With the listening phase of the competition just around the corner we are DELIGHTED to announce our panel of curators!

The panel is made up primarily of legendary producers and songwriters who have been working with Salute Music Makers to define a creative vision that will allow all entrants to be judged on a uniform criteria irrespective of their music genre, breaking free of existing music talent searches that have merely become TV formats rather than an expression of what real musicians across the UK are truly creating. Without further ado….


  • Record producer, manager (Laura Mvula) and music industry veteran. Having produced classic pop hits like ‘Wishing On A Star’ for  Jay Z, and ‘You Might Need Somebody’  for Shola Ama, as well as artists including SEAL, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger and The Lighthouse Family, Kwame’s experience and portfolio puts him at the top of the UK’s music business experts.


  • Producer/Songwriter having written and produced for Dido, Newton Faulkner, Conor Maynard, Melanie C, Alexandra Burke and MJ Cole amongst others. As well as working with established and recently signed acts, Dee finds raw talent, contributing towards their first record and is currently developing UK artist ‘Reigns’ who is signed to Dee’s production label.


  • Musician, producer, Radio DJ and presenter. Ras began his career as a hip-hop, R&B and reggae DJ, before working with iconic acts such as Wu Tang Clan, Public Enemy and The Fugees. Kwame joined BBC Radio 1Xtra when it launched in 2002 and was later voted ‘Best Radio DJ’ at the Urban Music Awards in 2004.


  • Grammy, Brit and Mercury Music Prize winning producer and songwriter; James Arthur, Benjamin Clementine, Plan B, Ian Brown, Finley Quaye, Ziggy Marley, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Beverley Knight, Light House Family, Tiken Jah Fakoly to name a few past and present global artists. In 2004, he started ground breaking distributer AWAL. He sold this business in 2014 and went back to song writing and producing.


  • World renowned DJ and the programmer and director of thousands of events and artists in some of the most legendary clubs and festival stages at Glastonbury, Bestival, Wilderness, Secret Garden Party, Latitude, Boomtown and many more. Chris has curated acts from heavy metal through to world music and even spoken word.


  • Multi-platinum selling songwriter for One Direction’s ‘Little Things’ alongside Ed Sheeran. Accomplished singer, multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and arranger in her own right, she is currently writing for James Morrison, Mika, Saara Aalto and multi platinum selling artist Her0ism, amongst many others.

With the likes of Kwame Kwaten , Ras Kwame and Chris Tofu the panel has members that straddle both broadcast and production , understanding how music is created and then how music is fully appreciated by the general public. Add to these, luminaries such as Fiona Bevan, Dee Adam and Jonathan Quarmby, who combine elements of the aforementioned experiences as well as a history of song-writing credits and it is clear that SALUTE Music Makers’ will be judged in a truly independent manner and with all aspects of song creation taken into account.

The team of curators will be judging SALUTE Music Makers’ based on three areas: Lyrics (45%), melody (45% – 90% if instrumental) and creativity (10% – production, mastering and composition).

Kwame Kwaten told us ‘It’s great to be able to give new artists a chance to showcase their writing talent – I   have always championed the business side or behind the scenes end of the music industry whether it’s teaching at the annual Ultimate Seminar or innovative platforms like this. It’s great to challenge the industry’s current search platforms with a new way of finding talent.

Feargal Sharkey added that: ‘Salute are delighted to have such a diverse and respected team at the helm of the competition when it comes to judging and evaluating our aspiring music makers. From their experience in the industry, these guys know exactly what it takes to become a successful musician and what makes a great song – they’ll be keeping an eagle-eyed lookout for that little glimmer in our songwriters that proves they have the potential to go all the way and with our support, we’ll make sure that they do.