For anyone who’s ever aspired to take their musical talent to the big leagues of velvet ropes and huge record deals, mtvU, the 24-hour college network, and Drive-Thru Records might have your answer as the two have joined forces to discover America’s best college band or artist through their third annual “Best Music on Campus Contest” (BMOC).

The contest winner will receive a record deal with Drive-Thru records as well as a music video premiere on mtvU, mtvU Uber and mtvU.com.

Students nationwide are invited to submit three original songs and the accompanied lyrics, as well as a photo to mtvU.com by March 13.The top 50 bands, which will be selected by mtvU and Drive-Thru Records, will be given customizable Web pages on mtvU.com where they can post music, videos, art, lyrics and news.

After the top 50 have been selected, open voting will begin on March 27, and college students and music fans will be able to sample each band or performer’s Web sites, watch the videos, read the bio’s and then vote for their favorite musician. The results of student voting will be key in determining who moves on to the next round and ultimately wins the competition on April 17, according to the official press release.

Contest promoters understand there is a wealth of musical talent hidden throughout college campuses and hope to use this contest as a platform for many artists to be heard.

“College campuses are the breeding grounds for incredible new music and with the contest, students will launch the career of the best new college band,” said Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU in a press release. “The new mtvU online music hub brings added visibility to this year’s contest and will offer all BMOC artists even greater national exposure and opportunities to be discovered.”

Promoters are looking to continue last year’s success that attracted over 250 submissions and sparked over 2 million votes. Last year’s winner, All Envy Aside, a band from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, received a deal with a major recording label and will have their first video, “Burning Again,” premiere on mtvU this month, according to the press release.

Co-sponsor Drive-Thru Records is a well-known record label that has given many famous bands their start since the company opened in 1996. The list of original signing artists includes bands like Dashboard Confessional, New Found Glory, Senses Fail and numerous others. Their current roster includes the likes of Hellogoodbye, Steel Train, The Early November and many other performers.

Continuing their trend of discovering new bands, Drive-Thru Records looks to use the competition as a means of discovering new artists this year.

“In our 10-year history, we’ve signed many college bands, helping them launch their career and play to sold-out venues around the world,” said Richard Reines, co-president of Drive-Thru Records in a press release. “We know there are great bands on college campuses waiting to be discovered and we are excited to work with mtvU to give someone a chance.”

For more information or to sign up for the contest, visit www.mtvU.com.

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