January 28, 2013

ASCAP Member Debra Gussin Wins SongDoor Competition

Debra Gussin

Debra Gussin

The winners of the SongDoor 2012 International Songwriting Competition have been announced, and the Grand Award was presented to ASCAP member Debra Gussin and Rik Howard of Los Angeles, CA, for their song, "Is That You?," which also won in the Christian category.

“Debra was a finalist in two categories (Christian and Soft Rock) and won them both,” says SongDoor president Tony Zotta. “She also had two Honorable Mentions. Debra is a force to be reckoned with in the songwriting world. Whatever the secret is, she has discovered it."

"I'm just beyond thrilled and honored with everything. For someone who is supposed to be good with words, I'm really speechless," says Gussin, a former producer for the Dr. Phil show as well as the Daytime Emmy Awards, Wolfgang Puck, Fox Sports News and ABC’s Wide World of Sports. A chance meeting with Marty Panzer, Barry Manilow's long-time collaborator, led her to win the Concord Records & Barry Manilow Songwriting Scholarship — four times — and gave her the confidence she needed to leave the world of TV producing and begin songwriting full-time.

ASCAP member Jamie Nattier was the runner-up in the Grand Award race, winning the Country category with his song, "Love Grows Wild Out Here." Judge Bill Shore (who has written hits for Garth Brooks, George Strait, Sawyer Brown and many others) described it as "lyrically very strong, with a positive message and a good feel." Nattier says the song is just an expression of his life and surroundings, which are literally a large corn and soybean farm in southern Illinois.

To learn more about Gussin and hear all of the 2012 winning songs, click here.

As winner of this year's Grand Award, Gussin and Howard win a single-song publishing contract, a one-year Platinum membership to SongU.com, a full-band demo cut at a high-profile studio on Nashville's Music Row, Masterwriter software, a Songsinc membership, Masterwriter software and a host of other prizes valued at more than $7,900.

SongDoor is an annual event designed by songwriters, for songwriters. The competition is open to amateur and professional songwriters worldwide. Judges include seasoned music industry producers, artists and engineers who have worked with such artists as Britney Spears, 'NSYNC, Neil Young, Lynrd Skynrd, Jimmy Buffett, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and many others. For more information, visit www.songdoor.com.