Five major prizes at the “Ear Up Music Festival”
13 new voices from Hong Kong that need to be heard
HONG KONG SAR – Media outreach – May 16, 2022 – Now in its fifth year, the ‘Ear Up Incubation’ music mentorship program hit another milestone for the local music industry when 14 Hong Kong-based bands were chosen as finalists in the highly anticipated Ear Up Music Festival in April 2022.
Along with local rock band Kolor and indie singer-songwriter Kendy Suen, the 13 up-and-coming musicians among the finalists brought their best to indie music fans live.
Covering a variety of musical genres, the groups have won five major awards including the “Ear Up Grand Prize“, the “Ear Up Creativity Award“, the “Ear Up Performance Award“, the “Audience Award Ear Up“and the new”Ear Up Bhike Award”.
13 bands rocked the stage
Despite the ongoing challenges created by the COVID-19 situation, a year-long training program concluded with all 13 groups among the 14 finalists showing off their talents at the Festival held at Macpherson Stadium.
| 1. BEAT FRIDAY
2. Evening in the bedroom
5. FIESTER (Unfortunately, FIESTER is not featured due to other arrangements.)
6. Higo Raj
7. Kowloon K
| 8. Lester Lam
9. Nervous system
10. Narratist Project
12. Tofu Kingdom
13. Uchu Yurei
14. Yuki Lovey
Female domination evoked haunting charms
The power of the female voice could not be overlooked in this year’s “Ear Up Incubation” program. In a diverse range of music, the female voice has opened up new possibilities. Combining heavy metal and electronic elements with Cantonese songs, PARTY delivered a colorful style of music to music lovers. DAWN saw musical creation as a vast and little-known sound adventure, taking into account the composition of the song, and bringing a colorful alternative side to Cantonese songs. CHORUS sang in a psychedelic atmosphere, drawing the audience into the music and into another place where they could feel the message and be genuinely moved. grow in music, Yuki Lovey used piano elements from everyday sounds such as metal parts, glue, wood, water and tapping to explore themes such as personal growth, suffering and relationships between people in order to offer healing effects to busy city dwellers.
Unique styles of new groups
The sounds of indie bands are the soul of Ear Up Music and fans have enjoyed alternative rock, electronic, metal, fusion, jazz-pop, neo-soul, R&B, rap and music. dream-pop in Cantonese, English, Mandarin and Japanese.
Uchu Yurei introduced progressive rock, jazz-fusion, Japanese film soundtracks and classical music into their musical universe. Narratist Project told stories using notes and rhythms blending jazz, rock and classical music to create an enjoyable and deep sonic journey for the audience, while RAM offered audiences an alternative rap rock music experience. Kowloon K wrote songs with improvisational elements of the instrument and was constantly experimenting with new possibilities by combining city-pop and jazz-pop. Inspired by jazz-pop, soul and funk punk, The nervous system surprised the public by the diversity of his music. With dream-pop and shoegaze as main musical pillars, tofu kingdom gave fans another music experience with their indie-pop style paired with fantastic and thrilling music videos.
Wandering between the electronic music of hip hop, electro, trip and house, the duo BEAT FRIDAY showcased unique music and visual in their performance. While bedroom party created upbeat, dreamlike music using the computer’s digital music workstation software in their bedrooms.
The “big chaos” music style of Higo Raj mixes R&B, EDM, disco, hip hop, and more in a rhythmic musical journey. While Lester Lam incorporates pop, R&B and indie into their singing and songwriting.
Uchu Yurei, a progressive and instrumental group, delivered an impressive musical performance and won the “Ear Up Grand Prize“. The representative of the pop city Kowloon K have the “Audience Award Ear Upand was a huge favorite with viewers online. Higo Raj was the winner of theEar Up Performance Award“who showed his passion for music with his talented band.”Ear Up Creativity Award” went to BEAT FRIDAYwhich demonstrated an innovative combination of music and visual content. Lester Lamsinger-songwriter, won the new “Ear Up Brand Award“.
From music to animated images
This year, Listen to the music created a limited edition vintage cassette album Mixtape, EUM001: ups and downswith 12 songs selected from the finalists.
Five newly created music videos with the latest XR techniques demonstrated the originality of the new generation. Additionally, director Eric Tsang was asked to create a mini-drama based on the finalists’ music.
Promoting new music from Hong Kong: Ear +
Listen to the music is a music label mandated by the Hong Kong Renaissance Foundation develop a sustainable and diverse music ecology in the city and nurture young rising music stars. Sponsored since 2016 by Create Hong Kong (a government unit that aims to make Hong Kong a regional creative capital), the label created the “Ear Incubation” program to spotlight new music in Hong Kong and surrounding areas and beyond.
In addition to dedicated mentoring sessions in small groups, the program also includes a series of performance workshops and international forums for young musicians to improve their live performance skills, understand the latest industry trends and discover potential collaboration opportunities. Live showcases and school showcases are also held for incubees to gain performance experience and build a fan base. All incubees are selected through an open recruitment and audition process organized by Listen to the music.
This year, “Ear Up Music” has evolved even further – the “Ear Up Music Incubation Program 2022/23: Ear Up +” has been released. “Ear Up+” openly recruits 18 original music groups with commercial potential. Selected applicants will receive training and production and market development grants of up to HK$450,000. The program will also organize a music festival for them to introduce the public to the rising voices of Hong Kong.
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Listen to the music
Ear Up Music Social Media
About Ear Up Music
Ear Up Music is a music label that shines a spotlight on new music from Hong Kong in its neighboring regions and beyond. The label, established by Renaissance Foundation Hong Kong in 2016, runs many projects ranging from talent development to presenting events that connect to global music networks. These projects include Ear Up Incubation, Ear Up Global, Ear Up Tour and Ear Up Gig On.
In 2018, we founded Ear Hub to curate the latest developments in the music, media, production and interactivity industry in Hong Kong, Asia and internationally. Ear Hub is an international music conference and festival that offers an audiovisual feast as well as a warm environment to initiate cross-border collaborations for music lovers and professionals.