Literally besting the most talented songwriters, musicians, producers and artists from all over the world, Kenyan singer/songwriter Ondara brought honor both to his family and country of origin, by bagging the coveted grand prize of the 2022 International Songwriting Compeition, an annual song contest whose mission is to provide opportunities for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in the international arena.


The five-minute-plus winning entry – a track called “An Alien In Minneapolis” – features lavish sonic textures and an uplifting rhythmic progression and ultimately transforms into an anthemic and meaningful opus which is pretty hard not to like, given the artist’s knack for poetic storytelling and soulful vocals. 


You can listen to the winning entry here:


Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Ondara first got bit by the music bug while he was listening to Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley and Nirvana on his sister’s battery operated radio. Though his family could not afford to buy him a musical instrument, Ondara pursued his passion for music, ultimately moving to the United States in 2013. He released his debut album Tales of America in 2020, and it earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album that same year. “An Alien In Minneapolis” is included in his most recent album Spanish Villager No. 3


The ISC also awarded numerous cash prizes and opportunities for a multitude of artists in numerous categories, including Adult Album Alternative, Adult Contemporary, Americana, Blues, Children’s Music, Christian, Comedy/Novelty, Country, Electronic Dance Music, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul, Instrumental and even citations for Latin, Peformance and Music Video entries to name a few. 


Designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and to promote excellence, the ISC also boasts of the who’s who of industry insiders as judges, as well as the biggest names in music including MARIAH CAREY, COLDPLAY, TOM WAITS, Joe Hahn (of LINKIN PARK fame…), GLORIA ESTEFAN, NANCY WILSON, DAVE KOZ and many others. 


Interested parties who would like to get more information and maybe even hope to join next year’s competition can simply click the link: PULP