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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why in the World Would I Enter a Songwriting Contest, What the Hec is the IMEA? & Some GREAT Artists to Check Out!

So many of you musicians have asked me about winning awards: how do you win songwriting awards?, how and why do you enter song contests? etc., etc.  So I put together some basic info for you, below. I would love it if you would read about some of these extremely talented artists and see how many of them have recently won some pretty big awards.  Considering there're probably 100's of 1000's of good musicians out there, I believe that some of these awards in your pocket really can motivate you, get you the recognition you deserve, and set you apart from the crowd....

To Pre-Order hardcopies of my NEW album, “Dream of You” for only $10, just click HERE.

Also, what’s the IMEA?  Read below about what’s happening with the 3rd Annual IMEA Awards Show in Atlanta on Oct. 24, 2015, and please don’t forget to VOTE for DeDe HERE thru Oct. 7!  (Just click, enter your email, vote for DeDe for #2 & #22, and click on "SUBMIT" at the end. Simple, and thanks so much for your vote!!


Wow, this year is just rolling by so quickly. It seems that just yesterday I was on a conference call with the Nominating Committee finalizing the submission forms and booking the venue. Now, we are in the final stage of planning.

Over the past two months, I've exchanged an infinite amount of emails with IMEA members who are nominated. Many of them have been a part of the awards in the past years and many of them are new this year.

One of the things that I liked to tell newbies about the event is that it is like a homecoming or a family reunion. Although many of us meet for the first time on the weekend of the awards, it is an instant connection and feels as if we have been best friends or relatives our entire lives. That's beautiful. Many organizations, and award programs, are competitive. I am so glad that that is not the case with our organization.

I would also describe the event as a magical experience. From the hustle and excitement of the red carpet to the moment you step foot into the theatre, you immediately know that you are surrounded by talented and artistic people. You can feel it in the air. Another beautiful thing.

We have been working extremely hard to make this program a success and we could not do it without all of you. Thank you so much! If there's something you would like to see us doing that we aren't or if you have a suggestion on areas that we can improve our organization, please let me know.
-Colt Chambers


DeDe Wedekind, or just “DeDe” as she often goes by, is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Texas. Over the past 3 years of her 4-year career, DeDe’s been a repeat FINALIST in many International Songwriting Competitions including: the International Songwriting Contest, the UK Songwriting Contest, the 2014 Annual Dallas Songwriting Contest, and Song of the’s 2015 Songwriting Contest.  She also won 2 Albums of the Year (and one Song of the Year), from the International Music & Entertainment Awards in Oct. 2014. The Adult Contemporary Album of the Year was her 2nd album, "Love and Fairy Tales", and the IMEA Holiday Album of the Year was "World of Christmas”, DeDe’s 3rd album. 

She’s currently collaborating with Los Angeles-based Multi-Platinum Producer & Songwriter, Kevin DeClue (who’s worked with Hillary Duff, Charlie Midnight & Rihanna), on her highly anticipated 4th album, "Dream of You", releasing on Oct. 27, 2015. For "Dream of You”, which just wrapped recording in Nashville, DeDe wrote or collaborated on the writing for all the songs, including one of her new singles, “Love Is”.  On Sept. 19th, DeDe performed and recorded “Love Is” in Nashville’s Studio 515, with Multi-Platinum mega-hit Songwriter & Producer, Andrew Fromm (songwriter for the ‘NSync “Millenium” album, the Backstreet Boys, Marc Anthony & many others), who not only helped arrange the piano part, but also played the piano on this track for DeDe's album.  Two songs from this album have already been nominated for major Music and Songwriting Awards: "Prime of Life" was a Song of the Finalist in July 2015, and both "Prime of Life" & "Stronger" are nominated for Song of the Year in the 3rd annual IMEA Awards in Folk and Adult Contemporary respectively!  DeDe will be a Featured Artist at the 3rd annual IMEA Awards in Atlanta on October 24, 2014.

Crossing many genres and styles, DeDe is becoming known for her inspiring melodies and vocals, and her honest, yet uplifting lyrics. A nationwide terrestrial major market radio campaign by a leading Nashville Radio Promotion Company starts early this Nov. for 2 hit singles which appear on her new album: “Stronger” and “Prime of Life”.  Hear and purchase DeDe’s music at: & Become a Fan and receive monthly news, shows & song updates:

Russian-born and Israeli-raised guitarist Yuri Liberzon ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists in the United States and the world
His playing has been described as “Transcendent technical prowess at the service of gracious musicality. He is a natural born guitarist”. Washington D.C. Guitar Society wrote: “Mr. Liberzon was terrific. World-class mental acrobatics. Very pleasing results.”

