World Music Artist Wins ISC Grand Prize

The International Songwriting
(ISC) announced this week the winners for the 2003 annual
competition. ISC received over 11,000 entries from 60 countries in
its second year. ISC prizes include more than $100,000 (USD) in cash and
merchandise and are shared by 68 winners in 13 categories.

Winning the 2003 overall Grand Prize is
Moana Maniapoto
of Auckland, New
Zealand for her world music song “Moko.”  Described as the “diva of Maori
music,” Moana Maniapoto has consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori
music with her unique blend of traditional Maori musical elements and
contemporary western grooves. Her band Moana and the Tribe tour throughout
the world and are one of the most successful indigenous bands to emerge
from New Zealand. The winning song  “Moko,” is a compelling fusion of
smooth world music and an urban sound with earthy, international beats
.” The First Place winner in the World category is Ishay Amir from Tel Aviv,
Israel for his song “Forbidden Love”. An award-winning songwriter & record
producer, Ishay’s music combines contemporary music with folk and world

Taking Second Place honors is Toti from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for his song
“Bifurcacoes”. A saxophonist and flutist, Toti works with renowned
Brazilian artist Zé Ramalho. Entering the ISC was Toti’s first investment
in his career as a solo artist.

Other songwriters who placed in the world music category include: Auktyon  (Russia), Honorable Mention – “Victory Day”
Tony Battle/George Umbulo/Steffon (Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand),
Honorable Mention – “Under African Skies”
Dejan Pejovic (Beograd, Srbija, Serbia & Monteneg), Honorable Mention –
Dembo Jobarteh (Bakau, The Gambia), Runner Up – “Bunja Muta”
Justo D. Otongo (Baltimore, MD, USA), Runner Up – “Godly Love”
Cristina Abaroa (Sherman Oaks, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Pajaro Solitario”
Tony  Battle/George Umbulo (W. Springs, Auckland, New Zealand ), Semi-
finalist – “All I See Is Pain”
Niurka Curbelo/Hal S. Batt/Juliana Barrios (Miami, FL, USA), Semi-finalist
– “La Ruleta”
Alain Nkossi Konda (Immendstadt, Bavaria, Germany), Semi-finalist – “Foot
of the Hill”
Moana Maniapoto/Simon Halloway/ Hirini Melbourne (Grey Lynn, Auckland, New
Zealand), Semi-fianlist – “Te Po”
Patje (Studio City, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Baila Fever”
Dan Reiser (Fairview, NC, USA), Semi-finalist – “Umbyabo”
Henry Richards aka Djate (Steamboat Springs, CO, USA), Semi-finalist –
“Wanna Be Love”
Cesar Santino de la Tore aka Santino (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Semi-finalist
– “Sonrie”
Felicite Tchaco (San Francisco, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Mobali Naga”

The ISC panel of judges included top executives, songwriters, and producers
in the music industry:

Pat Metheny; Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); B.B. King; Phil Vassar; Dan
Haseltine (Jars Of Clay); Vanessa Carlton; Bebe Winans; Guru (Gang Starr);
Paul Oakenfold; Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace); Nile Rodgers; Monte Lipman
(President, Universal Records); Arif Mardin (VP/GM, Manhattan Records);
Bruce Lundvall (CEO/President, Capitol Jazz/Classics); Michael Gudinski
(Chairman, Mushroom Group Of Companies);  Frank Callari  (Artist Manager);
Tina Davis (Sr. VP A&R, Def Jam/Def Soul); Rose Noone  (Sr. VP A&R, Epic
Records); Jimmy Bralower (Producer); Kim Stephens (VP A&R/Promotion, Lava
Records); Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive VP, Gospel & Urban Music, Sony Music
Entertainment); and Robert Beeson (President, Essential Records).

ISC is sponsored by Xytar Digital Systems, Epiphone Guitars, Sam
Ash Music Stores, iRiver, Primera Technology, Inc., Berklee College Of
Music, FYE -For Your Entertainment,,  MasterWriter, Planetary
Group,, Ernie Ball Music Man, L.R. Baggs, Sonicbids,
Cakewalk, The Intellitouch Tuner, Disc Makers, Alphabet Arm Design, The
Orchard,  M Works, Onlinegigs,, and Sennheiser USA.

For more information and a complete list of winners, please go to

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.