The Seattle chapter of Sonic Guild has given out more than $250,000 in grants to more than 30 local musicians and bands since 2020. The list of recipients features some of the best music makers in the city—Chong the Nomad, Sol, Sera Cahoone, Tomo Nakayama, Thunderpussy, the Black Tones, Shelby Earl, and Tres Leches, just to name a few. Now it's time to vote for Sonic Guild's class of 2023.
Usually, the list of nominees is gathered via input from Sonic Guild members, past grant recipients, and advisors, and then winners are decided after multiple rounds of voting. But starting today, and for the first time ever, Sonic Guild Seattle is opening nominations to the public. Anyone is welcome to throw their favorite artist into the ring to be considered for a $10,000 prize, no membership required.
Sonic Guild Seattle's executive director Ben London said last year nearly 150 different bands and artists were nominated, spanning several different genres, from singer-songwriter to hip-hop to alt-country to ovaries-to-the-wall rock 'n' fuckin' roll (lookin' at you, Thunderpussy).
"It is open to any and all genres," said London. "We only ask that the musicians are primarily based within a 75-mile radius of Seattle (basically Bellingham to Olympia) and that they’re writing and performing original music (no cover or tribute bands). We’re trying to support musicians who are trying to build professional careers. They must be actively working and must be over 18 years old.
"After this first round of submissions, all of those artists will be put into a master ballot that will be sent out to our members, advisors, and past grant recipients to vote. From that voting, the top 40 artists receiving the most votes will be sent out in a second ballot, and the top 10 of those will be our 2023 grant recipients."
This year Sonic Guild hopes to give $10,000 to 10 artists, which would be their largest grant pool yet. You can submit your nominations here. Winners will be announced later this year.
Joining Sonic Guild gets you even more voting rights—a $750 annual membership contributes to the prize fund and you get to vote on ballots beyond the initial public nominations. You also get invites to monthly members-only concerts. Learn more about Sonic Guild membership here.
Feeling out of touch with local music? I recommend you start doing your homework by perusing our recent music coverage! Just a few artists we've featured over the past couple of months include Skating Polly, Grace Love, Who Is She?, Midnight High, Wimps, and Cat Valley. Dig in!