Voting for Upstate Music Awards Officially Underway

  • By cvbizz
  • January 18, 2021
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Brett Barest

Last year’s Upstate Music Awards opened my eyes to a lot of things, not the least of which was the sheer volume of artists we have making up the local music scene. No matter how meticulously I scour the iOnGreenville music calendar each and every week, the number of artists nominated showed me that there are a ton of talented musicians that need to have a higher spot on my radar. With nominations closed and this year’s UMA voting officially underway, I am surprised yet again at how much local talent there is to consider for the second straight year.

A  glance at the categories shows us that this year’s pool offers 36 albums in the Best Album category, 32 for best EP, a staggering 65 songs for Best Single, and so on down the line. Some are artists that I admire and write about regularly, some I am merely vaguely familiar with, and many are brand new names to me altogether. I have said this before and I will say it again – every so often someone complains that “we don’t have a music scene” or “we should be more like Asheville” and these people are simply not paying attention. The depth of talent here in the Upstate runs deep and that is never more apparent when visiting the UMA website for the list of nominees.

When the voting officially opened on Monday, I spent several hours of my evening diving heads first into the Best New Artist and Best Music Video nominees. I listened to songs from all 32 of the first category’s nominees (some more than once) and got about halfway through the second batch before going completely cross eyed. As a UMA Committee contributor, I am not going to name names for this exercise but I have to say that I came away with a list of artists as long as my arm that completely sold me as legitimate contenders in each category.  Of course, there were those that did not necessarily speak to me from a genre or style perspective but, overall, the talent on display is strong and it is hard to believe it is but a mere sample of what the Upstate music scene has to offer.

As such, I just want to use this space to encourage you to boogie on over to the UMA website, dial up the volume on your speakers or headphones, and dive in. It is both a fun and illuminating experience and a great way to celebrate your favorite local artists while being introduced to some new ones along the way. Most importantly, make sure to cast your vote for each of the 12 categories as voting is live now through Monday, January 25. Vote daily between now and then as the top vote getters will be announced as finalists in early February ahead of the tentatively scheduled award ceremony in the spring. With live shows still not at full steam, there is no easier way to support the local scene than logging in and casting your vote… It’s the American thing to do!


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