NEPA musicians recognized for being awesome at the Steamtown Music Awards
SCRANTON — A tradition continued in the local music scene Sept. 17. The Electric City Music Conference held its second ever Steamtown Music Awards at The V Spot. The award show launched in 2014 to honor achievements made by musicians in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Awards were presented in more than 20 categories, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
The evening began with a red-carpet event with a black carpet that allowed area musicians to experience the excitement of being interviewed in the fashion of popular award shows such as The Grammys.
Asialena Bonitz of Scranton was excited to walk a red, er, black carpet.
“It’s cool to see an event thrown together right here in NEPA where local artists, who work so hard, can be treated like they’re a big deal and walk a red carpet,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to know you’re appreciated, and that’s what this event does for the music community.”
Bonitz took home two Steamtown Music Awards, Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist.
Nick Isobe of Scranton was nominated for Electronic Music Act of the Year. He made a presence even though he became a father earlier in the afternoon with the birth of his son, Jacob.
“I felt it was important to support the scene,” Isobe said. “After living out of state in Florida for a few years, and just coming back to the area last November, I was just getting back into the music community. It felt great to be embraced by the music community in such a short amount of time. But that’s what everyone here seems to be about, embracing other talented artists.”
Skip Monday, a music duo from Clarks Summit, took home four awards at the ceremony. They won Best Music Duo, Female Entertainer (Kailyn Karr), Best Use of Social Media and Rising Star of the Year.
“Winning four awards gives us confirmation that what we’re working on is good. It relieves that self doubt, and musicians have a lot of self doubt,” said member Kailyn Karr.
Aside from winning, Nathan Montella, the other half of Skip Monday, said the award show allowed artists to connect. “Most of the time, we have gigs on weekends, so we never really get to see other artists out,” he said.
The event took an emotional turn when Mercy Gang won the award for Hip-Hop Act of the Year. The group tragically lost member Hefty, who’s real name is Mario Lozada, who died on Sept. 11 due to “medical issues.”
“Hefty was the heart and soul of the group,” said member DJ Merc. “It was important for us to be here to keep his legacy alive.”
Reach Justin Adam Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @wkdr