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Professional Demo Review - Mar 26, 2007

- “I think Amy Rachel has to work on a much clearer and original musical personality!”

- “I’m sure Next Generation will find a record deal. Great song and great production with a hooky arrangement!”

- “Rocker Baby sounds like a good European answer to the Pussycat Dolls.”

picture Unsigned Artists Of The Week Amy Rachel, Next Generation and Rocker Baby have been reviewed by our panel of three music industry professionals: producers Ronald Soelkner (XTension productions), Henrik Kersten (Tinseltown Music) and Frank Meyer (Out Now Music).

The reviewers analyzed all aspects: vocals, production, composition, visual presentation; provided tips on improving the tracks; evaluated their overall potential to get a record deal and achieve chart success, and advised on approaching the music industry.

The artists:

HitQuarters ArtistAmy Rachel – US – Pop

Little 17 year old Amy Rachel from Florida amazes people with her vocal abilities and songwriting talent. She has performed throughout Florida including singing the Anthem at several major stadiums. She is available for record, management and publishing deals.

Listen to Amy Rachel – Mirror

HitQuarters ArtistNext Generation – US – Pop

Next Generation from Austin, Texas is made up of 4 young talented males - Grant Gadoci, Brett Dartez, Eric Ferguson, and Cameron Maxwell. They are produced by David Rice, producer of Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore. They are available for record deals.

Listen to Next Generation – Wicked Like That

HitQuarters Artist Blacklist – UK – Pop

Girl band Rocker Baby from Liverpool UK is fronted by 19-year old Nikki Heldt. They performed as Kanye West’s dancers at the Brit Awards 2006 and have been singing live on the BBC. They are available for record, management and publishing deals.

The girls are a hard working bunch who organize everything they possibly can, from gigs to photo shoots, turning their hands to anything from lighting, sound, production, choreography and styling.

Listen to Rocker Baby – Bodyrock

Our industry professional review panel:

Ronald Soelkner – Songwriter/Producer – Austria

Ronald Soelkner started songwriting at the age of 16 and continued to improve his writing and production skills through the years by working and collaborating with different national and international artists and songwriters, such as Austrian Top 10 singer Tamee Harrison.

In 1999 he founded the music production company Xtension Productions with co-founder Juergen Leitner. XTension Productions produced a major TV commercial for Coca Cola.

Henrik Kersten – Producer/Publisher – Germany

Henrik Kersten is the Managing Director of Cologne’s Tinseltown Music, and is credited for working with No.1 Germany artists Christina Stürmer and Mike Leon Grosch, as well as Vanilla Ninja (Top 10 Germany), No Angel’s Sandy (Top 20 Germany), and Valentine (Top 40 Germany).

As A&R for Epic Germany he was also behind breakthrough releases for 2-4 Family, Southside Rockers and InMood.

Frank Meyer – Producer – Germany

Frank Meyer is an in-house producer with Cologne-based Out Now Music, who are behind numerous albums such as Heidi Klum (Top 20 Germany), Wonderwall (Top 10 Germany), Patrick Nuo (Top 40 Germany), and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord.

Meyer co-produced Wonderwall’s breakthrough Top 10 single ‘Just More’ and album ‘Witchcraft’.

Reviews on Amy Rachel:

Ronald Soelkner – Grade: 7

I think Amy is a great singer. Due to the fact that she’s young and really pretty I’m sure she’s going to make her way as a big artist. The song ‘mirror’ has a strong chorus. This is what makes the song memorable. Good repetitions and a hooky melody. The verses seem to be a bit too long and there’s a lot going on.

You get the feeling that there are two pre-choruses. The second pre-chorus is great! It relaxes the song before the chorus comes in. The production sounds like a mediocre demo. The piano is a bit annoying and the verses are quite empty. To me the sound of drums is crucial for a good production.

I think the bass drum has a good kick, but the snare sounds a bit lost. Designing a great and innovative snare would make the production much better. All in all I think Amy is a great artist with a good song. Looking forward to hear more of this girl.

Henrik Kersten – Grade: 6

Amy has a great voice and and she sings very good for a 17 year old girl! Amy also looks great, as far as I can judge from her pictures, which is of course also quite important for a successful career.

I don't know if her song ‘Mirror’ is strong enough, though. What is missing for me is a unique style which would distinct Amy in a special, certain way. I mean, right now, we have a good looking 17 year old girl with an average song with an average production. Is that enough to start a successful career? I do not think so!

I think Amy has to work on a much clearer and original musical personality! There are thousands of girls out there doing almost the same style Amy does, and therefore it is of great importance to get a clear positioning of what Amy stands for both lyrically and musically.

Still, there is great talent on display here, and Amy is young enough to go in almost every direction. Now it depends on her and her direct surroundings to follow the right path...

