The end of June means one thing in the UK calendar. Glastonbury. The iconic festival at Worthy Farm was set to be celebrating its 50th year anniversary, but with the coronavirus pandemic this has been postponed until 2021.

The festival’s annual Emerging Talent Competition still went ahead. Supported by PRS for Music and the PRS Foundation, applicants from across the UK and Ireland had a week to submit their entry at the end of January. From ‘thousands of entries’,  judges including Emily and Michael Eavis chose the final eight from a longlist of ninety. As expected, the live final in Pilton was cancelled so the winners were selected from the song and live video they recorded and entered with.

First place was awarded to R.A.E, a South-East London musician who won the opportunity to play on the mainstage of the festival in 2021 and a £5000 Talent Development prize to aid her performing and song-writing journey. The name R.A.E is an acronym for ‘Rising Above Everything’, which is quite fitting.

R.A.E’s latest track, ‘Pretty Bop’ is a fun and fresh sound filled with her true talent as a wordsmith. But it was her tongue and cheek, fuckboy-diss track, ‘Damn Jermaine’, which secured her the win.  Emily Eavis said “I’m absolutely thrilled for R.A.E. Her music is so uplifting and vibrant, and she absolutely wowed the judges. I really can’t wait to see her at next year’s Glastonbury!” 

Ajimal aka Fran O’Hanlon took second place, whose personal story is almost as striking as his song ‘How Could You Disappear?’ O’Hanlon is also a qualified doctor and hails from Newcastle but he acquired his stage name during his experience of working at a field hospital amongst the aftermath of the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake. His musical career has already seen him supporting the likes of James Vincent McMorrow and The 1975. Being runner up secures him a slot to play at Glastonbury 2021 and a £2500 prize.

Reaping the same winnings, third place went to the West London singer-songwriter, Matilda Mann. Her EP If That Makes Sense dropped in February and highlights her soft vocals and evocative songwriting; her song ‘The Loch Ness Monster’ produced by Ant Whiting, (L Devine and Pixie Lott) is the track that helped introduce her to the future Glastonbury stage.

The Senior Events Manager at PRS for Music, Amy Field, said “The level of talent these songwriters have already displayed at such an early stage is inspiring. We look forward to supporting them as they take the next step in their careers”. 

We caught up Sheffield-based nineteen-year-old, Frankie Beetlestone, who made it to the shortlist of the competition with his track ‘Sober Again‘. The interview will be hitting the site shortly.

You can learn more about the three competition winners here.