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Music Opportunities

Meet The NextGen Competition Judges

Photograph of the blog post author, Jon



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Our 24 judges work across Music, TV & Film, operating from the UK, Europe and USA. These music VIPs have the influence and ability to open the floodgates to success, and are vying with each other to find the next new talent! All you have to do is Let your Talent be Heard! 

Aston Merrygold

JLS, Singer-Songwriter & recent BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing contestant.

Aston Merrygold is a British singer, songwriter, dancer and television personality. He is best known for being a member of the British boy band JLS who were the runners-up to Alexandra Burke in the fifth series of The X Factor. JLS sold more than 10 millions records wordlwide. Aston is currently performing as a member on Strictly Come Dancing, BBC.

 Ben Haenow

Ben Haenow was crowned winner of the X-Factor in 2014 and has gone on to perform with Kelly Clarkson, Queen & Ed Sheeran. His debut single went to number one and his album received gold status in the UK. Ben has been touring arenas across the world ever since and is now gearing up for his highly anticipated second album.

Nicola Benedetti

World renowned, award winning violinist Nicola joins the panel.

Nicola Benedetti has some incredible accolades to her name. She’s the youngest ever recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music, has performed at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony which was viewed by 9.4m people and has won 2 Brit Awards. Now, she lends her talents to our NextGen judging panel.

Andrea Madden

Award winning Music Supervisor known for her work on Channel 4 hit reality show ‘Made in Chelsea’

Andrea Madden is a music supervisor for Bafta Award-Winning TV Show ‘Made in Chelsea’. The show is renowned for its music (The Guardian once claimed it has “the best soundtrack on TV”) and Andrea and her team recently picked up the Most Shazammed TV Show Award and an Individual Sync track placement Award at Music Week’s Sync Awards 2014.

 Dave Stewart

Eurythmics Iconic Musician, Songwriter, Record Producer & Entrepreneur 

David Stewart is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for Eurythmics, and his successful professional partnership with Annie Lennox. He won Best British Producer at the 1986, 1987 and 1990 Brit Awards.

James Dewar
A&R at Sony ATV Publishing 

James Dewar moved to Rondor Music from 1993 -2003 where he signed Imogen Heap, Kaiser Chiefs & Special Sauce amongst many others. He then started at SonyATV in 2005, where he is currently a director of A&R. Signing highlights have included Hozier, Jessie J, The Hoosiers, Justin Parker (writer of Lana del Rey/Rihanna).

Nick Halkes
XL Recordings & Positiva founder. Artist manager Liam Howlett (the prodigy), Bad Company UK, Stanton Warriors

Nick Halkes is a U.K. based music industry executive with over 25 years of experience as a record label boss,publisher and artist manager. As well as signing and then working closely across the decades with The Prodigy and being one of the founders of the XL Recordings label,Nicks influence across dance and electronic music has seen him guide the careers of artists as diverse and successful as hitmaker DJ Fresh and dubstep pioneer Caspa.

Alan Edwards
Publicist & Artist Manager

Over the last 40 years, Alan Edwards has worked with a variety of clients as a publicist in the entertainment business, from The Rolling Stones, The Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse, Prince, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney and David Beckham. 

Aton Ben-Horin
Music Executive. A&R and Record Producer at Warner Music Group

Aton Ben-Horin is an American music executive and record producer. He has recorded successful artists such as Flo Rida, Charlie Puth, Akon and David Guetta. Ben-Horin serves as Global Vice Presidentof A&R for all of Warner Music Group’s labels. 

Dan Chalmers
President of Rhino, East West and ADA at Warner Music Group.

Dan Chalmers is the president of Rhino, East West and ADA at Warner Music. He has been successful with artists such as Stormzy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Christine and the Queens.

Max Gerrans
Artist manager for Sam Smith & Disclosure at Method Music

Max Gerrans is an artist manager looking after Sam Smith and Disclosure and other high level writers on his roster under company name Method Music.

John Houlihan 
In-house Music Supervisor at 20th Century Fox. President of the Guild of Music Supervisors USA.

