Brooklyn Jewish Songwriting Competition to Choose Winners Within Days
By Yehudit Garmaise
Two weeks after launching a Jewish Songwriting Competition on June 12, Brooklyn music producer Moishy Goldstein received a whopping 335 submissions from men, women, and children: ages 8 to 78, from more than 70 communities worldwide.
"The response was way greater than what could have ever been expected, which just emphasizes the need for opportunities like this one," said Goldstein, the owner of Music Studio NYC who launched the contest. "There is so much talent out there that sadly never sees the light of day."
Since Motzei Shabbos on June 25, when entries had to be submitted, Goldstein, along with music legends Avraham Fried and composer Yossi Green, have been carefully listening to hundreds of entries from men, from whom two winners will be chosen.
Singer Bracha Jaffe and singer-songwriters Esther Freeman and Chaya Kogan are choosing the best fast song and slow song submitted by women, who accounted for 42% of all the entries.
Winners might be announced in the next few days, but he “can’t really promise a date,” because wants every judge to get the opportunity to listen to every entry.
"With 335 submissions to go through, it will take a while for us to properly hear every submission," said Goldstein. "Every submission is someone's heart and soul. The songs cannot just be listened to at 2x with half an ear.
“Every song, and the story behind the song, needs to be intently listened to with an ear for its real potential. So we cannot yet say how long it will take but rest assured, every song will receive the full attention it deserves, IyH."
The four winners will get to produce their songs professionally at no cost in a process that involves: music creation, vocals recording, mixing, and album art.
“Runners-up will receive significant discounts to record their songs at the studio to help share these beautiful compositions with the world,” said Goldstein, who used a computer program to take the time to break down the words songwriters used most often in their lyrics.
“I” was the word, perhaps unsurprisingly, most used: appearing 1,520 times in the 355 entries.
“Hashem,” appeared 208 times, “Thank you,” appeared 65 times, and of course, “ay, ay, ay,” appeared 18 times.
Among the words that were used only once were: “normal,” “admit,“ “self-love,” “dignity,” and “egg.”
“Some people described bitter situations that can be best expressed through song, while others’ songs were expressions of hope, gratitude, and tefillos to Hashem,” said Goldstein, about the inspirations for their songs the participants were optionally asked to share.