Since the advent of the pandemic, the shift toward virtual events has been swift, as has the desire to help support one another through a difficult time. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi has decided to seize the day on both fronts, teaming with the Youtube channel/social community of Cover Nation to host a virtual talent show and vocal performance challenge called Sing It Forward.
Hoping to provide creative support for young performers stuck at a crossroads during a time when live music has necessarily been paused, the competition will provide resources like a summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music and access to professional mentors in the industry like Ingrid Andress, Pink Sweat$, and Tayla Parx, as well as other Atlantic Records recording artists like Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat from All Time Low, Charlotte Lawrence, Grandson, Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, and Corbyn Besson and Jack Avery from Why Don’t We.
Sing It Forward is presented by DioGuardi’s own non-profit, Inspired Nation, and will also raise funds and awareness for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is forming a Youth Ambassador Academy to help young people advocate for mental health. “My hope is that Sing It Forward will help artists who are feeling isolated get the feedback and community they are craving from our caring celebrity mentors who have been in their shoes and want to help elevate their artistry,” DioGuardi said. “I am also excited that all monies raised will benefit youth advocating for their mental health through NAMI’s efforts.”
To participate in the competition, users simply need to post an original or cover song to YouTube, TikTok or Instagram and use the #SingItForwardChallenge hashtag, along with an explanation of “why the chosen song is important to them and their artistry.” There’s also an entry form on CoverNation.com all participants will need to submit. From the submission, judges will select eight semi-finalists to be paired with mentors spanning genres like alternative rock, R&B, country and pop. Finally, the competition will officially be live streamed this spring in a show hosted by Youtuber Kurt Hugo Schneider, with a judging panel that include DioGuardi, Bonnie Hayes, the Head of Songwriting at the Berklee College of Music, and Pete Ganbarg, President of A&R for Atlantic Records.
Cover Nation is a subsidiary of WMG, and SVP Scott Cherkin said he thinks the goals of Sing It Forward align with those of the Cover Nation community. “We’re happy to host Kara and Inspired Nation’s event to shine a light on mental health and the benefits of mentorship and guidance within the creative community,” he said. “Cover Nation brings together some of the most talented and creative people across social media and provides a space for community and connection. We’re excited to foster that support network and help these incredible artists move their careers forward.”
These are the official prizes for Sing It Forward:
— A summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music
— An A&R advisory session with Pete Ganbarg
— A $1,000 cash gift card
— The opportunity to host a livestream session which will be broadcast on Cover Nation’s Takeover Tuesday content stream
— 1 year of free music distribution on Level, a platform for independent creators to easily distribute music globally on Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
Get more information on how to enter Sing It Forward here. Entries must be submitted by March 16, 2021.
Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.