New music site promotes competition

Clayton Hurdle
Features Writer


In 2008, Eric Swanigan was working when he noticed a co-worker singing to himself.

“I said to myself, there should be a competition online that allows videos to be in competition with each other within their genre.” Thus the concept of Battle of the Genres (BOTG) was born.

BOTG is a free video sharing site, similar to YouTube in which musicians in genres from jazz to hip-hop compete to become the best in their genres. Throughout the month, users can vote for the top videos within each genre and, ultimately, the best video out of all the genres.

“BOTG gives unsigned artists a chance to showcase their talent to the world and possibly win cash,” Swanigan said.

BOTG went live last summer and last November marked the beginning of competition. Rob Haccou was the first winner, singing an original song “Play In Your Garden” in the country genre.

In December and January the competition was dominated by country artist Kim Kondrashoff, who became the first back-to-back BOTG winner with “Don’t Put Me Away” and “Beware Of The Shark”.

Haccou took another victory in February, winning that month’s competition with a pop country song entitled “Snow Rock ‘n’ Roll”.

A gospel/rap title finally took the top spot in March; “Heaven Sent Souljas” by Savin’ These Souls proved victorious in the fifth month of competition.

Currently, the April competition is about to begin its third stage of voting. In week one, votes are cast for the top three videos in each genre. Starting on the second Friday of the month, the top video in each genre is determined.

Starting this Friday, users can begin voting on the BOTG champion for the month of April. This month consists of eight competing genres. Alternative, country, pop, hip hop and rock highlight the genres showcased in this month’s competition. Competing clips come from areas ranging from Detroit to Latin America.

Overall BOTG winners currently receive a $25 prize, but Swanigan plans for the reward to become much larger in the future.

“[When I first started planning BOTG], I knew there was neither a television show nor website like it,” he said. “One of our goals is to partner with one of the television singing competitions currently airing. Users from BOTG can be either a wildcard or an automatic choice to be on the show.”

Swanigan said that BOTG is currently in contact with such a show, and that “we are looking forward to partnering with them.”

After partnering with this undisclosed singing competition, BOTG hopes to eventually have its own television program. Swanigan compared this T.V. show to the format of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

“[It will be] a television program that will show the videos of the top singers and rappers and the winner gets a cash prize,” he said.

“Once we get in contact with the right partners, we’ll be able to go full steam ahead.”

For now, the BOTG competition continues to play out online. Swanigan hopes that two features of the site will be effective in promoting artists. Currently, there is an option for artists to post mp3 files of their music on the site.

Swanigan is also planning to have artists be able to sell music through the BOTG website.

BOTG’s website is and can be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching “Battle of the Genres.” It is free to join the website for those who wish to enter or vote in the competition.

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