Westlake Village-based retailer Guitar Center Inc. announced the winner of its annual “Your Next Record” competition: Emmanuel Ruiz aka Manny X from Providence, RI.

Participants of the competition had nine weeks to submit an original track to the competition’s official website. Online music company, NXTM, utilized its social media ranking platform to host and judge the first round. Competing artists were ranked on how well they're able to connect with fans through social media. The final winner will be selected by music artist and producer, T-Pain and a panel of judges.

Ruiz will receive the grand prize package which includes partnering with T-Pain on a single, a 3-song EP, a worldwide music distribution deal and a recording studio from AVID, a developer of at-home audio and video technology. The prize package is valued at $27,000.

"Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record was created to give undiscovered musicians a platform to get their sound heard and their record made," said Dustin Hinz, director of music marketing and artist relations for Guitar Center, in a prepared statement. "By partnering with an experienced, successful artist like T-Pain, Manny X will be able to take his career to the next level. That's what Guitar Center is all about – helping musicians achieve success."

Angela Melero