Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Carolina Music Awards as press, and honestly, it was more fun then I expected!
The Carolina Music Awards were started 10 years ago by a gentleman named Omar McCallop and it’s amazing how strong this awards event is going 10 years later. This event has categories for Hip Hop/ R&B, DJ’s, Bluegrass/ Folk, Rock, Country, and they even have a Youth Category (no joke, those young adults rock!)
The event starts with a red carpet event which starts 2.5 hours before the awards actually begin. I got there around 5 pm (because to me, being ‘on-time’ is being early). I also had no idea what to expect. This was my first time attending an event like this, I usually just photograph shows that my husband’s band plays at. I quickly noticed the there were two red-carpets set up. I was approached by a lovely woman named Sabrina and asked if I wanted to help her out on the fashion red carpet, which started before the Awards red carpet (they were kind of interchangeable because Artists would walk up to this red carpet first and then move on to the second red carpet). I figured why not, at least I could get some good photos that I could share here and with her. This part of the event wasn’t what I expected.
I teamed up with another photographer named Rada from Burt and Brewington Creative Agency and we covered the entire red carpet event as well as the interviews put on by the radio station covering the awards. It was awesome because we got to meet artists from all the genres. I finally got to meet Tiffany’s friend Maria from Break the Skyline (p.s. go check out their music video for Unspoken… it rocks!) as well as getting to see a familiar face in LaureNicole (I’ve had the chance to talk with her a few times at different shows).
This part of the event was a great start to the whole event and I really enjoyed it. This sounds silly, but I have never been called a “real photographer” before (usually I am just photographing local bands) so when Miss. Sabrina called us that, it made me happy. It sounds silly…. but that meant a lot for someone to recognize that this is what I want to do, it’s not just a hobby for me.
The actual awards portion started around 8pm (after some technical difficulties which are bound to happen with any event). The press was regulated to the wings of the second floor for covering the event. If you weren’t sitting on the right side of the auditorium, it was incredibly difficult to get decent photos of the presenters as well as the musicians accepting awards. Guess who made that mistake? Me. By the time I realized it, the other side was already full and there wasn’t room for me to move. Oh well, I made it work anyways.
I must say that Mr. Omar really impressed me when he came out on the stage the second time, right after the technical difficulties happened. He told us that if there was anything that went right and that we were pleased with, to thank his staff, but if there was anything that was wrong, that responsibility totally rested on his shoulders. I can really appreciate that from a team member stand point. He wants his staff to get the praise for their hard work, but he feels that if anything was wrong, the responsibility rested on his shoulders as the head of the event. Kudo’s to you sir!
The event was started off by my girl LaureNicole and she did an impressive job as usual! The first set of awards were the Youth Awards, and they definitely did not disappoint! These young adults are incredibly talented and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!
I will be honest with you all and tell you that I don’t know anything aboutRap, Hip Hop, R&B, being a DJ, or even Bluegrass. What I know is Country and Rock. That being said, I know that it takes a lot of time, effort, and talent to produce any genre of music, so my hat is off to everyone that was nominated and won awards last night! It was said several times that there were no losers, because everyone wins by bringing their music to the world! I feel this is a very true statement because different types of people like different types of music, and people can really connect with music. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t make it less important to the music industry because someone else will like it and it might help them through difficult times! It may be just what they need to make it through another rough day. I can appreciate that! This event wasn’t about the specific genre’s per say, it was more about celebrating our music scene as a whole and all of the accomplishments we’ve made so far!
If you want to see all the pictures of the event, check out the Angel-Phoenix Facebook Page, where I posted a gallery of all my images. I tried to get photos as people accepted their awards, but it was difficult from where I was standing. For this article though, I will be focusing on the rock genre, since that’s what we cover here at Angel-Phoenix!
The Nominees for Best Rock Male were A Strike Within, Jason Damico, CJ Bauckham (of I Am Maddox), Matt Thies (of Open Wire), Chris Hathcock (of The Reticent), Adam Nelson (of Something Clever), Brad Pruette (of The Lilly Brothers’), and Mark Cloos. The winner of the Best Rock Male of the Year was CJ Bauckham!
The Nominees for Best Rock Female were Logan Christopher (of Paper Dolls), LaureNicole, Fredi Sholtz, Rei Haycraft (of Raimee), Courtney Sapp (of We Were Once), Nikol, Denise Masters (of Desired Redemption), and Lauren Light. The winner of the Best Rock Female of the Year was LaureNicole!
The nominees for Best Rock Band of the Year were Open Wire, Mightier Than Me, I Am Maddox, What Happened Yesterday, Break The Skyline, The Gray, Reason|Define, and Matt Parker and the Deacons. The winner of the Best Rock Band of the Year was Mightier Than Me.
Overall, the event was a fantastic experience and I was incredibly excited to be able to cover the whole event. I met a lot of great new people and there was a LOT of networking going on from all sides. Everybody looked fantastic and were super nice!
Make sure you check out all the bands tagged above I this post, you might find people that you’ve never heard of! Give everyone some love because we’re here to celebrate all the artists and their accomplishments! I can’t wait to see what happens next year!