Hi Folks,

We're through 6600 of the 10K albums this year in the first round. It looks like, so far, that we're eliminating about 30% of the CD's, which is a bit higher than last year, but it's mainly because we have a much better idea of where the bar will be this year to grab a nomination. That means starting round 2, we'll still have far more CD's in the running than ever before at that stage. I have app. 50 genres at this point, but we might add a couple and trim a couple depending on how the final 1/3 of the first round goes (which we hope to have finished by the end of 2003).

I'd love to have the nominations out by April, but it's still too soon to know. Most likely the awards themselves will be in the summer.. in June or July.

So far, the largest genres seem to be:

1. Singer Songwriter (with far more female than male albums entered) is dominating the entries. A lot of these albums will end up in categories like New Folk, Americana, Pop, Rock etc as the process moves forward.

2. Rock is next in line. This is generally Bands doing mainstream Rock.

3. Rap is the next leading genre. This is the biggest shift we've ever had in 1 genre since we started the awards. We have probably 5 times as many entries this year in Rap than last year which is amazing. We're already considering having a featured RAP showcase in NYC this spring.

4. Jazz is next in line, both Instrumental and Vocal. This is another genre we've undersupported in the past and plan to find ways to improve that with the growth.

5. Instrumental is next (this is stuff that isn't Jazz OR New Age... ). In general, I am surprised at the collection of instrumental music we've gotten this year. If you combined new age, instrumental, solo instrumental and jazz instrumental into 1 single collection, it's as large as the Rock entries this year. Very cool.. so we need to find more ways to support our instrumental writers.

6. Ethnic is next. This includes non-english lyrics and ethnic styles such as Celtic, Reggae, Polka, Latin, African etc. We will likely have reggae, celtic and latin music as their own categories because we already have enough quality entries. I think we have music from over 60 countries entered this year.

7-10. Blues, Gospel, Country, R&B round out the 10 lartest genres so far.

Depending on the final third of the music we sort through, all this stuff could change. A category like Pop, for example, will pick up a lot of song entries from Singer-Songwriter. All in all, this year's entries are the most diverse ever!

Once Round 1 ends, we'll start picking individual tracks to consider. That's a long but fun part of the process.

That's the latest update!


Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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