Brooklyn’s Lora-Faye Wins the 2012 Mountain Stage NewSong Contest at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium.
New York, NY. Brooklyn’s twenty-three year old Lora-Faye was chosen last Saturday as this year’s grand prize winner of the eleventh annual Mountain Stage NewSong Contest. Along with the other finalists – who came from as far as Anchorage, Alaska to compete – Lora-Faye performed her original songs to a packed house at the Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium. And after a series of two rounds – the matinee semi-finals and the evening’s award round – it was Lora-Faye whom the panel of judges ultimately crowned as this year’s overall winner.
“As in years past, narrowing the field of finalists was a very difficult endeavor for the judges,” said NewSong Music Group director and founder Gar Ragland, who produces the event and serves as one of the judges. “The finalists are all quite talented as both songwriters and performers, and their styles vary to the point that it’s quite difficult to compare them to one another. All things being equal, it really comes down to which artist moves you the most. The combination of Lora-Faye’s dynamic, expressive vocals, eclectic instrumentation and engaging, somewhat offbeat approach to songwriting placed her songs and performance above the rest.”
“It’s a rare honor in life to have so many talented people in one place both supporting and nurturing each others musical journey and growth,” said PledgeMusic CEO Benji Rogers, who also served as a judge. “One of the hardest moments I have faced in a long time was having to choose just one out of the finalists. They were all that good.”
Selected from the nearly 2,000 entries received in this year’s contest, Lora-Faye will record a fully-funded album at the beautiful Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, North Carolina with hit producer Iestyn Polson, who has worked with the likes of David Gray, Patti Smith, and David Bowie.
The album will be released on the Brooklyn-based NewSong Recordings label in 2013. In addition, Lora-Faye will perform on NPR’s internationally broadcast Mountain Stage show, perform at Lincoln Center, appear at the 2013 Sundance/ASCAP Music Café, and receive a fully-funded album release pr/publicity campaign from the Press House, sponsored by PledgeMusic.
NEWSONG CONTEST FINALS PHOTO GALLERY:
“The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest continues to identify stronger and stronger talent,” said Mountain Stage founder and host Larry Groce, who also served as one of the judges. “Several of this year’s finalists are possible Mountain Stage guests and I’m looking forward to what Iestyn Polson and Lora-Faye create in the studio. To get ten days in a studio with a producer like Iestyn is a tremendous opportunity for an emerging artist, and we’re excited to feature Lora-Faye on Mountain Stage when the album is finished.”
“I’m so thrilled to be working with Iestyn Polson on this record, and to make this album with him at Echo Mountain Recording Studios down in Asheville.” said Lora-Faye. “It’s an enormous honor to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing producer – and an even bigger honor to be picked to do so from such a talented group of musicians!”
LISTEN TO LORA-FAYE’S PERFORMANCE AT THE NEWSONG CONTEST FINALS HERE:
“The whole [contest] experience was a great reminder of how hugely important community is for anyone trying to make meaningful music – everybody I met through the contest was so genuinely interested in helping each other to make authentic, dynamic work,” Lora-Faye continued. “Honestly, it seems to me that the NewSong Contest is just as much about making community as it is about declaring a winner – a rare trait in this cutthroat industry. I can’t wait to run into Carolina Story in Nashville, Tom Meny in Austin, Jeffrey Martin out in Portland, and all the other fantastic folks I had the honor of sharing the stage with. Playing at Lincoln Center was a dream come true, and so is singing on Mountain Stage. And I can’t wait to see what kind of record Iestyn and I come up with. I think it’s gonna be nice and weird – just the way I like things.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lora-Faye spent time in both Massachusetts and Vermont before recently returning home to whole-heartedly pursue a career in music. She has released one EP, ‘Social Magic,’ which she says is greatly inspired by The Anthology of American Folk Music. A self-taught singer, guitarist, banjoist and occasional rock drummer, she sees her lack of formal music training as an asset. “I think it’s a blessing to not know theory, because it frees me from the rules which I think if I were aware of might stifle me, creatively. It’s been really interesting playing with highly-trained Berklee kids in my band — it kind of feels like using a calculator for the first time. I’ll say – ‘hey I think the bridge needs to sound a little more whiskey-soaked and a little less prairie home companion’ and they’ll be like ‘oh yeah just play the A flat diminished 7 with an E in the bass thingy.’ They know the rules and also know how to break them. It’s incredibly inspiring.”
In addition to performances by this year’s finalists at the live competition, both the semi-final and award rounds featured encore performances by 2009 NewSong Contest winner Reed Waddle and Firehorse’s frontwoman Leah Siegel, respectively. The rounds were hosted by WFUV radio personalities Eric Holland (semi-final round) and John Platt (award round).
About NewSong Music
NewSong is an independent music organization that works to build a supportive community of performers and songwriters across all genres of music and levels of skill. NewSong identifies the truly exceptional artists within this community and works closely with them to develop their careers and introduce their music to a broader, international audience. For more information visit www.newsong-music.com.
Special thanks to our partners Mountain Stage, Echo Mountain Recording Studios, PledgeMusic, ASCAP, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Arts Brookfield, WFUV and Global Positioning Services for helping to make this opportunity possible for these twelve deserving artists. Check out their sites by clicking on their logos below.