US music trio search for NZ star

19:23, Nov 04 2012
Jon Wilkes
JUDGE: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus drummer Jon Wilkes.

Three American music big-wigs are on the hunt for New Zealand's best musical talent.

The Kiwi Star Search team will travel around the country early next year holding a series of competitions to find a new star. The winner will be offered a US recording contract.

The search will kick off in late February next year and the competition will be filmed for a TV series.  

Local radio and music celebrities will be brought in as judges for the competition heats and the final, which will be held in Auckland in April.

The competition is the brainchild of the former Ozzy Osbourne band mate Terry Nails, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus drummer Jon Wilkes, and Stephen Wrench who worked with Willie Nelson and Lynyrd Skynyrd when chief executive of Music and Film Inc.

"We want to find a true deserving star that we can fly over to Hollywood to produce and record a record, which we will promote worldwide," Wrench said.

This will be the trio's first attempt at finding a new star together, but Wrench has previously been a judge at the Christian Music Summit in Nashville and Canada.

Wilkes said the competition was a chance for Kiwi artists to get noticed.

"When we toured the world - including Australia - I noticed major artists seem to bypass NZ... and we have heard so many amazing artists from New Zealand."

The winner will be flown to Hollywood in May, to spend a week recording an album with the three organisers. The album will then be released by Sony to the Kiwi and Australian markets. Five singles will be released across 60 countries also.

Limited to 320 entrants, wannabe stars will have to pay an entry fee of $150, which Wrench said "really doesn't cover the costs" but will go towards the cost of putting on the 17 heat shows, as well as flying the winners to the US and the costs associated with prizes.


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