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European artists make their voices heard - 03/11/2011

Poster for the European Border Breakers 2012 public choice award

The ten European Border Breakers for 2012 have been announced. Now it's your turn to vote for the public choice award.

The European Border Breakers awards are for European singers and bands making pop, rock, soul or electronic music. To qualify, their first album has to have been a success outside their home country. Winners are chosen based on sales, airplay and votes from radio stations and festivals in Europe.

The ten winners for 2012 are: Elektro Guzzi (Austria), Selah Sue (Belgium), Agnes Obel (Denmark), Ben l'Oncle Soul (France), Boy (Germany), James Vincent McMorrow (Ireland), Afrojack (Netherlands), Alexandra Stan (Romania), Swedish House Mafia (Sweden) and Anna Calvi (UK).

Irish folk artist James Vincent McMorrow compares his music to the sea. He says his chords and melodies come in and drop out like the tides, with lyrics inspired by writers such as John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald. With a voice ranging from ominous dark to high-pitched sweet, UK winner Anna Calvi has been described by Brian Eno as the biggest thing since Patti Smith.

All winners will receive their award on 11 January. The ceremony will be broadcast on TV and radio throughout Europe.

The public will have the final say - in choosing their favourite artist or band. Online voting is open now – until 31 December, with a chance to win tickets to the ceremony. Last year's public choice award went to the German band the "The Baseballs" for their retro covers.

The award ceremony will be held in the Netherlands, as part of the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival - a showcase for European music attracting around 300 artists and thousands of industry professionals. Last year's winners, Saint Lu, Zaz and Stromae have already confirmed they will be there.

The European Border Breakers are funded by the EU's culture programme. Now in their ninth year, the awards are proof that a Europe-wide music market does exist, and encourage young artists to market themselves outside their home country.

EU culture programme

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