“Out of a possible 600 total points, there were only four points between the top two songs,” says SongDoor president Tony Zotta. “It was a true squeaker."
Robert Gillies (who won the 2009 SongDoor competition for the soft-rocker "Saturday In June") was within a hair of winning for his song, "Here With Me," but the judges gave the nod to Esters' song for its powerful impact, both musically and lyrically. Esters says he wrote the song in an effort to reach people on the brink of suicide, to give them hope and help them re-think things.
“After I graduated, I was self-promoting the ‘Maybe’ song online through social networking sites and trying to get it heard by as many people as possible," says Esters. "I entered ‘Maybe’ into SongDoor because the more I was promoting it (while simultaneously being unemployed), the more I was slowly losing confidence in its potential. Making it to the finals alone reminded me that there is still power and potential in that song. This is the biggest thing that SongDoor has given me — the confidence that the judges and SongDoor have re-established in my spirit. I have the juice to continue to move forward doing what I love to do. Thank you, SongDoor!”
"We don't have a rap/hip-hop category, which means this is an even more unusual winner," explains Zotta. "This song worked in the rock/alt category because of the nature of the chorus. It's in a class with Eminem, and Zack should be very, very proud — not only for winning, but because of the message he's put out there. This song could potentially save a life."
All of the winning songs may be heard online at http://www.songdoor.com. The competition was generously sponsored by SongU.com, Broadjam, 16 Ton Studios, MasterWriter, Tanager Audioworks, Songsinc, Herringbone Recording Studio and Hard Twist Music/BMI. Not just the winners won - every songwriter who entered this year's competition receives a free 45-day all-access trial to SongU.com, as well as free digi-keyboard/
As winner of this year's Grand Award, Esters wins a single-song publishing contract, a one-year Platinum membership to SongU.com, a full-band demo cut at a high-profile studio on Nashville's Music Row, Masterwriter software, a Songsinc membership, Tanager Audioworks software and a host of other prizes valued at more than $7,900. For more about this year's SongDoor winner, visit http://www.songdoor.com and http://www.myspace.com/
Here is a list of all of the winners of the SongDoor 2011 International Songwriting Competition:
Grand Award Winner:
Zachary Esters (Z-FLO) (Greenville, Mississippi, USA)
“When You Say Jump”
Vincent Pace and Alexander J. Keller
(Bossley Park, Australia)
“Witness Of Your Life”
“Here With Me”
(Stirling, Scotland/Massachusetts, USA)
Zachary Esters (Z-FLO)
(Greenville, Mississippi, USA)
SongDoor 2012 is open for submissions on April 15, 2012. The entry fee is $10. For more information, visit http://www.songdoor.com.
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The annual SongDoor Songwriting Competition is open to amateur and professional songwriters worldwide. Entries are accepted from April 15 through November 15. Categories: Christian, Country, Pop, Rock/Alt, Soft Rock and Instrumental.