. This effort led to the submission of over 1,400 entries and the selection of a winner. They got the chance to have their winning piece mastered by U2’s producer, Steve Lillywhite and the Metropole Orchestra from Amsterdam. The result is the video above, and the winning band is a group from Brazil called Inky. The piece is called “No One’s Town” and we happen to think it’s pretty darn awesome.

We’re doing a follow up on this not just to help spread the word on the company’s efforts, but also to make a short statement about the way music is being discovered these days. It’s a slow shift away from the traditional record label orchestrated path that artists have taken over the decades. With shows like American Idol, YouTube and now multinational-sponsored competitions, artists can be discovered in more ways than ever before. It doesn’t necessarily mean that being selected as a winner will sad to commercial success, as we don’t know if there’s a distribution arrangement in place for Inky. Still, exposure is something, and we applaud Philips’ efforts in this area.

Hit the jump to read an interview with Inky.

Please let us know what winning the competition meant to you?

When we applied for the competition it all just seemed so far from possible that none of us was really confident about winning it. Then, when we saw who the 15 finalists were, we realized that we actually had a chance and that it would be the greatest thing to accomplish as a band. The days before the announcement of the winner we could barely sleep and spent days rehearsing and dreaming about how would it be if we won the competition. So, when we woke up one morning and saw that we had won it was not only the biggest joy, but it was a true validation of our work as a band.

How has it affected your career?

Winning the obsessed with sound competition has affected our career in many different ways: we got to work with amazing people and learned a lot from the experience and we also got international visibility that we would hardly get if it wasn’t for an opportunity like that. Also, it was great for the band image here in Brazil, as we became a lot more respected in the musical scene.

What was it like working with Metrople Orchestra & Steve Lillywhite?

It was surreal. We would never imagine to have one of our songs arranged by Martin Fondse and have it played by an orchestra and recorded by Steve Lillywhite. It was beyond all of our expectations; The arrangement was beautifully written, the mood was kept flawlessly by the orchestra and all the tips and Steve’s magic just made the song grow so much and become the best version of it. It was the best experience of our lives and everyone was excellent; Steve is a great guy and very easy to work with, just like the Orchestra, Martin, and Jules. Nevertheless, we can`t forget to thank Tribal DDB and Philips, who made a terrific job and cared so for much us.

Aside from entering the competition, what other measures have you taken to build your fanbase / boost your music career, e.g. using social media?

In our opinion, using social media is only worth if you really have something good to offer. In our specific case, when we opened LCD Soundsystem`s show, we had something to offer and several music critics and bloggers started talking about the band and that was relevant. From this starting point, we had interesting stuff to talk about, which led to people wanting to know more about the band. Now, after the Obsessed with Sound Competition, we have more to offer than we ever had. People will naturally talk about this. In the end, we don`t want “likes” on our Facebook, we just want everyone to stop what they are doing and really listen to the band.