In my darker moments, I doubt my very ability to be able to make relevant music that is of value to others. Being recognised by the ISC will be something I know I will be able to look back on in those moments of doubt as a very real and tangible reason to continue creating through the rough patches. The emails of congratulations have been flooding in from other entrants and it really does make Kate and I feel connected to a larger creative community. The prize list is extraordinary! It is like being six years old on Christmas morning.
Keir Nuttall, Co-Grand Prize Winner, 2008 (with Kate Miller-Heidke)
"Lonely" hit me like a nightmare at 4am half asleep next to my girl, I got up then and there and put it together, 808s, my busted morning voice - "lonely want you around", some synths and guitars, simple. We were on tour in NZ with Justin Timberlake sitting in the hotel room when the melody came... and then I watched Paris take a beat with a melody and turn it into a song with a story of depth and truth right before my eyes. Then we won this contest, with judges of such pedigry I can't even begin to list. It's such an honor to know that artists that I have loved my whole life, believe that what we do is something good and true, without any industry influence or marketing spend we are told that what we wrote is something good, its eternally encouraging.
Ryan Ritchie, 2008 First Place Winner of the Pop/Top 40 category (with Paris Wells)
Thank you again for this great honor, I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling of validation it has given me. When I wrote this song I knew it was important, but I never imagined it would mean something like this for me. Thank you for believing in "songs."
Scott Leger, Grand Prize winner, 2006
Judging the competition: I was astounded at the quality and range of abilities on show - the originality, honesty, and depth of so many of the words, the charm, vivacity, and catchiness of the tunes, and the often staggering energy, skill, and intensity of the performances - the talent left me at times breathless! Judging ISC 2006 was a real pleasure.
Robert Smith, The Cure
In addition to great prizes, ISC offers the unique opportunity to have your music heard by the most impressive group of judges from a variety of industry backgrounds in any songwriting competition. This makes ISC the songwriting competition to take note of.
The New York Times
This is a serious competition and judged by a panel of judges with unparalleled experience in the international music industry.
Anthony Healey, Director New Zealand APRA
We're always been impressed with the talented songwriters who participate in the ISC. This is a great A&R source to find new artists.
Monte Lipman, President, Universal Republic Records, ISC Judge
If ambushing your favorite bands with UPS'd cassettes and CD-Rs tossed on stage hasn't gotten your band noticed yet, the 2006 International Songwriting Competition should be right up your alley. Brian Wilson, Tom Waits, Robert Smith, Isaac Brock, and more are all judging the contest. Hell, the ISC is parked in your alley giving away free ice cream...Sheesh, talk about the chance of a lifetime.
The ISC is a huge songwriting competition. Not only will songwriters get to vie for the big prizes, but they'll also get the opportunity to present their work to a panel of judges that includes top industry folk.
The (2005) International Songwriting Competition offers you the chance to win cash and prizes and to have your music heard by some of the most influential and high profile members of the music and recording industry.
Guitar News Weekly
The ISC is a blessing to songwriters of every genre.
Parade Of Stars
The fact that someone with no professional contacts of any kind could make it this far in a competition of this stature helps restore my faith in the process. "Let Me Become Me" was recorded on an average home computer, and uploaded directly to the ISC at the 11th hour of the entry deadline.
Erik Ashley, 2003 Peoples Voice winner
I continue to be impressed by the ISC. In a sea of independent artist scams otherwise known as competitions, ISC stands apart and above as a beacon of light (and I'd say this even if I had not won anything!)
Paul Brill, 2003 First Place winner, Lyrics Only category
Winning the ISC is the highlight of my composing career. The prizes are fantastic. But to me they are a bonus to the confidence boost this has given me as a songwriter, and as an artist whose career has been rooted in my culture. Radio stations celebrated my win in their news bulletins, with one even describing me as 'a national treasure!'
Moana Maniapoto, 2003 Grand Prize winner
I believe that the foundation of music is songs, and songwriters are the brick layers of this foundation. I'm proud of how ISC is encouraging these songwriters to become better at their craft and build a solid foundation for the future.
Bebe Winans, ISC Judge
Winning my category in the ISC has been amazing for me. Besides the initial hype upon the announcement, not to mention all the prizes, I've been blessed with so many opportunities and have met some great people. My own career as a "performing songwriter" has benefited mainly because of the publicity that the win generated but also, artist managers and artists have been contacting my manager (and/or myself) ever since, to ask if i'd like to co-write. I'm very grateful.
Karl Broadie, First Place winner of the AAA/Roots/Americana category in 2005
Got myself a co-write with a great writer I'd been trying to get a write with for a solid year...after he saw me on the ISC winner's list. Good start!
Blu Sanders, First Place winner of the Country category in 2007
Judging ISC is a journey into the creative world of music possibilities.
Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C), ISC Judge
Very high standards!
Jeff Beck, ISC Judge
I so enjoy hearing what the next generation of songwriters is creating.
Wynonna, ISC Judge
I always look forward to being a judge every year, and I always have my ears open for that one great track that jumps out at me.
Black Francis (The Pixies), ISC Judge
ISC is a great way to get your songs to people always looking for that next great hit.
Craig Morgan, ISC Judge
I had a great time judging this year's competition. It's inspiring to see new songwriters continue to work at their craft. I was honored to be a part of this.
Joe Nichols, ISC Judge
I always love discovering some wonderful new music during the judging.
Steve Lillywhite, Producer, ISC Judge
It's gratifying to find the diamond in the rough that this competition always reveals.
Brian Malouf, VP of A&R, Walt Disney Records, ISC Judge
It was a pleasure to judge the Blues category again...some good songs again this year!
James Cotton, ISC Judge
The annual event is no run-of-the-mill vanity contest -- instead, it's a New York Times-lauded, Grammy-style event, in which winners are chosen by votes from industry legends.
Miami New Times
I was so overwhelmed by how much great publicity and attention I got from winning the ISC.. I entered the competition not thinking for a minute that I would even get a place but thought it would be fun to have a go as I'd never entered a songwriting competition like this before. What a special phonecall it was when I was told of my win, especially knowing that most of the judges are singer /songwriters I have admired my whole life . I am so proud to carry the title of Grand Prize Winner 2011
Kasey Chambers, Grand Prize Winner 2010
Thank you for getting me into this industry. It sure has been an amazing ride, and I owe it all to you.
Gin Wigmore, 2004 Grand Prize Winner
Winning the Americana section of ISC is a big deal to me. ISC is a serious comp with serious competition, and judged by some of the best around. Also, 'The Broken Things' is a special song for me, and for it to be recognized on this level feels hugely rewarding. I'm lucky my wife didn't enter this year!
Shane Nicholson, 2011 First Place Winner of the Americana category
It's such a huge honor to win the International Songwriting Competition. To have my song recognized at this level by some of the musicians and artists that I most look up to is an amazing encouragement and achievement.
Kimbra, 2011 Grand Prize Winner
In an age where image, hype and style have become currency, it's refreshing and encouraging to know there is a highly respected and world standard arena where songwriting is identified as the only thing that matters. It has always been about songs. An artist is only ever as good as their songs. The ISC not only recognizes this, but celebrates it and seeks to redirect the priorities of artists all over the world back to the important things. I've entered the ISC for many years and have always found them personal, organized, and passionate. I'd encourage every songwriter out there to submit their songs to the ISC - recognition for writing great songs is, after all, really the only recognition that matters."
Michael Paynter, 2011 First Place Winner in the Unsigned Only category