MTVU gives musicians Woodies

Although this year’s Grammy’s have passed, there are still a number of musical acts hoping to gain recognition and possibly even some awards. The college-geared offset of MTV, mtvU, will host their annual awards show, the Woodie Awards, in order to showcase the artists that the Grammy’s overlooked.

The Woodie Awards, according to their website, are the “definitive award show for college students and the music they care about.” The show enables students to register online and vote for the acts they feel are the most deserving of awards.

This is the first year the awards show, which predominantly showcases artists in the indie-rock and hip-hop categories, will be aired live from Austin, Texas.

The awards were moved from New York to Austin in order to coincide with the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in which many of the nominated artists, including Matt and Kim and Chiddy Bang, will perform.

One of the groups nominated for a Woodie this year is indie-electronica duo, Matt and Kim. They are up for the “Performing Woodie,” a fitting nomination after their impressive performance at last year’s show.

While the Woodie Awards are a good way for fans of these artists to see their favorite groups receiving acclaim, they are also perfect for anyone looking to expand their musical horizons and deviate from the top 40.

“It is just different in that it recognizes bands who are on a different platform than the mainstream top 40 award shows,” said the group’s vocalist/keyboardist Matt Johnson about the Woodie Awards. “It just seems, in the past years, the Woodie’s have had awesome, creative and cool bands.”

Johnson said he appreciates the role college students have in determining the winners.

“I know for a fact that college students are the reason that so many bands and trends have built up and that that is why they become the mainstream,” said Johnson. “College students are a lot of times what determines the mainstream, so it makes the most sense to go to them.”

Alexis Krauss, vocalist for another Brooklyn-based musical twosome, Sleigh Bells, also shared Johnson’s sentiments about the Woodie awards.

“It’s the first award we have been nominated for and it is just always a good feeling to be recognized for your work,” she said about their “Breaking Woodie” nomination.

The noise-pop singer said that she and band mate, Derek Miller, try to reach out to a broad range of people with their unique blend of styles and sounds.

“We wanted to make music that had the same energy and intensity of hardcore but that wasn’t so macho,” said Krauss, citing Miller’s past with the hardcore band, Poison the Well.

Sharon Liveten, a spokesperson for mtvU said, “We try to showcase artists who have not had huge commercial success yet but are making great music.”

She also said that the Woodie’s are a way to allow artists to connect with their audience who, in this case, are generally around their age.

Indie hip-hop group Chiddy Bang is a perfect example of this. The duo, who met at Drexel during their freshman year of college, would be in their third year if they had not left school to pursue music.

“We would be juniors if we were still in school so it is great to make music for people your age, pretty much what you want to hear,” Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege, the group’s vocalist, said.

Chiddy Bang, which also consists of Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin, is nominated for “Best Video Woodie” for their video for “Opposite of Adults,” a song that perfectly showcases their unique blend of hip-hop and electronica. The song features a sample from MGMT’s “Kids” paired with original rap. The group has become known for this unique fusion of influences.

“It’s kind of our style to juxtapose what I am listening to with Chiddy’s pure hip-hop lane,” said Beresin.

The Woodie Awards will air on March 16 at midnight on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached

Author: Staff Writer

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