His debut album Ascension was released to both domestic and international listeners on Friday, July 17th 2015.

It wasn’t long before the album received a stunning review from classical music critic Dan Cohen at The Muse’s Muse. He writes: “...he's all about melody, all about communication, all about heart. It's his Ascension, to be sure, but he wants to take us with him. My advice to you-- drop everything and go!” The album has also been submitted to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for first-round consideration at the upcoming 58th Annual GRAMMY® Awards.

It showcases the talent and resources of the San Francisco Bay area: performed on a 2011 Gil Carnal (a Santa Cruz luthier) guitar, recorded at the Robert Blitzer Art Gallery in Santa Cruz, mastered at Michael Romanowski Mastering in San Francisco, and produced by Yuri Liberzon and Nahuel Bronzini.

Yuri’s success in the United States began with full scholarships to study with two of the world’s leading guitar figures: Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and Benjamin Verdery at Yale University School of Music. Mr. Liberzon went on to successfully complete his Graduate Performance Diploma and Bachelor’s degree from Peabody and finally a Master’s degree from Yale. His skills have also earned special recognition by the USCIS; Mr. Liberzon was granted Alien of Extraordinary Ability United States Permanent Residency based on his achievements in the music field. In addition to arrangements and transcriptions, his expertise has also been called on to judge competitions in the United States, most notably the Beatty Music Competition for the Classical Guitar in Washington D.C.รข€‹

When Dutch recording artist and actor Corjan de Raaf (Raven) founded Stage Republic at the end of 2013, he had no idea things would take off as they did. "Firstage", the debut album produced 3 singles that made it into the Dutch national indie chart, with "All Out" topping the list on #1. Outside the home country of the Netherlands "Firstage" was playlisted at over 200 US College Radio Stations and became a pop hit in South-Korea. A double IMEA Award nomination (Best Alternative Album & Best Alternative Group) became the icing on the cake.

The 2nd half year of 2014 saw the release of "Seconder" the EP with another charting single for the band in "Us Against The Rest". After that it was time to start working on new material. The song "Big Blue River", nominated for this year's IMEA "Best Pop Song" category, had all the elements of a clear new direction for the band. Where "Firstage" was centered around Raven's mantra of "refuse to think it's hard", in the new material the artist explores what is happening to us and how that affects our lives. The phrase "Had to drown to come clean" from the nominated song sums that up nicely. Still, the trademark Stage Republic messages of hope and perseverance are always there as are the electro-pop 80s roots, be it less dominant than before.

Stage Republic frontman Raven will be one of the proud presenters of this year's award ceremony.

Black Jewelz latest video "#100 BARZ" was released September 7, 2015. The video "#100 BARZ" provides the audience with exceptional imagery coupled with raw lyricism. This follow-up to "The D" is the second video from the "illethal" Mixed tape.

Based in Bangalore, India, The Majolly Project has already proved their mettle by winning ‘Best Emerging Artist’ and ‘Best Song’ for their debut single "Dark Room" at the Global Music Awards. This single is also currently nominated as Rock Song of the Year at IMEA presently.

A young band (founded in September 2014), concert pianist, teacher, singer and choir director Neecia Majolly is the frontswoman/songwriter/arranger, with Anish Thomas Panikkar (keyboards/arranger) and Ashwin Shekhar (drums/percussion). Coming from different musical backgrounds ranging from Western Classical to Electronic to Indian Classical to Progressive Rock, The Majolly Project has just released their explosive second single Whitebone showcasing their unique sound which they call CEPR (Classical/Electronic/Progressive Rock) based on the disturbing issue of ivory poaching.

The Majolly Project can be found on facebook, twitter, youtube and reverbnation. Both singles are on sale on

After a very productive trip to LA, I will be collaborating with producer Matt Champlin, who won a grammy for his work on the new Sam Smith album. 

I will be having an album release party with my other project, Iz'em, a polyrhtymic, textural, modern rock group, in D.C. at the Velvet Lounge on U-Street October 9th.  Baltimore's 98 Rock will be broadcasting the entire show live to listeners.  The photo attached of our band was taken by the phenomenal Richie Downs, I highly recommend him to any musicians looking for a high quality photographer on a budget.

Also I'm working on some new music, including some finger tapping techniques and beatboxing that my audiences are really loving. 

I hope this puts you in a trance. #dubstep #beatboxer
— Dylan Galvin (@DylanGalvin) September 24, 2015
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I hope you enjoyed this latest artist, contest and IMEA update! 
Thanks and have a great Fall!
DeDe J