A new music competition app grown through the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Robert Gordon University (RGU) is set to democratise the way we find new musical talent with the launch of its first UK-wide competition.

Swypatune is designed to provide and increase equal opportunities for undiscovered artists in a transparent, accessible and fair manner. It utilizes state-of-the-art immersive technology to promote talented contestants through its incentivised Tinder-like voting system, which also builds an audience for the artist as they gain votes.

Leading the Swypatune project, the first fully digital talent competition of its kind, is Dr Peter Atorough, a lecturer at RGU and founder at Swype Global.

Dr Atorough said: “Swypatune is a disruption to traditional TV-based talent shows by turning the public into the ultimate judges and providing digital, easy and publicly inclusive talent propagation.

“It’s an AI-grade application that is powerful and sophisticated, yet simple-to-use. Voters listen to and vote for songs directly on the app, simply by swiping. Contestants can upload demos from any location and go head-to-head for votes. Anyone with a phone, wifi, and—of course—talent can take part, all from the comfort of their home.”

The pilot competition is named Swypatune Aberdeen 2020 in recognition of its origins in the city of Aberdeen. It has a prize of £4,000 and asks contestants to perform their version of This Little Light of Mine. Contest entries will be accepted from 12 July to 9 August. Further details about the competition can be found on the myswypatune.com website.

The first 100 people to download the app will also receive the new generation limited edition Airbuds worth £179. Pre-registration to download is ongoing and available on IOS and Android platforms.

Further competitions will be introduced, both free and premium, with much larger prizes. Those competitions will automatically distribute entries to random public test groups of Swypatune users to judge. This ensures that each contestant is fairly viewed before progressing to the final stages of competitions.

For judges, listening to musicians for a time before deciding which way to swipe will net voters credits. These can be used to claim deals and discounts at supported retail outlets, incentivising people to take part in voting more often.

Dr Atorough adds: “The more you participate and the more you vote, the more you’ll be rewarded with swypa-credit, which you can use in lieu of money at our vendor partners. This pilot competition is free and a fun way to discover new artists. We hope it will relieve some lockdown blues by letting the tunes bring us together.”

Swype Global is a new business, initially supported with mentorship and seed funding through RGU’s Startup Accelerator programme, the first funded programme of its kind in North East Scotland. The Accelerator is designed to stimulate and diversify the economy through the annual creation of innovative start-ups, such as Swypatune.

Swypatune’s pilot competition was originally scheduled to launch in April but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has now returned with an improved, UK-wide offering.

The Swypatune founding team is keen to develop partnerships with other organisations to boost incentives for voters, increase exposure for the musically gifted and bring other exciting innovations to market. Contact details can be found on the Swype Global website.