Photos: BigLife Management, Netti Hurley, Joey James, Ed Cooke, Adam von Mack

Press Release
24 August 2021

Dear Media Partners, Dear Colleagues,

in just under four weeks' time, the curtain will be raised on Reeperbahn Festival, along with the ANCHOR international music award. After last year's hybrid format with jurors tuning in remotely from New York, this year's jury is back on site as one team. It consits of Emeli Sandé, Tom Odell and Jacob Banks, Tayla Parx, Yvonne Catterfeld and jury president Tony Visconti. The 14-strong international ANCHOR Board has announced these six final contenders from the 35 total entries: Florence Arman, May The Muse, Yard Act, PVA, Lie Ning and OSKA. 

Frehn Hawel



Emeli Sandé, Tom Odell, Jacob Banks, Tayla Parx, Yvonne Catterfeld and Tony Visconti — ANCHOR 2021 Jury 

This year’s ANCHOR – Reeperbahn Festival International Music Award is the sixth edition of the award. The competition offers fans and the music industry some key pointers in the search for the most talented new bands and artists around the world, and supports the nominees on their path to launching their international careers. A distinguished jury panel will attend the nominees’ concerts on two evenings (Thursday, 23.09., and Friday, 24.09.) before announcing the ANCHOR 2021 winners at a gala ceremony at the St. Pauli Theater on the Saturday of the festival (25.09.). Among previous ANCHOR contenders were Shame (GBR), Jade Bird (GBR) (winner in 2017), Alice Merton (DEU), Celeste (GBR) and ÄTNA (GER) (winners in 2020).

After some jury members had to take part remotely from New York last year due to the pandemic, this year the ANCHOR returns as an in-person event, with all jurors present live on site at Reeperbahn Festival. 

The international ANCHOR 2021 jury brings together representatives from different spheres of the music world who provide important input and inspiration for a diverse and sustainable pop culture, both in terms of their musical orientation and their work on and off-stage. 

Since the release of her debut album “Our Version Of Events” in 2012, Emeli Sandé (GBR) has become not just one of the most successful singer-songwriters in her home country, but also an important voice for social justice. Alongside numerous No. 1 hits and four BRIT Awards, the artist was given a knighthood (MBE) in 2018 for her services to music. 

Nigerian-born, London-based Jacob Banks (GBR) is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who combines soul and r’n’b with electro and alternative sounds to create his very own sound cosmos. His debut album “Village” from 2018 took him on sold-out tours around the world and onto the stages of the biggest festivals and TV shows. His EP “For My Friends” followed this year. 

Whether performing live on stage, behind the scenes in the studio or in front of the camera: Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and actress Tayla Parx (USA) excels at switching perspectives. Her songs have featured on the albums or singles of Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Anderson .Paak, Janelle Monáe, Khalid and Normani, so it’s no surprise that in 2019, with her hits for Ariana Grande and Panic! At The Disco, she became the first songwriter to achieve three simultaneous top-ten hits on the US Billboard charts. 

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell (GBR) is also no stranger to platinum-selling records and BRIT awards. The Ivor Novello Award winner is a master at turning his feelings and thoughts into universal messages in his songs, which speak from the soul to an audience of millions, as proved by his current album, “Monster”. 

Singer and actress Yvonne Catterfeld (GER) is a true all-round talent on the German entertainment scene: her seven albums released so far have hit the top of the charts and some of have gone platinum or gold, while she has also landed several awards for her film and TV roles. And she definitely has the expertise needed for the ANCHOR jury due to having studied jazz and popular music, plus being a regular juror on the popular TV series “The Voice Of Germany”.

Producer legend Tony Visconti (USA) will bring his warm and unifying style to the role of Jury President again this year, as “the expert’s expert”, respected by everyone. 


“Reeperbahn Festival's ANCHOR award has proven itself a valuable and outstanding opportunity for new talent to get recognized — not only by an ever-prominent jury but also within the whole music industry. I'm very proud that I'm part of this year's jury and really look forward to getting overwhelmed by new and exciting bands and artists!” 

Emeli Sandé, ANCHOR 2021 jury member

„I'm absolutely honoured to participate in this year's ANCHOR jury. The pandemic has made it difficult for up-and-coming acts to play live, grow their audiences from the grassroots and make themselves heard, so awards like ANCHOR are more important than ever as they enable incredible new acts to showcase their talent.”

Tom Odell, ANCHOR 2021 jury member


The ANchor 2021 Nominees

The ANCHOR jury will attend the concerts by the following acts at Reeperbahn Festival on Thursday, 23.09., and Friday, 24.09., and then crown the winners on Saturday, 25.09., at the ANCHOR Award Show at St. Pauli Theater.

The nominees for this year’s award are:  

Singer-songwriter Florence Arman (AUT/GBR), whose talent for creating uncomplicated, effective harmonies delivers fresh pop songs that mix melancholy and euphoria and has made her one of the best-known newcomers in her adopted country, Austria.   

With a sound that spans r'n'b, soul and pop, May The Muse (DEU) has a more than strong case to make it on the international stage thanks to her incredible vocal presence and musical emotionality.  

The savvy and danceable post-punk of Yard Act (GBR) makes the quartet one of the hottest names on the British music scene right now.   

The same goes for the London trio PVA (GBR), who celebrate dance as a form of release with their mix of new wave, post-punk and rave.   

Singer, dancer, actor, photographer and director Lie Ning (DEU) gives us all a dose of optimism in these times we’re living in with his smooth soul-pop and message of positivity and empathy.  

Songwriter OSKA (AUT) and her melancholic pop with soul and folk elements elaborates her own experiences into universal messages that speak from the soul to her listeners.  

Ultimately, there can only be one ANCHOR winner, but just taking part in the competition will expose all the acts mentioned here to a wider audience and the international music industry.    

Reeperbahn Festival Website

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