VIMA GLOBAL JUDGE ANNOUNCEMENT :
Stuart has had landmark successes included creating Zomba acts Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and *NSYNC as multi million selling stars in Asia Pacific, and breaking acts such as Damage and Fun Factory.
An excerpt from his upcoming book Every Picture has its Story, illustrates what a colourful and eventful life he has led:
“During a 40 year career the author has met and travelled with some of the biggest names in music. He witnessed Michael Jackson’s first UK performance in The Jackson 5 and was the first person to hear Bohemian Rhapsody when Freddie Mercury played it to him, on piano, in his London apartment.
In the 80’s he was nearly shot trying to protect Gary Moore’s contract, was introduced to Bob Dylan by friend Tom Petty and, more recently, hosted press conferences for Kim Wilde , Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. Watson was in Hong Kong when it reverted to the Chinese and in East Berlin when The Wall fell. Hanging out with The Eagles in the early 70’s before they became a force, entertaining Lynyrd Skynyrd on the group’s first UK visit (later dealing with an awkward problem following Ronnie’s tragic death) and accompanying Paul McCartney and Wings on its first tour. His stories of Rock ‘n Roll mayhem on Guns ‘n Roses and Deep Purple tours make the mind boggle.
He picked up a bill for GBP 5,000 at a London night club after damage caused by Phil Lynott. From Led Zeppelin to BB King and from The Marquee Club with Yes, to Tokyo’s 50,000 seater Budokan with Bobby Brown, where Whitney Houston threw him out of the dressing room for trying to persuade her husband not to cancel his European tour, he has seen it all.
Every Picture has its Story provides you with a rare opportunity for an insider’s view.”
On VIMA, Stuart Watson shares the following :
‘In today’s very different world of music it has become much harder for new talent to break through traditional outlets. Music companies and the media have changed dramatically and promotion methods are no longer straightforward. I fully endorse the concept of the VIMA Awards and especially the opportunity the organisation provides for new raw talent to be recognised. I am proud to be a judge of the 2016 Awards, and to be able to offer my own input on what has become a very important annual event”
Stuart Watson Snapshot:
As a direct result of his love for live music, Stuart Watson enjoyed a forty year career in the music business. This was never planned. Having attended all the big festivals in the late 60’s, he started organising his own events at London University establishing Royal Holloway College as an integral part of the UK’s live music circuit. The agent who helped him accomplish this went on to join EMI, where the two of them changed the face of artist promotion forever.
In recognition of his marketing skills, Watson progressed through the ranks of Harvest and MCA Records’ management, becoming the youngest Managing Director in the history of the UK record industry. He then took charge of MCA internationally and, working closely with British and American acts (some of which he signed himself) helped guide the company to new heights.
A passion for and knowledge of Asia’s emerging markets led to the set up of SWAT – his own Singapore based consultancy – in the mid 90’s where he represented three of the industry’s biggest artists. Their huge success triggered his return to the frontline as MD of the Zomba International Record Group – the world’s largest independent music company.
VIMA (which stands for Voice International Music Awards) is considered the most important and anticipated music award in South-east Asia, and for this year’s edition, the music recognition platform will open up to submissions from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The award has become a benchmark for many awards platform across the globe and often acts as a launch pad for music acts tipped to be the next big thing. Some of the past winners include Yuna, Altimet, The Great Spy Experiment (Singapore), Joe Flizzow, Shigga Shay (Singapore), Project E.A.R (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia), Thaitanium (Thailand), Up Dharma Down (Philipines), K-Town Clan, Homogenic (Indonesia), Alex Subryn (Malaysia), An Honest Mistake, Inch Chua (Singapore), Feez Madea (Brunei), Electrico (Singapore), Pop Shuvit, Junkyard Groove and FuzzCulture (India) and many more.
“We started the vision 8 years ago when we helped struggling musicians in Malaysia carve a name in the industry. We felt there wasn’t a proper media or platform that was a true voice for independent acts and we came forward to find a way to recognize and support talented musicians. We pulled together as many media partners into the equation, to join us in elevating the local music scene and it has worked wonders for the careers of many musicians.
“It’s been a long and challenging journey to get here, but we’re ecstatic that all the pieces of the puzzle have produced such a phenomenal music platform. I guess we’re unique and credible because of the amount of our own time, money and resources we have invested unconditionally in helping musicians over the years. We have always stayed neutral in the music scene and that has also, help grow our reputation in the market. It’s amazing to see after so many years, the regional music scene is still alive and kicking with a stream of new acts continuously churning out great music ” said Siva Zaphod Chandran, founder of VIMA Music Awards and VIMA Model Awards.
The award platform is unique for allowing submissions from bedroom DJs, college acts, concert performances and even demo versions. It also champions singles rather than albums and recognizes songs of all languages in all genres including electronica,hip-hop,metal,pop,dance,rock and mash-ups/remixes.