Happy 2014 everyone! So a whole 17 days have past since the due date for the inaugural descentsubs “in the rain” keeno cover contest and now that it is officially 2014 everywhere in the world, it is time to announce the contest winners! I was overwhelmed to see so many people work so hard and sing so beautifully to create the wonderful entries for this year’s contest. I spent a lot of my free time the past few weeks listening to all 47 entries multiple times, trying to narrow things down, then bringing in friends and some singers for opinions and comments, and then sitting back and listening to everything again a few more times to make sure that I felt pretty confident about the selections. But even now the only thing making me sad about this contest is that I as an individual am not able to give out more prizes to recognize just how many amazing entries there were. I love and have favorited so many of these entries and can’t wait to hear new works by all of you in the near future. Please keep working hard and sharing your songs and talents with the whole Vocaloid/Youtaite community. You all are what really helps make Vocaloid special and spread the fandom across the world. I cannot tell you how much I envy the talent, bravery, and dedication of all of you who chose to enter the contest. Now it’s the moment of truth, so scroll down below the cute Project Mirai “glow” screencap to see the results!
Pickup Cover Prize Winner:
Kenji, Juu, Megumi, Poucet for their cover of “glow”
As I mentioned previously, this prize is not necessarily for 3rd place in the contest (though this group did an awesome job and were definitely one of the best). While there are some very minor rough spots in the blending of voices and harmonizing of the song it is basically 99% pure awesome and their collaborative effort just blows me away each time I listen to it. I truly respect how much thought, practice, and effort they put into making this combined cover. They have a lot of potential and I hope they all continue to sing covers because their voices are amazing individually and when combined together. I am definitely a fan of them all now! I will do what I can to add a few small goodies to their prize collection so that they have enough to share amongst the big group.
2nd Place Winner:
Sayuri and Miyu for their cover of “glow”
These two girls combined their wonderful talents to create a truly moving cover of keeno’s most famous song. It’s very impressive to think that this is only Sayuri’s second cover and Miyu has also only been covering songs for about a year or so. Not only are their voices beautiful, skillful and full of emotion, but they also combine and intermingle beautifully throughout the song, something that can probably be partly attributed to their mixer Nao (who also released one of the best covers in the competition). I hope you guys continue to work hard in the future!
2013 keeno “in the rain” cover contest First Place Winner
Sagara Yoru with his cover of mikitoP/keeno’s “kiss”
Yoru-san delivered what, after long consideration and evaluation, is the most polished cover in the entire competition. He shows off a wide arrange of vocal abilities, great accuracy, attention to detail, and good creativity and personal touches to complete what is truly an amazing entry that stands just a bit above countless other great entries into the competition. To cap off his work, he also mixed and created his PV himself (with art by Kuraiinu). I want to congratulate him on coming out on top in a truly difficult to judge competition and wish him the best in the future. I will definitely be following him closely and expecting more wonderful productions! I hope you enjoy your new keeno CD!
A few more pickups:
Before we wrap things up, I just want to link some covers that I think are worthy of a few more views and appreciation. These are not necessarily the runners up to the winners above (and many of you who submitted great covers know who you are and you were all awesome) but rather a few singers who did some good things, have potential and who I want to encourage to keep working hard in the future:
The “How did no one listen to this” pickup: utsu and her cover of “drop”
Currently utsu’s cover only has 16 plays and definitely needs a few more. While she didn’t win, she did a lot of good things vocally and deserves a few more views and listens as recognition for her hardwork. Ganbatte!
The “Please make more with that voice” pickup: JunbugP and his cover of “grief”
Another song lacking views and also a mind-blowing first time effort by a cover singer. Junbug-san has a voice you don’t often hear covering songs like on NND or YT. I hope people continue to support him and that he continues to work hard to create more wonderful songs!
The “descent dokidoki’ed waaaay to much” pickup: ikon, renna, and aqua’s cover of “drop”
descent and his moe-weak heart fall in love with cute things far too often, and especially in contest with all these beautiful voices (there was even some bro-to-bro manlove going on for sure). But no cover left me with a bigger instant crush on 3 beautiful voices (and the people behind them) than this breath-taking 3 person cover of “drop”. I hope to hear much more from this trio of wonderful cover singers in the future. I know it’s one-sided love but as long as I can hear these angelic voices sing from afar I’ll be happy :’D
Briefly, let’s look to the future…
So with these announcements I would officially like to bring the 2013 keeno “in the rain” cover contest to a close. I will begin contacting people shortly (feel free to contact me first) to work out prize information and will hopefully get things sent on their way in the next week or two. Please feel free to put your thoughts and opinions on the contest in the comments section below. I had lots of fun running things and I apologize for any confusion or issues during the process.
Having been so impressed by all the efforts of cover singers in the community over the course of this contest, I can’t help but feel like I really would like to do this again in the near future. However to do it again a few things would need to happen I think:
1. We should probably have a poll to decide what artist/album/category the next contest will be about.
2. I also want a few other people to step up as organizers/judges to help me determine and fine-tune entry rules, dates, criteria and such so that things go even smoother and are more clear than this time. With more people and better organization we could even do things like an announcement of finalists, fan/viewer involvement in the decision process, and other things to make it more exciting and interactive.
3. While I don’t mind contributing time and some money in the future, I can’t afford to completely self-fund another competition on my own with just a teacher’s salary. I will try to contact artists to see if they will consider some prize support in the future, but we might need to come up with a way to help fund some prizes in the community as well. If people are willing to help sponsor such an effort next time I’d like to hear from you as well.
Please let me know what you think about these issues and if you’d like to do another cover contest in the future. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who competed one last time. I hope you know that so many of you produced beautiful covers that I was truly moved to listen to and gladly added to my playlists. Please don’t be disheartened if you aren’t on the list above as there are far to many new favorites for me to name or recognize in one article and I will continues to listen and support you all as best I can in the future as well. I admire all of you for your wonderful singing voices that I truly wish I had as well. If I can ever lend my Japanese abilities to you to help with your projects in the future, please let me know. I will be glad to assist in any way I can with translation, producer contact, wording, ect, ect. Thanks for a wonderful contest to help celebrate keeno’s sad, moving, and beautiful collected lifeworks as encapsulated in the album “in the rain”. I wish you all a happy New Year and all the best in the future!