TOKYO, June 30 (Reuters Life!) - A Singapore group that aims to do for Asia what Grammy organisers have done for the U.S. recording industry was launched on Thursday to promote regional musicians and highlight musical achievement.
The Asia Academy of Music Arts & Sciences (AAMAS) will eventually recognise outstanding artists with honours called the Encore Awards, to be voted upon by their peers, said co-founder Senn Moses of MusicDNA Pte Ltd, a Singapore joint-venture company.
"They will be similar to a Grammy, an Oscar, an Emmy, in the sense that they will be chosen and voted on by peer members," Moses told Reuters.
The Grammys are awarded by the U.S.-based National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) every year and since their inception more than 50 years ago have come to be known as the world's top music honours.
The Oscars are the U.S. film industry's top honours and the Emmys are given for U.S. television.
In addition to awards, NARAS sponsors a foundation for community outreach and it backs a programme called MusiCares, which provides financial, medical and personal assistance for musicians and other industry professionals in times of need.
In Asia, the need for a group to support music became apparent following several years of study into the music industry across the vast region, Moses said.
"What we started to find out was, it was very segmented ... There isn't much that's really there for the benefit of music itself, for the musicians," he added.
The new organisation will be based in Singapore and represent the interests of music industry professionals or students in virtually all nations of the Asia-Pacific region, organisers said in a statement.
Founding members number nearly 3,000 and a roughly 20-member governing board will be announced shortly. The group's first show to recognise excellence in music will be held in 2012 in Hainan, China, with honorary awards, organisers said.
The first peer-voted awards will come in 2014, Moses said. "We want to make something that is for music people, by music people, and will also bring the world a lot closer together -- and hopefully, we'll find more sharing across geographic borders," he added. (Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Edmund Klamann; To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)