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October 2015



KOVACS announced as winner of 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) for pop, rock and dance music

This morning, at NPO 3FM in Hilversum/The Netherlands, the Dutch artist KOVACS was announced as the fourth winner of the 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), the European music awards for emerging artists.

With her raw and soulful voice, Dutch Sharon Kovacs creates beautiful, piercing music. Since the release of her debut EP ‘My Love’ in 2014, her star has been on the rise. Her single (which carries the same name) became an instant megahit on 3FM radio, and the station named her their Serious Talent in June of that year.

This summer, Kovacs performed successfully at Bospop and North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. She also delivered unforgettable performances in Germany at the SWR3 New Pop Festival and at the Reeperbahn Festival. This autumn Kovacs is taking her music on the road with her ‘Shades of Black’ tour.

On October 9 the Latvian band Carnival Youth was announced as the first of ten 2016 EBBA winners. The announcement of Norwegian singer AURORA as second winner followed on October 12. Last Monday, October 26, the Belgium Band Oscar and The Wolf was unveiled as third winner. Six more winners will be announced and filmed, in the coming weeks, at destinations all over Europe. The footage will be part of a unique ‘road-trip’ mini-movie, which will be shared on the EBBA social media and website.

The EBBA are about breaking down borders and recognising emerging European rock, pop and dance artists who achieved success in countries other than their own. These unique European music awards are funded under the European Union (EU) Creative Europe programme. With the EBBA, the European Union wishes to highlight the success of 10 debuting European artists in selling albums and touring outside their home territory.

From Adele (2009) to Milky Chance (2015), the winners of the EBBA represent the full breadth of European talent and diversity. Other previous winners include Stromae, Emeli Sandé, Gabriel Rios, Hozier, Melanie De Biasio, Of Monsters and Men, Woodkid, Mumford & Sons, Caro Emerald, Lykke Li, Disclosure, Katie Melua, John Newman, The Ting Tings, C2C, Tokio Hotel, The Script, Zaz, Nico & Vinz, Saybia, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall, Alphabeat, Milow and Afrojack.

Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity is a strong part of its cultural appeal, but linguistic barriers sometimes make it harder for artists to work internationally and achieve cross-border sales success. The EBBA seek to help them overcome these obstacles.

To be eligible for the 2016 awards, the artists must have achieved border-breaking success with their first international release in Europe between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015.

The winners are selected on the basis of data from Nielsen Music Control research, the European Broadcasting Union, EBU radio stations, and from festivals participating in the European Talent Exchange Programme.

The winners will receive their awards in a ceremony hosted by TV personality and musician Jools Holland at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival in Groningen, Netherlands, on January 13, 2016. The ceremony will feature performances of the winning acts.

One of the winners will receive a Public Choice Award based on votes cast on the EBBA website from the end of November to Christmas. Up to 15 voters, chosen at random from different countries, will be invited to the award ceremony: each will be able to bring a friend and the prize includes their flight and hotel costs.

The EBBA, now in their 13th year, is organised by Eurosonic Noorderslag in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), with support from Buma Cultuur, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Province of Groningen, the City of Groningen and Music Week.