⇣ PAST GRAND AWARD ⇣
Here are profiles of past SongDoor winners, along with their Grand Award-winning songs. Studying these songs is one way to understand the elements that constitute good songwriting, which are: originality, structure, distinct melodies and original lyrics that are free of clichés.
⇣ JAMES KELSO ⇣
Award-winning songwriters James Kelso's music is heavily influenced by country, pop, and CCM—as well as his 20 years as a worship leader—but his eclectic taste in music brings influence from many other genres. His music is most notably defined by meaningful lyrics wrapped in strong melodic hooks. He's also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
Christian: “One Eighty"
⇣ PAMELA MACHALA ⇣
Pamela is a consummate live performer and very, very gifted songwriter. Her ear for a melody is stellar, and her ability to structure a song to show off its story and emotional expression is among the best we've ever seen. There are nothing but good things ahead for this supremely talented young woman.
Soft Rock: “Bleeding Me Dry"
⇣ SIMON FINN ⇣
Simon is a prolific songwriter in the pop and soft rock categories, producing stellar music from his home in Brussels. He has been a SongDoor Finalist several times and garnered a number of honorable mentions for his ear-catching compositions and has a polished style that stands above the rest. Learn more about Simon on
Soft Rock: “Sing Me Your Blues"
⇣ DAVID PELLEGRINI ⇣
David is fairly new to the songwriting world, but he says, "The more I write, the more I want to write." He is a member of the Gospel Music Association. David plans to do more live shows and is especially interested in Christian youth ministries. You may any time to hire him for an event.
Christian: “Lay My Burdens Down"
⇣ CHARLIE MILLIKIN ⇣
Born into a family of musicians, singers and songwriters, Charlie's unquenchable passion for great music and melodies seemed only natural. Charlie was invited by the producers of “The Voice” to audition in Chicago, Dallas and Nashville. His smooth vocal style and excellent guitar skills put him over the top to win SongDoor 2016.
CHARLIE MILLIKIN, BILL MILLIKIN
& MIRIAM MILLIKIN
Pop: “Change Me"
⇣ JULIETTE REILLY ⇣
Juliette is an up-and-coming pop singer/songwriter from central New Jersey who has both country and folk influences. She has been writing songs since age 11, and singing and performing since age 6. Although her voice is her main instrument, she also plays guitar, piano and ukulele. You can find many of her videos on YouTube.
NEW JERSEY, USA
⇣ HUDSON HENRY ⇣
Hudson Henry is a super-talented 23-year old solo artist from Los Angeles, California. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays, arranges and writes everything on his songs. His obvious musical passion and acute sensibilities set him apart from the rest. Learn more on
Hard Rock: “Addicted"
⇣ JUSTIN FROESE ⇣
Seattle-based singer/songwriter Justin Froese is known for his collaborative spirit and diverse palate of musical tastes. He is producing his next album and looks forward to touring the U.S. and Europe. Nancy Montgomery was a multi-talented songwriter, actress and voice talent with four Top 10 songs to her credit. She very sadly passed away in 2015.
JUSTIN FROESE & NANCY MONTGOMERY
Christian: “Finally Here"
⇣ DEBRA GUSSIN ⇣
Former Dr. Phil producer, Barry Manilow Songwriting Scholarship winner (4 times) and John Lennon contest winner, Debra Gussin has more TV placements than you can count. Rik Howard has written jingles for Nissan, Three Musketeers and Coca-Cola, but he's best-known for writing the "Silver Spoons" TV theme. Rik currently has a hot event band that plays throughout southern California.
DEBRA GUSSIN & RIK HOWARD
Christian: “Is That You?"
⇣ Z-FLO ⇣
Z-Flo's heartfelt anti-suicide rap/rock composition profoundly affected the judges this year, and they gave due kudos to the young writer, who is from Mississippi but now makes his home in Nashville. He's worked with a number of big rap and hip-hop names and is now a huge YouTube star!
⇣ RYAN MARTINEZ ⇣
Persistence pays! Ryan was the very first SongDoor entrant ever, way back in 2006. This year he blew the lid off with his perfect pop anthem (below). Ryan was born and raised in N.Y., but currently lives in L.A.
He encourages co-writing inquiries from established writers and publishers (pop or country). Learn more on his
Pop: “You Didn't Break Me"
⇣ ROBERT GILLIES ⇣
Robert Gillies is no stranger to us ... he's garnered several Honorable Mentions in past years for his songs The Proposal and Wage a Little Peace. Robert is not only a great songwriter, but is a fine singer, travelling the world, entertaining audiences with his soft, easy style and soothing themes of love, compassion and kindness. You can learn more about Robert
Soft Rock: “Saturday in June"
⇣ ANTHONY SNAPE ⇣
Anthony is an Australia-to-Nashville transplant with a true gift for the pop/rock genres. Master of the hook, a sure-footed musical architect and poignant lyricist, he not only writes, but is a stellar performer. Since winning SongDoor, Anthony's career has exploded.
Rock: “Disappearing Day"
⇣ ERINN SHERLOCK ⇣
Erinn is originally from New South Wales, Australia and can write the socks off a song. Honest lyrics and an infallible ear for a melody make her a true standout. You can regularly catch her performing around her adopted hometown of Nashville (she is also a superb vocalist).
ERINN SHERLOCK & ANTHONY IGIZZI
Singer/Songwriter: “Return to You"
⇣ SEAN CLIVE ⇣
DAVID C. SMITH
Sean and his growing family live in upstate NY, where Sean runs a Catholic ministry. His faith drives his creativity, and his pop/rock songs are truly inspired. He has a brand new CD out, What I've Settled For, a fine followup to Amazed, both superbly produced by co-writer David C. Smith.
SEAN CLIVE & DAVID C. SMITH
NEW YORK, USA