Are the Pentatonic Awards necessary?
The Pentatonic Awards, once the largest music awards ceremony in Mongolia, has not been held in recent years due to various circumstances. Music industry pundits are now questioning whether the Pentatonic Awards should ever be held again.
The Pentatonic Awards were established by the Pentatonic Academy to recognize the top rock and pop artists in the Mongolian music industry. First initiated in 1993, the Pentatonic Awards were initially given in five categories and were later expanded to 18 categories, and become the largest music event of the year. The selection of the winners was based on the votes of the members of the Pentatonic Academy. The awards ceremony featured performances by prominent singers and bands.
Although initially an annual ceremony, the Pentatonic Awards have not been held in recent years, following criticism for perceived unfairness in the selection of nominees and complaints from many recording artists and art critics about the unsatisfactory organization of the awards ceremony and perceived dishonesty in the judging.
If the awards were held this year, it is likely that Khulan, a singer who has released two albums; A Sound, a band that has just released their new album, Zuun Nast; rapper Gee,who has many hit songs; and other successful artists would have been nominated. But some music critics are suggesting that the lack of proper accolades and awards, based on a fair and just selection, has led some artists to become inactive and unmotivated.
The Undesnii Shuudan newspaper interviewed some representatives of the music world of Mongolia about their views of the Pentatonic Awards.
S.Ononbat, the Producer of “On’n off” productions:
-Some artists say that the Pentatonic Awards weren’t organized fairly. Why are the Pentatonic Awards no longer held?
-I guess people who didn’t win said such things. Everything depends on money. The Pentatonic Awards were completely fair; there was no lobby in the judging. There are 13 members in the Pentatonic Academy and 71 accredited members who participate in the vote. The nomination process is held according to the standards of the Grammy Awards. We are negotiating to begin holding the festival again. But dates are yet to be decided. Such music awards are important for the artists; it motivates them to do more.
Odnoo, the lead singer of the Lemons:
-Have you ever been nominated for the Pentatonic Awards? What do you think of this event?
-Actually it is a very nice event when the winners are selected fairly. Look at the large music festivals of foreign countries. They are organized very fairly and support young artists a lot. But in Mongolia, it isn’t like that. It would be nice if the Pentatonic Awards were held every four years, like the elections, and held fairly. Our band first participated in the Pentatonic Awards in 2007, and things were better back then.
G.Zoljargal, journalist and producer:
-What do you think about having contemporary music awards? It has been some time since the Pentatonic Awards were last held.
-It is necessary to have such awards ceremonies. In a big country with over 300 million people, like the United States, or with 140 million people, like Russia, such festivals and awards ceremonies are held very frequently. But in a small country like ours, it is not interesting to hold such events every year. People become bored with such things eventually. They may be getting tired of too much music because the Universe Best Songs Contest has been going on for too long.
-What do you think of the importance of organizing music festivals? How fair do you think the selections of the Pentatonic Awards were?
-Of course it is important to have music festivals. The Pentatonic Awards used to be held fairly in the earlier years, but they eventually become rather unfair in their selections. The artists who really deserved to win didn’t win. Music awards are beneficial for the artists. Especially when there are many new bands and young artists emerging in the music industry, as there have been lately.
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