Sign In

Sign in to Caster

Promote music

Sign in to Player

Discover music

Sign in to MTR

Track music

Get Started

Promote with Caster

Promote music

Discover with Player

Discover music

Track with MTR

Track music

Sign in to Caster

Promote Music

Sign in to MTR

Track Music

Sign in to Player

Discover Music

Promote with Caster

Connect with one of our music industry relations reps to request a demo Caster.

Track with MTR

Track your radio airplay with MTR. Sign up is free, pay when you start tracking.

Discover with Player

Request access to become a verified tastemaker. Receive only that music you want.

Winners Announced – International Songwriting Competition 2021

Team Play MPE

May 24, 2022

We have big news to share from our partners at the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). They  recently announced their list of the winners for 2021!

New for this year 

To mark and celebrate their 20th Anniversary, the ISC has upped the ante for participants in a big way! We’re talking $225,000 in cash and merchandise, which will be divvied up between 71 winners across 23 categories. The top winner of the Grand Prize will also receive a boost over previous years with more than $70,000 ($25,000 USD in cash and other prizes combined.)

As a prize partner, Play MPE is proud to support the winners of ISC with music promotion distribution prize packages! The Grand Prize, Founder’s Choice, Spotlight Awards, and First Place Category winners – as well as all the special promotions winners – will see  their tracks distributed to verified tastemakers across the globe via Play MPE’s Caster!


2021’s Grand Prize Winner – Notelle

The top prize winner has been named as Notelle, aka Stephanie Middleton of Richmond, VA, USA. Her song “Sufjan Stevens” was selected by ISC’s panel of celebrity artists including Coldplay, Linkin Park, Tom Waits, Hozier, The Lumineers, NEEDTOBREATHE, Trevor Daniel, as well as top music industry executives. Way to go, Notelle! 

Upon learning she had earned the Grand Prize, Notelle enthused, “There are very few moments that leave you speechless from joy. This moment for me will be one of them. I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined that a song I wrote alone in my car would have had this much of an impact on my pursuit of being a songwriter. ISC has given me the kind of opportunity and encouragement that I have never had before, and I will be forever grateful. What an unbelievable experience.”


Category Winners

Apart from the Grand Prize, ISC awarded winners in 23 categories representing an eclectic mix of music genres, plus the two additional special awards which were tacked on this year.

The Founder’s Choice Award went to Sean Murphy, for his song “The Troubled Tears Of Drury Road”. His composition was hand picked by the competition’s founder and listening committee.

The Spotlight Award, presented by ISC and SOCAN, was created to highlight one Canadian artist exemplifying songwriting excellence. The winner is the Juno award-winning Christian rock band The Color for their song “Bigger”. 

Congratulations to these artists, and all the first place winners: 



Huntsville, AL, USA



1ST PLACE – clide

Berlin, Germany



1ST PLACE – Crooked Sparrow

Arlington, VA, USA



1ST PLACE – Chris Cain

San Jose, CA, USA



1ST PLACE – Lucy Kalantari And The Jazz Cats

Brooklyn, NY, USA



1ST PLACE – Jon Guerra

Austin, TX, USA



1ST PLACE – Pat Godwin

Dallas, PA, USA



1ST PLACE – Carter Faith

Davidson, NC, US



1ST PLACE – Ryan Shepherd

Toronto, ON, Canada



1ST PLACE – Alix Page

Costa Mesa, CA, USA



1ST PLACE – Alicia Enstrom

Topeka, KS, USA



1ST PLACE – Thana Alexa

New York, NY, USA




Santiago, Chile



1ST PLACE – Miss Emily

Kingston, ON, Canada



1ST PLACE – San Joseph

Melbourne, VIC, Australia




Toronto, ON, Canada




Rome, Italy



1ST PLACE – Bree Rusev

Newcastle, NSW, Australia



1ST PLACE – Jillian Steele

Long Island, NY, USA



1ST PLACE – Sahara Beck

Brisbane, QLD, Australia



1ST PLACE – Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita

Camagúey, Cuba / Ziguinchor, Senegal


PEOPLES’ VOICE – Ricky Duran

Worcester, MA, USA



 The complete panel of 2021 judges includes:

 Recording Artists: Coldplay; Tom Waits; Joe Hahn (Linkin Park); Jeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers); Hozier; Trevor Daniel; NEEDTOBREATHE; Tenille Townes; James Adam Shelley (American Authors); Kristian Bush (Sugarland); Laura Pausini; Parmalee; Lonnie Liston Smith; Cory Asbury; Blackbear; Sara Evans; Sidewalk Prophets; Steve Lillywhite; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Krewella; Glen Ballard; Dave Simonett (Trampled By Turtles); Danilo Perez; Above & Beyond; Oumou Sangaré; Jack DeJohnette; Parker Milsap; Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane); Dave Koz; Niko Moon; Sugaray Rayford; James McNally; Jordan St. Cyr; Don Bryant; Joe Louis Walker; Ashwin Batish; Carter Burwell; Nicholas Gunn (Limelght); and Jimmy Pardo (Comedian) 

Industry Judges: Daniel Glass (President/Founder, Glassnote Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Richard Stumpf (CEO, Atlas Music Publishing); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); David McTiernan (Senior Director, Artist & Label Relations, Vevo); Greg Johnson (VP of A&R, Columbia Records); Golnar Khosrowshahi (President, Reservoir Media Management); Will Speer (Managing Director, Magic Star Records/Sony); Nate Albert (EVP of A&R, Capitol Records); Kim Buie (VP of A&R, New West Records) Shawn Barron (VP of A&R, Motown); Dan Chalmers (Head Of Music, YouTube, EMEA); Kate Labrel (VP of A&R, Warner Records); Christopher Muller (Global Head of Music Partnerships, YouTube); Jacob Edgar (Founder, Cumbancha); Matt D’Arduini (Sr. VP of A&R /GM, Last Nite Records/Arista Records); Joel Timen (VP of A&R and Publishing, Curb/Word Entertainment); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Samantha Jervey (Director A&R, Capitol Christian Music Group); Julie Kertes (Editor/General Manager, Hot Diggity Media); Jacqueline Post (Head of Publishing, Connection Music Publishing); Kenny Weagly (Entertainment Executive); Ben Kramer (Global Lead, Artist and Label Development, Youtube); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); Katherine Dines (Advisory Board and Magic Penny Award Chair, Children’s Music Network); Claire S. Green (President, Parents’ Choice Foundation); Julia Beyer (Director, ARC Music Productions International); Benjamin Groff (President, Brill Building Music Publishing); Tamara Conniff (EVP, Roc Nation Music Publishing); Carl Caprioglio (Founder & CEO, Oglio Entertainment); and Elena Epstein (Director, National Parenting Product Awards)

Subscribe to our blog

You may also like…