The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual songwriting contest based in the States whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena.
ISC has one of the most prestigious panels of judges of any songwriting contest in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry. This year’s judges were Pat Metheny, jazz guitarist, B.B. King, Rob Thomas, lead singer/songwriter of Matchbox 20, Monte Lipman, President, Universal Records, Nile Rodgers, producer (Chic, Madonna, David Bowie, etc.), and Bruce Lundval, CEO/President Capitol Records Jazz/Classics, just to mention a few.
“To be mentioned alongside the winners is an incredible kick. When you sit here in little Norway, writing songs on a foreign language, it is a great recognition to climb so high in such a competition,” Knut Eide says to Norwegian daily VG.
Blues guitarist Knut Eide is part of the blues band Tiger City Jukes. An independent record company in the States invited him to participate in the competition. He sent three songs in September, and forgot all about it until the judges had spoken 31 January.
Eide gets even more proud when he learns that B.B. King himself was jury judge in the blues category.
Unni Wilhelmsen is a celebrated singer/songwriter in Norway who was called a Norwegian Suzanne Vega when she debuted with To Whom It May Concern (PolyGram) in 1996. Last year’s Hurricane’s Eye was her fifth long play release, this time on her own label, St. Cecilia Music.
Winner of the competition was Moana Maniapoto from New Zealand, described as the ”diva of Maori music”.