The International Songwriting Competition (ISC), widely recognized as the most prestigious and respected songwriting competition in the world, is pleased to announce its 2018 winners. Created in 2002, ISC received almost 19,000 entries this year from almost 140 countries. Prizes include more than $175,000 in cash and merchandise.
For the first time in the competition’s 18-year history, the Grand Prize is awarded to an R&B song – as well as to artist/songwriters from Nashville, TN. It is with great pleasure that ISC bestows its highest honor to R&B artist Reginald Lamar Williams Jr., (aka R.LUM.R) and artist/producer Josh Hawkins (aka Super Duper) for their co-written song ‘Frustrated’. The Grand Prize includes $25,000 (USD) cash and over $30,000 in merchandise and services.
“With R&B being such a dominant force in today’s music landscape, it is exciting that an R&B song is the Grand Prize winner for the first time in ISC. We are thrilled to acknowledge R.LUM.R and Super Duper, two artists who exemplify the present and the future of songwriting in this genre,” says ISC Founder and Director, Candace Avery.
Having amassed more than 48 million streams on Spotify, the Grand Prize-winning song, ‘Frustrated’ was written at a time when R.LUM.R had some big decisions to make. He was contemplating moving from Florida to Nashville to pursue his music, and the uncertainty he felt during his relocation became the inspiration for his breakout single ‘Frustrated’. He did end up moving to Nashville, and it has paid off for this incredibly talented singer and writer. Easily recognizable for his sultry, soulful vocals and effortless falsetto, R.LUM.R has performed the single on Jimmy Kimmel Live and has been praised by media such as NPR Music,The New York Times, Vibe, Billboard and Rolling Stone (who called him “an artist you need to know”).
The co-writer and producer of the winning song is Super Duper, an up-and-coming electronic artist/producer. Touring with the likes of The Chainsmokers, The Glitch Mob and Big Wild, Super Duper spent the past year bringing his cinematic productions on tour with Petit Biscuit and Kasbo with festivals lined up such as Electric Forest. After writing and producing for others, Super Duper began to release music under his own moniker. One of the first singles ‘Angela’ hit #1 on Hype Machine and entered Spotify’s Viral 50 charts before being picked up by SiriusXM Chill. He also recently received a Clio award for scoring the trailer to Steve McQueen’s new motion picture Widows.
“Winning the Grand Prize in ISC is a huge honor for me, especially when you consider how many incredible writers entered,” says R.LUM.R. “I wrote ‘Frustrated’ at a time when I was privately going through some very personal things that I honestly wasn’t sure anyone would understand, so it’s amazing to think the song would be honored in such a big way.”
In addition to the Grand Prize winner, many other deserving songwriters also share in the prestige and kudos of winning their respective categories in ISC. These winners hail from all over the world (50% of this year’s winners come from outside the USA) and represent diverse cultures while ranging from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans. The 23 categories include all genres of contemporary music, from Rock to Pop to Jazz to Country to Hip-Hop, and more.
Ireland’s David Keenan was awarded second place in the Performance category for his work ‘Cobwebs’.
Winning ISC is a distinction that has propelled many artists to achieve greater success. Previous winners have included: Illenium; Vance Joy; Bastille; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Gregory Porter; Passenger; Lupe Fiasco; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; For King and Country; and many more.
For a complete list of 2018 winners and to hear the winning songs, go to: http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.
The panel of 2018 judges includes:
Recording Artists:Adam Lambert; Portugal.The Man; Tom Waits; Kane Brown; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Nicky Jam; Rodney Crowell; Sara Evans; Kristian Bush (Sugarland); Rakim (Eric B. & Rakim); Chris Lane; Keane; Danilo Perez; Jeremih; Peter Erskine; James McNally (Afro Celt Sound System); Nero; Sidewalk Prophets; Kenny Garrett; Krewella; Sara Watkins; Ted Nash; John Mayall; Joe Louis Walker; Nicholas Gunn; Kim Walker-Smith (Jesus Culture); Ashwin Batish; Lonnie Liston Smith; Micah Tyler; John Tibbs; and Gordon Goodwin.Industry Executives:Aaron Bay-Schuck (CEO/Co-Chairman, Warner Bros. Records); Jo Charrington (Co-President, Capitol Music Group UK); Mark Mitchell (Co-President, Parlophone Records); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); John Esposito (Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville); John Burk (President, Concord Label Group); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Nate Albert (Executive VP of A&R, Capitol Records); Jacob Edgar (Founder, Cumbancha); Craig Balsam (Co-Owner, Razor & Tie, Washington Square, and Kidz Bop); Josh Bailey (Senior VP of A&R, Word Entertainment); Gordon Kerr (CEO, Black River Entertainment); David Waxman (Senior VO of A&R, Ultra Music); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Publishing); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records); AJ Tobey (Head of A&R, Rough Trade Publishing); Cory Robbins (Founder / President, Robbins Entertainment); Julie Kertes (Editor / Manager, Hot Diggity Media); Laura Margolin (Publishing, Glassnote Records); Leib Ostrow (Founder / CEO, Music For Little People); Katherine Dines (Co-President, The Children’s Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parent’s Choice Foundation); Randy Frisch (Founder, LoveCat Music); Benjamin Groff (Founder, The Brill Building); Sas Metcalfe (President, Global Creative, Kobalt Music); Golnar Khosrowshahi (President, Reservoir Media Management); Tamara Conniff (EVP, Roc Nation); Carl Caprioglio (Founder / CEO, Oglio Entertainment); and Elena Epstein (Director, National Parenting Product Awards).
ISC is sponsored by: Art & Lutherie By Godin Guitars; Berklee College of Music; Celebrity Access; Eventric; Gig Salad; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Musician Wellness; Musicians Institute; oneRPM; PreSonus; Pro Tour Nutrition; Shubb Capos; SongU; Sweetwater; The Tracking Room; Tunedly; Vocal Eze; and Westone.
Entries are now open for the 2019 competition. For more information and to enter, go to https://www.songwritingcompetition.com.