With a pair of hit singles under her belt, Diana Williamson knows what a rush it can be to hear her songs on the radio.
She scored a No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Dance chart with “Freak Like Me” in 2010, written for model and singer Mayra Veronica.
It was the second time Williamson helped pen a top 10 dance hit. Her first came in 2002 with “Awakening,” released by Sasha Lazard.
The songwriter, originally from Brampton and now resides in Port Colborne, set out on her own years ago to make it in Los Angeles.
“In those days, I was very bold doing what I did. I was going to L.A. because that’s where the music was happening,” Williamson explains.
“In Canada, I wasn’t getting a response to my music, so I went not knowing a soul to the ‘Creative Mecca’ of music.”
Williamson paid her dues, working a variety of minimum wage jobs while she sent out cassette tape after cassette tape with her demos to get noticed.
Her hard work eventually paid off and her big break came when she had an opportunity to work with producer Bob Wiseman, a keyboardist for Blue Rodeo.
Williamson went on to work with many famous songwriters including Narada Michael Walden, who wrote songs for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Wanting to give other songwriters a chance to have their time to shine, Williamson has launched the International Songwriters Day Contest to celebrate International Song Writer’s Day on April 9.
The contest runs until March 25 and entries can be submitted online at https://filmfreeway.com/InternationalSongwritersDaySongContest.
Some of the prizes include a consultation with award-winning author and founder of the legendary Music Connection Magazine, Michael Dolan, ADK microphones, a chance to pitch music to film, TV and record labels through Broadjam, music business directories from The Music Registry, Indie Bible, Music Industry Connection, the “101 Tips and Tricks of Successful Songwriting” book, passes to the Springboard Festival Memphis and publicity on social media blasts.
The contest is open to songwriters all around the world, from all levels of experience. This year’s theme is “Inspiration” as judges are looking for songs that inspire —think new beginnings, second chances and starting over. Songs can be ballads but they have to have an element of hope or redemption in the storyline, to fit the theme. Production and performance aren’t a consideration. Songs are judged for melody, lyrics and originality.
The songs will be judged by music industry professionals Bruce Sugar, Darryl Ross, Barry Coffing, Alan Roy Scott and Mike Gormley along with Williamson.
She encourages residents from across Niagara, including Fort Erie, to enter the contest.
“I keep hearing there is a lot of creative people in Crystal Beach and around Fort Erie. I think this is a great opportunity for people to have their songs heard,” she says.
“You never know where you’ll find undiscovered talent, that’s what’s so exciting.”