John Houlihan’s work has generated worldwide hit songs and music videos by Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Pink, and Destiny’s Child. Highlights include his Music Supervision of all three Austin Powers films, both of the Charlie’s Angels films, Deadpool & Deadpool 2, plus Training Day which earned a Best Actor Academy Award for Denzel Washington.

Dan Jackson
CEO – CORD Worldwide Ad Agency & Music Supervisor

Dan Jackson is a part of CORD and they create award-winning music for advertising and connect brands to their audiences. They have supplied audio branding for countless companies such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Santander and Lego.

Lucy Bright
Music Supervisor at Music Sales

Lucy Bright is well known for being a music supervisor in films such as Assassin’s Creed, Slow West and The Last Man on The Moon. She is the Deputy Director for Music Sales Creative in London. 

 John Saunderson
Head A&R at Notting Hill Music Publishing

John Saunderson is head A&R working day to day all 150+ writers within The Notting Hill Music Group. John is a highly respected and renowned A&R responsible for numerous hits, both in the UK, USA and Asian.

Madonna Wade-Reed
Freelance Music Supervisor, Guild of Music Supervisors board member

Madonna Wade- Reed is a music supervisor and owner of Whoopsie Daisy. She recently supervised the ABC series “American Crime”, the CW series “Reign”, the documentary film “Let It Fall” and it currently working on the MTV/SPIKE series “The Shannara Chronicles”. 

Mary Ramos
Independant Music Supervisor, USA

Award Winning Music Supervisor, Mary Ramos, has helped create the musical identity for over 100 films for the past 20 years. 2015 was a banner year for Mary, she worked again with Quentin Tarantino on his 8th film “The Hateful Eight.  She also worked again with Tom McCarthy on his Academy Award winning film “Spotlight”– and paired him up with Composer Howard Shore, for a score that was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award.

Tim Ingham
Editor of Music Business Worldwide, Music Industry Commentator

Tim is the ex editor for Music Week and now owns his own online industry publication and blog Music Business Worldwide. He is a well-known music industry commentator and has written about the music industry for the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Daily Mail and NME. As a media pundit, he has discussed the entertainment business with outlets including BBC Newsnight, CNN, The Times, Sky, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 News, Al Jazeera and many more.

Paul Samuels

A&R at Atlantic Records UK

 Ian Neil
Music Supervisor, Head of TV & Film Sony Music

Before becoming an independent Film Music Supervisor, Ian built his strong reputation through his work as Head of Film and TV for Polygram Records; Head of Film, TV and Advertising and ultimately Director of the department at Warner/Chappell Music Ltd. Ian has worded alongside Guy Richie for films such as Snatch and Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrells.

Adam Van Straten
Music Industry Lawyer

Adam Van Straten is a highly accomplished lawyer for, in particular, the talent side of the entertainment, media and sporting worlds. His clients include artists such as Wizkid and Craig David. 

Other VIP Judges

Include Adam Greenup Head A&R at So Recordings, Kevin Reynolds Artist Manager, Eryk Rich Music Supervisor at Deutsch (Advertising Agency USA), Georgette Bivins Music Supervisors at 72 and Sunny (Advertising Agency USA) and Jon Skinner CEO / Founder at Мusic Gateway, Secretary for the UK & European Guild of Music Supervisors.  

What do their titles mean & what are their working roles?

An A&R Manager is responsible for signing talent & artists to their record label or publishing company.  A&R stands for Artists and Repertoire. These guys are responsible for talent scouting and developing the Artists commercial value. A Music Supervisor is someone who works with Directors (Films), Client & Advertising Agencies (Advertising) to creatively find and license music that compliments the picture and or media (e.g. film, TV). They look at the music quality as well as ensuring it is legally cleared for use. A Music Industry Executive is a person within a record label who works in senior management, making big decisions over the label’s artists and roster. A CEO stands for chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company or other institution.

How do I submit to the competition?

If you don’t know what Мusic Gateway’s NextGen competition is, then you must read this here to get you started. If you are ready to submit your music to the VIP judges, then continue and click the link below.


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