Kickstart Music Competition

Daveit Ferris, founder of the music website Chordblossom, urges acts from across Northern Ireland to enter the competition that Soak won in 2012

What is Chordblossom?

Chordblossom is a music website based in Northern Ireland. We post only original content: news, interviews, music reviews, live reviews, mixtapes, blogs and much more. We have a healthy bias toward coverage of Northern Irish acts, but we don’t limit ourselves. We’re continually evolving, and this year will see the launch of our club nights and radio station.

What inspired you to launch the website in February 2012?

I didn’t create Chordblossom to fill a gap in the market; I created it because I wanted a platform to use my experience to help bands in Northern Ireland. I had been helping bands privately for years, and this just seemed like an idealistic way to publicize acts. Chordblossom is a musical snapshot directory.

You must interview a lot of artists. Any star-struck anectodes?

Interviewing Therapy was a very cool moment. I have so much respect for those guys and how they’ve continually put out records despite their label/sales woes. It’s always good to see a band genuinely put out music because they love it. We interviewed their bassist, Michael McKeegan, and he was just a top notch guy, no trouble(gum) at all. Did you see what I did there?

Last year you ran a music competition, Kickstart, which Soak eventually won. Are you proud to have played a part in her incredible success thus far?

Absolutely. She definitely stood out from the get-go for most of our judging panel. Soak didn't have any properly recorded music available at that point, and that all changed when she won our competition. She was then whisked off to record her Sea Creatures EP with Declan legge in BigSpaceStudios in Newry. I definitely think it was a turning point for her, and I’m chuffed that we had a small part to play in that early evolution. She’s a gem and I can only see her burning brighter for a long time to come.

This year the competition has returned bigger and better than last year. What is Kickstart?

Kickstart is a competition designed to give a band or individual musician a massive push at the start of each year. Having been in bands for half my life, I have a firm handle on what needs done, and I kept this in mind when devising the competition. Kickstart is open to all artists from Northern Ireland. That’s our only caveat.

What can the lucky winner expect?

They will have a single recorded, artwork for their single produced, a small duplication run, a slot at Glasgowbury music festival in 2013, a full website developed, a month of PR, a £100 music voucher, a photoshoot… the list goes on and on! The first placed package would set any band up for a great 2013. There are two runner-up prizes also, and neither of those is too shabby either. You really need to view the entire prize list on our website to see how many facets the overall prizes have.

You work with an incredible range of creative organisations with regards to the competition, from web developers to music management companies. Are they all based in Northern ireland?

I think four or five are from Derry, where I'm based, with the rest being dotted around Belfast. It’s worth noting that the companies were not hounded to get involved, they really supported the idea of adding their jigsaw piece to a huge prize in order to really thump a band into 2013. We actually have had a lot more companies ask to get involved since we publicized the competition, but we had to put a stop in place otherwise it would have gotten silly. Next year though, next year!

Do you think the fact that 2013 is Derry~Londonderry's year as UK City of Culture will help the winning act?

Absolutely. We’re hoping our winning band will get a tonne of visibility. We’d hope this would make them a more attractive target to those organising music events as part of the City of Culture year.

How can people enter, and when is the closing date?

The closing date is February 28, 2013. Bands and musicians should go to the Kickstart page on the Chordblossom website to find out all the relevant information. Entering is as simple as sending a Soundcloud link to your best song, and a biography, to