The "popNRW Prize", introduced in 2012, is one of the best-endowed and most prestigious awards for pop musicians in Germany.
In 2020, this prize was awarded for the ninth time to successful musicians and promising newcomers from the region, who can look forward to a boost in popularity in addition to the prize money.
The award ceremony took place during the c/o pop festival at the Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz in Cologne. As a result of the corona, only a few invited guests from the industry and band representatives were able to attend. The event was also broadcast live via the c/o pop xoxo streaming platform. The evening was traditionally hosted by radio and TV presenter Anja Backhaus.
The first prize in the "Outstanding Artists" category, worth 10,000 euros, gives Cologne-based musician Keshav Purushotham the opportunity to further expand his international presence. With his project KESHAVARA he mixes Indian grooves with hip hop and pop elements. Francis Gay (Head of Music, WDR COSMO) gave the laudation for him.
The artist IUMA - honoured in a laudatory speech by 1LIVE music journalist and jury member Simone Sohn - received the "Best Newcomer" award worth 2,500 euros.
Once again, the runners-up in both categories received further prizes. For example, Ströer Media GmbH donated media campaigns worth 1,500 euros and 500 euros each to the bands ACUA from Cologne and LOKI from Paderborn.
The nominated artists and groups were selected by an eight-member jury consisting of representatives from the industry, festival organisers and journalists, supplemented by suggestions from an advisory board consisting of representatives of the NRW Pop Promotion Agency.
As an integral part of "popNRW", the prize also focuses supraregional attention on this nationwide programme. Together with local partners, the NRW KULTURsekretariat, the NRW State Music Council, the NRW Ministry of Culture and the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs operate an all-year-round funding concept consisting of various modules and workshops and specially designed to meet the needs of young musicians.
Within the framework of a performance promotion scheme, tours outside NRW and gigs at nationally and internationally renowned festivals are made possible, for example in cooperation with the Musicboard Berlin or the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg. The ZEITGEIST - New German Talent-Showcase, which "popNRW" has been organising with other German states in Brighton at The Great Escape Festival since 2017, will be continued in 2020.
Further such formats at other festivals, such as most recently in Vienna at the Waves Vienna Festival, are being planned.