Langley’s Aaron Buchholz, a Christian musician, has been declared an international songwriting champion.
Buchholz’s song Circles earned him a first-place win in the International Songwriting Competition (ICS).
Meanwhile, fellow Langleyite Tiffany Desrosiers earned an honourable mention for Love’s A Losing Game.
Established in 2002, ISC recognizes and honours excellence in the craft of songwriting.
With more than 18,000 entries submitted from almost 120 countries, a total of 351 deserving songwriters are honoured this year in the competition, said founder and director Candace Avery.
Of those, 37 winners are from Canada, including the a first place winner, four second-place winners, three third-place winners, and 29 who received honourable mentions.
“The artists who won in their respective categories overwhelmingly stood out to the judges, winning praise for their songwriting skill. Their talent embodies everything that ISC is looking to honour,” Avery said.
ISC awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes to amateur and professional songwriters around the world, including a $25,000 cash (US) overall grand prize.
Previous ISC winners have included: Vance Joy, Gotye, Bastille, Passenger, Lindsey Stirling, The Band Perry, Kimbra, Omar Sosa, King Charles, Gin Wigmore, and many more.
These most recent (2015) winners were selected by a panel of judges that included: Kesha; American Authors; Pat Metheny; Lorde; Sara Evans; Bastille; Bill Withers; Keane; Danilo Perez; Hardwell; Gerald Casale (Devo); Joy Williams (The Civil Wars); Keb’ Mo’; Sean Paul; Afro Celt Sound System; Craig Kallman (Chairman/CEO, Atlantic Records); Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Craig Balsam (Owner, Razor & Tie Records); Kevin Welk (Chief Creative, Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records); Steve Yegelwel (Senior Vice President, Capitol Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); and others.
The overall grand prize was awarded to the “gifted” songwriter and performer Skrizzly Adams for his song Tipping Point, Avery explained.
Hailing from New Jersey, Adams is a songwriter who is “difficult to pigeonhole. Critics have described him as Bruce Springsteen meets Kanye West,” Avery elaborated.
Originally applying his musical talents to the art of producing, he only began to pursue singing professionally a couple of years ago, releasing his self-produced debut project, Stains, a year later. The EP quickly garnered the attention of several high-profile figures including blogger Perez Hilton and urban super producer Boi-1da, ultimately landing him a major label deal with Atlantic Records. In November, 2015, Adams joined Elle King on her North American tour, and he recently wrapped up a club tour with Lissie. He is currently working on his debut album.