A few years ago I recorded some demos for a songwriter in New Mexico. About 6 months later, I received a random CD in the mail from a band called RACECAR. There was no note, no message, just the CD. As I read the liner notes, I noticed my name listed as one of the band members. "Hmmmmmm," I thought. So, of course I then listened. After the 3rd or 4th track, there was one of the demos that I recorded for that writer in New Mexico. The other demo was a few tracks past that one. So, though I thought it strange, I didn't give it much more thought.
About 2 weeks after receiving the CD, I got a call from the writer in New Mexico asking me if I received the CD. He explained that he wanted to create a CD with sort of a "virtual" band, so he recorded a few songs himself, and the others he sent to a handful of demo studios around the country. He then compiled them into one CD.
He then explained that the CD was up for "Best Rock CD" in the New Mexico Music Awards. A few more weeks passed and,to my surprise, I received a lovely trophy in the mail for our "Best Rock CD."
That made me curious about the New Mexico Music Awards, so I researched them and loved what they were doing for New Mexico artists. "Certainly, there must be an Ohio Music Awards," I thought. But there was not.
I will be honest, it took a few years to get the OMAs in motion - I really didn't want to organize an awards program, however I knew that eventually someone would, and let's face it, there is a potential to really take advantage of artists. So, fearing that might happen, I thought it better to organize with the intent of sharing Ohio Music and helping artists get the attention they need and deserve.
Of course, that often brings up the question, "Well if it's just about the music and the artists, why is there an entry fee?" There are two really good reasons; the first is a practical one: Say you're a songwriter. Say you have written maybe 20 songs - maybe 200 songs. If there was no reason for you to be picky about what you entered, you would probably enter all the songs you've ever written. And if every Ohio artist did that, we'd have tens of thousands of entries that could never be judged and the OMAs would not exist. The second reason, of course, is to offset the costs of the awards and the web presence.
So while it may not be perfect, we're working on it. Many artists are seeing the benefit of being recognized as one of the best in Ohio. Some of our judges have reached out to artists they would like to work with. And, of course, more people get to hear more Ohio music.
That's the story - now go listen to some Ohio Music!