Álvaro Soler announced as winner of 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) for pop, rock and dance music

30 October 2015

This morning, at Los 40 Principales in Barcelona, the Spanish artist Álvaro Soler was announced as the fifth winner of the 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), the European music awards for emerging artists.

Before Álvaro Soler’s ‘El Mismo Sol’ became the ultimate 2015 summer hit, he had already seen much of the world. He was born in Barcelona with Spanish, Belgian and German blood, and he moved to Japan when he was 10 years old. After that, he returned to Barcelona and formed the group Urban Lights with his brother Gregory Tauchert and a college friend. This band made beautiful indie pop, but Álvaro decided to change his course in 2015, focusing on a solo career in latin music.

This resulted in debut album ‘Eterno Agosto’ (2015), of which the aforementioned single ‘El Mismo Sol’ became number one in Italy and then quickly took over the rest of Europe. With his recent European tour, Álvaro Soler’s goal of getting people in Barcelona and Berlin (if not also in Paris, Stockholm, Rome, and Amsterdam) to start dancing has been successfully obtained.

Earlier this month Carnival Youth (Latvia), AURORA (Norway), Oscar and The Wolf (Belgium) and KOVACS (Netherlands) were unveiled as 2016 EBBA winners. Five more winners will be announced and filmed, in the coming weeks, at destinations all over Europe. The footage will be part of a unique ‘road-trip’ mini-movie, which will be shared on the EBBA social media and website.

The EBBA are about breaking down borders and recognising emerging European rock, pop and dance artists who achieved success in countries other than their own. These unique European music awards are funded under the European Union (EU) Creative Europe programme. With the EBBA, the European Union wishes to highlight the success of 10 debuting European artists in selling albums and touring outside their home territory.

From Adele (2009) to Milky Chance (2015), the winners of the EBBA represent the full breadth of European talent and diversity. Other previous winners include Stromae, Emeli Sandé, Gabriel Rios, Hozier, Melanie De Biasio, Of Monsters and Men, Woodkid, Mumford & Sons, Caro Emerald, Lykke Li, Disclosure, Katie Melua, John Newman, The Ting Tings, C2C, Tokio Hotel, The Script, Zaz, Nico & Vinz, Saybia, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall, Alphabeat, Milow and Afrojack.

Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity is a strong part of its cultural appeal, but linguistic barriers sometimes make it harder for artists to work internationally and achieve cross-border sales success. The EBBA seek to help them overcome these obstacles.

To be eligible for the 2016 awards, the artists must have achieved border-breaking success with their first international release in Europe between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015.

Background
The winners are selected on the basis of data from Nielsen Music Control research, the European Broadcasting Union, EBU radio stations, and from festivals participating in the European Talent Exchange Programme.

The winners will receive their awards in a ceremony hosted by TV personality and musician Jools Holland at the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival in Groningen, Netherlands, on January 13, 2016. The ceremony will feature performances of the winning acts.

One of the winners will receive a Public Choice Award based on votes cast on the EBBA website from the end of November to Christmas. Up to 15 voters, chosen at random from different countries, will be invited to the award ceremony: each will be able to bring a friend and the prize includes their flight and hotel costs.

The EBBA, now in their 13th year, is organised by Eurosonic Noorderslag in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), with support from Buma Cultuur, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Province of Groningen, the City of Groningen and Music Week.