Frank Meyer – Grade: 4

I think that the song is not good enough for these vocals. The verse and bridge are not strong enough. Until the chorus starts, what we have here is pretty boring and weak. And, unfortunately for Amy, the chorus itself is just Ok, nothing resembling a killer.

The middle eight part is also too standard. So, generally speaking, the song just doesn’t work. All in all it is just a normal pop song with no unique or outstanding attitude.

Now to Amy’s voice: while she indeed has a very good and powerful voice, she basically sings like all American female singers now. At the moment her voice resembles Pink and Aguilera in one person. But she has a very big potential. So, in conclusion, it is very important for Amy that she finds her own style and that she evolves into something unique. I think that she can and will make it.

Reviews on Next Generation:

Ronald Soelkner – Grade: 8

The members of Next Generation are great when it comes to singing and vocal arrangements. They manage good harmonies and adlibs. And, although there are a lot of background vocal parts, you never get the feeling that there is too much singing going on. The song is catchy and repeats the title perfectly in the chorus. It’s a good idea to additionally have the title as a filtered vocal effect in there as well.

The production sounds great! Although the rhythm sometimes seems to be hard to follow. It’s a good idea to use those tripled bass drum patterns, but at the same time it is hard to understand without a hi-hat. This is why it sounds a bit weird in the intro. In my opinion, the drums and guitars could even be a bit more punchy and in your face.

I’m sure Next Generation will find a record deal with that song. Great song and great production with a hooky arrangement!

Henrik Kersten – Grade: 4

With Next Generation we have a clearly singing-oriented, and in my eyes classical, boy band. The boys look good, they can sing, and the song plus production is also typical for this kind of genre and in that sense nothing that really surprises me.

In my opinion the group looks a bit too slick and a bit too harmless. This, of course, is my personal feeling and a subjective point of view in regards to the overall genre. However, what I also find lacking is the outstanding great voice, a voice that can serve as the clear ear-catcher.

The vocal performance in this track is average and, I’m sorry to say, a bit boring. I have heard this sound much too often. I think it will be a hard, long, tough fight to break this act...

Frank Meyer – Grade: 4

The song is nice but, to be honest, does not make for a real big hit at all! I don’t like the production. It’s not bad in general, but for me it just sounds nothing but a cloning together of Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake. I can’t form a more specific opinion on the band because I have no information regarding who’s playing what and if in fact the band members are the ones playing their own instruments.

If they are real musicians, then they have a certain chance of achieving success through playing and performing live as an actual, proper touring band. If they are only a casting act sort of thing, then it will be much harder. The lead singer is good, but again, he is a nothing more than a copy of the artists I mentioned.

Reviews on Rocker Baby:

Ronald Soelkner – Grade: 6

Rocker Baby sounds like a good European answer to the Pussycat Dolls. The voices are young and refreshing, in a way which reflects the image of the band. However, in some places I get the feeling that the timing isn’t always perfect.

The song has some nice twists and interesting parts that make it fun to listen to. But I’m not so convinced about the chorus. The pre-chorus starts off great with a good melody, but when it comes to the actual chorus it’s losing that energy.

The production is good! It just needs a better mixing. The backing vocals are too loud and drown out the lead. Since the arrangement is simple (which fits well to this style), the middle eight is a great part and attracts a lot of attention. Good production idea well-executed!

I think Rocker Baby will make their way in the music business. I’m just not sure if it will be this particular song that will bring them to the top. But you never know...

Henrik Kersten – Grade: 9

Rocker Baby is in my opinion a great looking act with a very clear positioning! The track ‘Body Rock’ is also a statement all of its own and it suitably represents the groups' general attitude. I do think that the song and the group have great hit-potential, indeed!

What I really like about it is this refreshing girl group rocking attitude. Now, it will be of great importance for Rocker Baby to continue holding on to this clear strategy and record some more great tracks in the same style of music! I give my thumbs up for Rocker Baby! Best of luck for the future!

Frank Meyer – Grade: 2

There is nothing much I can say or add about Rocker Baby. This band is really well-known since years. I heard about them a long time ago and I think it’s going to be pretty difficult for them to make it in the business.

Every A&R or manager I know already knows them, but the fact remains that they have yet to secure a deal. That, in my opinion, says everything. The music is not strong enough, the band is not strong enough. Sorry.

My main problem is probably the fact that I can´t hear any progression or evolution whatsoever in the songs since I heard Rocker Baby the first time. Maybe it is a little too subjective of me, but I don’t feel any access to the music. Whether I view it in terms of this being all about taste or not, Rocker Baby just don’t hit the right key in me.

Demos on review are chosen from the ones uploaded to the A&R Panel. To upload your songs, click here.

If you are a music industry professional that would like to participate in the demo reviews, please send us a message.

