Oscar and The Wolf announced as winner of 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) for pop, rock and dance music

26 October 2015

This afternoon, at VRT’s Studio Brussel, the Belgian band Oscar and The Wolf was announced as the third winner of the 2016 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), the European music awards for emerging artists.

The band from Brussels, who have been compared with Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, achieved widespread success with their No1 debut ‘Entity’. The album, co-produced by the band’s singer and songwriter Max Colombie, is characterized by music as dreamy and dark as their name.  As Oscar and The Wolf put it themselves: “Our sound is electronica with a childlike melancholy and imagination.”

Asked recently about the band’s name, Colombie, 23, explained: “Oscar is a name I really like – it’s poetic and light. And wolf is the dark animal that comes out at night and howls to the full moon, and moon stands for solitude and coldness. It’s bright together, because that’s how I see my music – as a balance between light and dark.”

Oscar and The Wolf have just started a major European tour, which takes in shows in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland.

On October 9 the Latvian band Carnival Youth was announced as the first of ten 2016 EBBA winners. The announcement of Norwegian singer AURORA as second winner followed on October 12. Seven 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.