Pakistani Songwriter Jehangir Aziz Hayat Honored By Celebrity Judges In Us-Based International Songwriting Competition (ISC)

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 12:02:48 by

May 7, 2013 – – The International Songwriting Competition (ISC), widely recognized as the world’s premier songwriting event, recently announced its 2012 winners. Over 20,000 entries were submitted from 119 countries worldwide, and for the first time ever, more than half of the competition’s 68 winners are from outside the USA.

Established in 2002, ISC awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes to amateur and professional songwriters around the world. Past ISC winners include Gotye, The Band Perry, Kasey Chambers, Amanda Palmer, Gin Wigmore, King Charles, Kimbra, Passenger, Andrew Bird, and many more.


Songwriter, guitarist, and singer Jehangir Aziz Hayat of Peshawar, Pakistan has earned his place in ISC’s history by walking away with Third Place in the extremely competitive Adult Contemporary (AC) category for his song “What Makes Me Happy.” Belonging to a Pashtun family, he is the youngest of six children and started playing music as a young child to counteract his shyness. He released his first single, “Never Change,” in 2005, and it reached the national charts in its first week of release. Subsequently it was nominated for the Best Debut Award at the MTV Pakistan Awards. Since then, he has released his debut album Read Between the Lines, and the single “Pretend To Be” was released on MTV Pakistan, winning three awards at the Indie Music Channel Awards 2012.


“ISC’s mission is to inspire and promote greatness in the field of songwriting,” says Candace Avery, Founder and Director. “We are very pleased to honor Jehangir Aziz Hayat as a winner in this year’s International Songwriting Competition, and we hope that this will help to forward his career in music.”


For a complete list of 2012 ISC winners, to hear the winning songs, and to download low-res photos of all winners, go to


Winning ISC’s highest honor, the Grand Prize, is California native Joshua Hanson for his song “Monsters With Misdemeanors.” As the lead singer and songwriter of the award-winning indie folk/rock trio Yellow Red Sparks, Hanson’s ability of musical expression is eloquent and effortless, crafting and delivering poetic lyrics and melodies that elicit the slightest hint of bittersweet heartache. Yellow Red Sparks released their debut full-length CD in early 2013, and it has already garnered glowing reviews and the attention of music tastemakers.


ISC judges included high-profile recording artists, as well as seven record label presidents and other industry leaders, offering songwriters the unprecedented opportunity to have their music heard by influential decision-makers.


Recording Artists: Jeff Beck; Nas; Tom Waits; Bernie Taupin; Martina McBride; Duran Duran; Janelle Monae; Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks; Robert Smith (The Cure); Bruce Hornsby; Suzanne Vega; Michael W. Smith; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Mark Foster (Foster The People); Alejandro Sanz; Gerald Casale (Devo); Bill Evans; Anthony Hamilton; Brian Setzer; Avicci; Wynonna; Keane; Jeremy Camp; Tegan & Sara; McCoy Tyner; Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show); Francesca Batistelli; Craig Morgan; James Cotton; Robert Earl Keen; Black Francis (The Pixies); John Mayall; Anoushka Shankar; Chris Hillman (The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers); Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals); Los Temerarios; Billy Currington; Sandra Bernhard; Basement Jaxx; and Matt Thiessen (Relient K)


Industry Executives: Dan McCarroll (President, Capitol/Virgin Label Group); Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records); Alison Donald (Co-President, Columbia Records UK); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Richard Stumpf (President, Imagem Music US); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Albert Schilcher (VP Music & Music Mktg, MTV International); Angel Carrasco (Sr. VP A&R, Latin America, Sony/BMG); Dan Storper (President, Putamayo World Music Records and Putumayo Kids); Steve Smith (VP of A&R, Aware Records); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Lori Tieg (VP of Talent, VEVO); Dr. Demento (Radio Host, The Dr. Demento Show); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Kim Buie (Head of A&R, Thirty Tigers); Douglas C. Cohn (Sr. VP, Music Marketing & Talent, Nickelodeon); Allison B. Jones (VP of A&R, Big Machine Label Group); Jack Vaughn (VP, Comedy Central Records); Leib Ostrow (Founder/CEO, Music For Little People); and Jamie Masada (Owner, Laugh Factory)


Sponsors include: Presonus, Lowden, Marshall Amplification, Celebrity Access, Solid State Logic, Berklee College Of Music, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Airplay Direct, DiscMakers, Thayers,, The Music Business Registry, Independent Mastering, Indie Venue Bible, George Stein, Esq., Sonicbids, Songtrust, and Taxi


ISC is now accepting entries for 2013. Go to for more information and an entry form.

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