The accolades keep coming in for singer-songwriter Amy Rola.
Just 17 years old and an arts student at Eastwood Collegiate in Kitchener, the 2013 Wellesley Idol winner keeps busy balancing school with work on her upcoming debut album.
Now, the St. Agatha native is up for an International Songwriting Competition award, which will see her song, “I wish I was her” judged by renowned artists like Sarah McLachlan, Avicii and Bastille as well as industry heavyweights like Warner Bros. Records president Dan McCarroll.
“My mom actually entered me in the competition that she saw online,” Rola explained. “It’s a worldwide contest, and I believe there were something like 18,000 songs submitted and I made it to the top two per cent of those.”
There are numerous categories for different genres and age groups – Rola is nominated in the teen section – and winners will be determined by the celebrity judges and an online fan vote.
There’s a lot at stake, the grand prize is $25,000, while there is plenty of musical gear up for grabs for other top finishers.
And if Rola can take top spot in the teen category, she’ll receive a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berkelee College of Music’s summer performance program (in Boston, not to be confused with the California university).
“The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena,” the organization’s website says. “ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry.”
A talented musician on both the guitar and piano, Rola describes her style as a mix of pop and country. And her songwriting can range from light and catchy to deep and emotional.
“I wrote the song ‘I wish I was her’ last year, and it’s about a guy that I liked and he was dating my best friend, and I ended up writing a song about her and him,” Rola said. “It was kind of like an in the moment thing; it’s one of those things where I took the situation and exaggerated it to make it seem like it was very, very, very emotional. It was a little crush, and I took that idea and tried to make a song out of it.”
Rola is currently working on her debut album with producers at the Sound Distillery Studio in Kitchener. She is also part of KW Glee, which took top prize at Show Choir Canada April 11 in Toronto.
To keep up to date with Rola’s burgeoning music career, visit her website: www.amyrola.com.
To vote for the ISC people choice award, visit www.radioairplay.com/competition_votes/Teen.