Kara DioGuardi’s Inspired Nation Non-Profit to Launch Virtual Talent Challenge Hosted by Cover Nation, Benefitting the National Alliance on Mental Illness

February 18, 2021

Cover Nation, a leading social community for emerging music creators, will host Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi’s first virtual talent competition called Sing It Forward. With the goal of providing creative support during unprecedented times, the music competition will give the next generation of aspiring artists an opportunity to tap into resources to jumpstart their careers — including a summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music and a network of superstar mentors such as All Time Low, Charlotte Lawrence, Grandson, Ingrid Andress, Lzzy Hale, Pink Sweat$, Tayla Parx, and Why Don’t We.

Sing It Forward is presented by DioGuardi’s nonprofit, Inspired Nation, developed to redefine vocal competitions as a conduit for youth talent appreciation and community activism. The challenge will raise awareness and funds for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)’s formation of a Youth Ambassador Academy helping youth advocate for their mental health and well-being. 

Kara DioGuardi said: “My hope is that Sing It Forward will help artists who are feeling isolated get the feedback and community they are craving from our caring celebrity mentors who have been in their shoes and want to help elevate their artistry. I am also excited that all monies raised will benefit youth advocating for their mental health through NAMI’s efforts.”

“We’re happy to host Kara and Inspired Nation’s event to shine a light on mental health and the benefits of mentorship and guidance within the creative community,” added Scott Cherkin, SVP, Global Consumer Acquisition & Retention, Warner Music Group. “Cover Nation brings together some of the most talented and creative people across social media and provides a space for community and connection. We’re excited to foster that support network and help these incredible artists move their careers forward.”

To participate, users can post an original or cover song to YouTube, TikTok or Instagram with the custom hashtag #SingItForwardChallenge, and explain why the chosen song is important to them and their artistry. Participants will also need to fill out an entry form at CoverNation.com. Judges will then select eight semi-finalists who will be paired with mentors spanning genres including:

  • Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat from the platinum-selling American rock band All Time Low. The band’s catalog has been streamed nearly half-a-billion times and their hit single “Monsters” (feat. blackbear) recently spent 17 weeks atop Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart.
  • Charlotte Lawrence, an acclaimed singer/songwriter whose forthcoming Charlotte EP is set to drop March 5.
  • Grandson, a Canadian-American platinum-certified artist and activist who recently released his debut album Death of an Optimist.
  • Lzzy Hale, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the Grammy award-winning and platinum-selling rock band, Halestorm, who recently logged back-to-back Top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200.
  • Ingrid Andress, a country music artist whose platinum selling No. 1 debut single “More Hearts Than Mine” helped her earn three Grammy nominations this year including Best New Artist.
  • Pink Sweat$, a gold-selling contemporary R&B/soul and pop artist whose music has been streamed over 1B times to date – inclusive of video streams.
  • Tayla Parx, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who has collaborated with the likes of Khalid and Joey Bada$$, and has songwriting credits on pop’s biggest hits including, “7 Rings,” “thank u, next,” and “High Hopes.” 
  • Corbyn Besson and Jack Avery from American pop band Why Don’t We. The group’s music has been streamed over 3B times globally and they’ve landed two Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200.

The competition will culminate with a livestream in the spring, hosted by prominent YouTube music creator, Kurt Hugo Schneider. The judging panel will include DioGuardi, alongside Bonnie Hayes, the Head of Songwriting at the Berklee College of Music, and Pete Ganbarg, President of A&R for Atlantic Records.

The winner of Sing It Forward will receive:

  • A summer scholarship to the Berklee College of Music
  • An A&R advisory session with Pete Ganbarg
  • A $1,000 cash giftcard
  • The opportunity to host a livestream session which will be broadcast on Cover Nation’s Takeover Tuesday content stream
  • 1 year of free music distribution on Level, a platform for independent creators to easily distribute music globally on Spotify, Apple Music, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

To learn more about Sing It Forward and for additional details on how to participate, please visit www.covernation.com.