At a showcase last night in The Academy, Dublin, songwriter, producer and performer Chamelon aka Matthew Harris was crowned the overall winner of ‘A New Local Hero’.
The event was the centrepiece of Irish Music Month, an initiative of Hot Press and Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and is funded by the BAI, under its Sound & Vision scheme and supported by XL Retail, MCD Productions, IMRO, RAAP and XMusic.
Over the past two months, 25 of Ireland’s Independent radio stations have been choosing their own ‘Local Hero’. Out of the 25 submissions, 5 were chosen for last night’s showcase in the Academy.
Performing on the night were finalists Carrie Baxter (WLR), Chameleon (98FM), Fintan McKahey (96FM), Leah Moran (Spin 1038), Mia Yermeche (FM104), with a performance from special guest David Keenan also.
The ‘A New Local Here’ prize included;
• A payment of €5,000
• A single to be released by the Rubyworks label
• 30 plays each on all 25 participating stations, amounting to a minimum of 750 in all
• €5,000 worth of equipment from X-Music
• An interview in Hot Press and accompanying photoshoot
• Full PR campaign around the release of the single
Speaking to Hot Press ahead of last October’s Irish Music Month, IMRO CEO Victor Finn said;
“Music is vital to radio. Without the constant availability of new artists and new sounds, radio would be faced with an almost impossible challenge. So there is an increasing awareness, I think, of the importance of the radio industry and the music industry working together.
“That is part of what is important about Irish Music Month Music is at the heart of being Irish – and we produce a huge amount of outstanding talent here. To see that being supported and celebrated on Irish radio is a massive boost for local artists and songwriters. It is a massive boost for our members. Long may it continue.”
In sending his congratulations to winner Chameleon, President Michael D. Higgins said;
“There is so much extraordinary musical talent in Ireland right now, as was confirmed so emphatically, when 25 independent radio stations all over Ireland chose their own Local Hero, as part of Irish Music Month.
“I have no doubt but that the judges must have had an exceptionally difficult job selecting a shortlist of five from those 25 uniquely talented artists – and so, in addition to Chameleon, Carrie Baxter, Fintan McKahey, Leah Moran and Mia Yermeche all deserve our heartiest congratulations.
“We really are in a special moment here in Ireland, with brilliant young, creative artists like all five finalists coming through and delivering works of remarkable imagination and maturity”.
Photo by Meryl Prendergast/Hot Press