Wow, where do I even start? I’m a finalist for the 2023 International Singer Songwriters Association Awards in five categories!
After receiving nominations in six categories at the beginning of April, the poll stayed open until April 30 at midnight. This first round was all about voting. The fact that I got enough votes to be a finalist in five out of the six categories blows my mind. I don’t think this has fully sunk in yet, especially since this is my first time taking part in the awards.
This year, there were 777 nominees and over 38,500 votes. That’s wild to me. I’m beyond honored to be an ISSA Awards finalist and would love to say thank you to all my Butterflies for voting and getting me here.
My ISSA Awards Categories
Since I’m over-the-moon excited about being an ISSA Awards finalist, I’m going to share my five categories and what they mean to me.
First, Vocalist of the Year is a huge one. Since piano is my main instrument and my primary focus is songwriting, I’ve put a ton of work into improving as a singer over the past year or so. When I was first starting out, I lacked confidence in my voice and got extremely anxious while recording. I shied away from playing live for this reason, too. Now, recording vocals is one of my favorite parts of studio days and I enjoy live shows. I’ve grown so much as a vocalist from my debut single in 2019 and feel so grateful to be a finalist in this category.
Second, being up for Rising Star means everything to me. Looking back on my journey so far, I’ve had unforgettable moments and massive accomplishments. Through believing in myself and remaining persistent, I’ve taken steps forward. I’ve proven to myself that I belong in the music industry, and nothing can douse the flame burning in my heart. My hard work is starting to pay off, and being a finalist in this category in particular reflects this. Only up from here!
Third, I can’t begin to express how it feels to see It Is What It Is as a finalist for Album of the Year. I wrote this project to heal from toxic situations, and through the process, I found my center again and took back control of my life. The five songs on It Is What It Is are pieces of my heart. I’m so, so lucky to be up for Album of the Year with this project, and I can’t wait for It Is What It Is to reach new listeners from being recognized in such a magical way.
Fourth, “Afterthought” is a finalist for Single of the Year. While writing and recording this song, I threw genre rules out the window and went for what felt right. “Afterthought” is a fierce and sassy bop that blends many genres, including pop, country, funk, and rock. It’s a wonderful genre melting pot, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This song shares the message that I’m not going to let anyone treat me like an afterthought. Seeing one of my most self-empowering songs on the list for Single of the Year is beyond amazing. I knew “Afterthought” was a special one the moment I wrote it, and I had the most fun bringing it to life in the studio.
Finally, I have to talk about the category that may be the most meaningful to me, Songwriter of the Year. I don’t really have the words for this one. Songwriting is my whole world. This craft has helped me process experiences and heal from so much. It never fails to give me an outlet to express my emotions and share my story. Since I started songwriting, I’ve dedicated time to learning and growing, from taking courses and attending retreats to reading books and networking with other songwriters. Nothing is more magical than feeling the spark to write a new song. Sharing my music with the world these past few years has been a gift. I’ve always thought of myself as a songwriter first, so being up for this award is a dream come true.
Those are my five categories. They all mean so much to me, and I’m forever grateful to be an ISSA Awards finalist.
The Awards Show
The 2023 ISSA Awards are set to take place on August 5 at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center in Atlanta. This is the venue where the annual BMI Awards are held, which is truly something special. I’m getting starry eyes just thinking about it.
Does this mean I’ll get to dress up, walk the red carpet, and possibly win my first music award? It sure does!
I’d love to thank Tamanie Dove and the whole ISSA team for creating such a beautiful community and awards that celebrate independent music. I’m blessed to be a finalist this year and seriously can’t wait to see how my ISSA Awards adventure unfolds. For now, I’m going to celebrate this achievement and keep writing more songs. There’s so much on the horizon.