Mission

Annual Song Contest held by the Dallas Songwriters Association to provide a benchmark for popular songwriting competency. Winners in each category, plus grand prize winners.

CATEGORIES AND JUDGES:Finalists in each category will be judged by music industry professionals from record labels and publishing companies; Grand Prize winner will be chosen by A&R and/or industry professionals of Broadjam.com or Sonicbids.com.

DSA is CELEBRATING 27 YEARS IN 2014

MOTIVATING & UPLIFTING SONGWRITERS THROUGH EDUCATION

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DSA 2014 SONG CONTEST WINNERS


2014 DSA SONG CONTEST WINNERS

AMERICANA
1. No Hiding Place by Lucia Comnes and Gawain Mathews, San Francisco, CA   
2. Over Space & Time by Nitanee Paris, Roy Bemelman, Malibu, CA      
3. Hold Me by Dickey Johnson, Dallas, Tx   

CHRISTIAN/ INSPIRATIONAL
1. The Journey by Rob Cariddi, Fort Mill, SC 
2. The Plans I Have for You by DeDe, Houston, TX
3. What You Made of Me by Mike Hyden, Ralston, NE
HM Known & Loved by Blue Light Bandit, Framingham, MA 
HM Believe by Life Is Hard, Houston, TX

COUNTRY
1. My Shine by T Ediwin Doss, Silver Springs, MD 
2.  In The USA by Roger Kaye, Glen Falls, NY 
3. Where The Corn Used To Grow by Benjamin Neuman, Nashville, TN 


INSTRUMENTAL
1. Surreal McCoy by Charlie Hill, Tulsa, OK 
2. Change the World by DeDe, Houston, TX 
3. Malibu by Maxim Senin, Lakewood, CA 
3.  Morning by Christian Taylor, Seattle, WA

LOVE SONGS/ EASY LISTENING
1. Love Is Everything by Al Hovden, Vancouver, BC
2. Something Just Clicks by James Bennett, Tulsa, OK 
3. Do You Miss the Heat by Debra Gussin, Los Angeles, CA, Stacy Hogan, Nashville, TN 

NOVELTY / CHILDREN

1. Jingle Jangle Christmas by Rob Cariddi, Fort Mill, SC 
2.  Snowflake by Katie Hardyman, Taree, NSW, Australia 
3. Squishy Flip Flops by Randy Sauer, Hayes, KS
3. The Christmas Song That No One Knows by Renee Safier and Andy Hill, James Vermilya, Rodondo Beach, CA 

POP/ROCK
1. Forget You Girl by  Debra Gussin,  Los Angeles, CA, Kyle Vincent, Amherst, MA 
2. Learn to Breathe by Nitanee Paris, Malibu, CA
3. I've Already Won by  Debra Gussin,  Los Angeles, CA, Stacy Hogan, Nashville, TN 

SINGER SONGWRITER
1. Open Up by Denise Rosier, Lake Forest, CA  
2. Say That You Love Me by Gracie Lott, De Soto, TX
3. Small Town Living Life by Stephen Blackwell, Wills Point, Tx 

GRAND PRIZE
1. No Hiding Place by Lucia Comnes and Gawain Mathews, San Francisco, CA  
2. Say That You Love by Gracie Lott, De Soto, TX
3. Something Just Clicks by James Bennett, Tulsa, OK

GRAND PRIZE JUDGES COMMENTS
Here are my Top 3.  I intend on writing in more detail about these and others, but I thought you might like to know some of my thoughts for your shindig tomorrow.  Lots of strong songs this year.  Unlike most years, many songs could have won this. Once I get settled in my new home, I will write a more detailed review.  Thanks for letting me be part of this great contest.

Roy

1.) No Hiding Place – While the song has about a 5 note range, I gave it high marks for melody.  The melody is so easy to remember, I found myself humming this over and over again and really wanting to learn the lyric. Sometimes great melodies are really simple, that is the case here. The lyric is captivating, thought provoking and if we were only hearing the melody and lyric, one can visualize exactly who would be singing it, what kind of band would be playing and even the clothes they would be wearing. It creates a vision beyond the content of the lyric.  Another thing that caught my attention was that this song is dead center of the Americana genre with many lyrical & visual overtones. One listener might feel “religious,” one might hear “relationship”, one might simply see "a bird" and another might experience something completely different. Songwriting contests come down to the opinion of the judge, but there is no denying that this song nails the genre, with or without the music. With that said, it really isn’t my cup of tea, but the fans of this genre will eat it up.

2.) Say That You Love Me – Very strong lyric, melody and hook.  Clearly written from the heart by a very good writer. The melody and lyric are so strongly connected, it feels as if the singer is “begging” throughout the song.  Obviously, relationship songs are a dime a dozen and it’s hard to create something unique that no one has done before.  This is unique and I believe it’s one of those songs that would make a life playlist of a 15 year old girl. She will probably remember this song when she is 50, as it is very memorable and speaks loudly to a specific audience.

3.) Something Just Clicks – Another unique and different relationship song.  Simple melody with a strong lyric.  The hook is unforgettable and the melody of the backing vocals actually becomes one of the memorable parts of the song. The production doesn’t help the song as I believe it has so much more potential. But it is a song that I will remember for a long time and believe that it has opportunity in the rock, pop and r & b markets.  Although this singer is very good, it could be interpreted in many different ways.  In my eyes, that’s what makes it good.


TOP TEN REASONS TO ENTER THE DSA SONG CONTEST

10. You can win a casio privia keyboard.

9. You can win cash

8. You can win a one year DSA membership or more.

7. You can get a free trial membership for entering online at Broadjam or Sonic Bids

6. Semifinalists get a chance to perform at the Awards or other DSA Showcases

5. Semifinalists and Winners get their names published in Songwriter Notes and the Press Release

4. Entrants can get peer review on their song

3. Winners get their songs on the awards soundcloud site.

2. Contest recognition looks good on your resume

1. We are a small contest, so you have a better chance to win.

Now in it's 24th year!

The DSA 2014 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Offering over $5,000 in cash and prizes this year, the DSA has EIGHT categories in all. See Contest Rules for eligibility.

MOTIVATING AND UPLIFTING SONGWRITERS THRU EDUCATION

MUSE-Motivating and Uplifting Songwriters thru Education
DSA is a 501 C-3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing to songwriters everywhere opportunities for learning about the craft and business of songwriting. Songwriters Newsletter is published by the Dallas Songwriters Association c/o Sammons Center for the Arts 3630 Harry Hines Blvd Box 20 Dallas, TX 75219.
Barbara McMillen, Editor, Founding President Emeritus http://www.barbaramcmillen.com

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