Previous Demo Reviews:

Professional Demo Review - June 6, 2006

Artists: Epic Hero (Pop/Rock/US) – Ropetree (Rock/US) – Blacklist (Rock/Ireland)

Professionals: Dale Penner – Producer – Canada - Charlie Peacock – Producer – US - Colin Richardson – Producer – UK

- “These guys have the sound that captures the College / Hot AC market these days”

- “Though this song is produced by Dan Wilson (Jason Mraz, Dixie Chicks), the mix suffers from a rare disorder - the passionate vocal is actually too loud.”

- “To play this kind of rock they will need to look cool and not be a bunch of old rockers.”

Professional Demo Review - May 1, 2006

Artists: Irina Lamb (Pop/Urban/Ukraine/US) – Julia Othmer (Pop/US) – DaNica (Pop/Urban/US)

Professionals: Allan Wells – Manager – US - George Samuelson – Producer – Sweden - Robyx a.k.a. Roberto Zanetti – Producer – Italy

- “This girl has an incredible voice. It's hard to tell that she is a blond, young and very beautiful artist!”

- “Industry types love to see that an artist is out there doing it for real.”

- “At the moment I hear too much of the Anastacias, Mariahs, and the plethora of Church singers around the world, and compared to them she will always risk looking pale as a developing artist.”

Professional Demo Review - March 13, 2006

Artists: Gang Of Roses (Urban/US) – Gio (Hip Hop/US) – Ken Fluid (Hip Hop/US)

Professionals: Jermaine Russ p.k.a. Mac G (Producer/US) – Spike Leroy (Producer/US) – Mughal (Producer/Canada)

- “This has hit written all over it!”

- “The bio is a story I’ve heard over and over and over again, same old blah, blah, blah… I’m just sick of rappers thinking they need to put out how bad they were, or how much dirt they did, or how many times they’ve been shot, etc.”

- “He's a nice looking guy, so the ladies would like to buy a magazine that features him, or a nice poster, so he shouldn't have a problem there. He's definitely marketable.”

Professional Demo Review - Jan 16, 2006

Artists: No Silence (Pop/UK – Junk TV (Pop/UK) – Lesley Roy (Pop/Ireland)

Professionals: Gary Cooper (Manager/A&R Consultant/Germany) – David Coulommiers (Producer/France) – Stani Djukanovic (Producer/Germany)

- “She can offer any label a first class artist!”

- “I don’t think the heavier guitars help the song, and they’re certainly too dominant for her vocals.”

- “From the spine-tingling introduction to the huge chorus drop, ‘There’ll Be Angels’ begs the listener to reach for the volume, and is a flawless example of savvy production quality and awesome songwriting.”

Professional Demo Review - Sep 19, 2005

Artists: Melange Edinburgh (Rap/USA) – Kareem (R&B/USA) – Bristh (R&B/USA)

Professionals: Yann Rouiller (Producer/Switzerland) – Prince Valium (Producer/Denmark) – Andrew Lane (Producer/USA)

- “In her case the visual presentation is what can decide whether she gets signed or not.”

- “Kareem has real potential. The fact that he is (almost) self-contained will make his path a lot easier.”

- “The brass parts are really bad and should be played for real instead of the awful sounding programming, and the pitch instrumental parts are a mess and should be deleted or not pitched at all.”

Professional Demo Review - Aug 8, 2005

Artists: Anne Judith (Pop/Norway) – Mooli (Pop/UK) – TonDalaya (R&B/USA)

Professionals: Michael Puskas (A&R/Australia) – Robert Uhlmann (Producer/Sweden) – O-Jay (Producer/Germany)

- “The track has a great commercial hook that drives it straight to the radio.”

- “This song came across as a cliché on top of a cliché.”

- “I love this track - the lo-fi drums, nice string arrangements and bubbling sounds give it a very nice atmosphere.”

Professional Demo Review – Jul 4, 2005

Artists: Exkzile (Rap/USA) – Hazel (Rap/USA) – T.U. Savant (Rap/USA)

Professionals: Steve “Blast” Wills (Producer/USA) – Gabo (TV producer/USA) – Mughal (Producer/Canada)

- “She has good potential to be signed by a record label!”

- “He needs a photographer to frame him for industry appreciation.”

- “Please quit while you’re ahead. This ain’t going anywhere!”

Professional Demo Review – Apr 18, 2005

Artists: Mis Marie (Rap/Denmark) – Vladimir Vasileski Cetkar (Pop/USA) – Penny Foster (Pop/UK)

Professionals: Lotte Aagaard (Publisher/Denmark) – Leo Chantzaras (Producer/Germany) – Robert Waterman (A&R/UK)

- “A very catchy song with potential! I like it!”

- “He is a good singer but should try losing the accent.”

- “I would suggest she looked closely at herself and ask, ‘why me? What's special about me?”