Kenyan-born songwriter J.S. Ondara was named the winner of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) 2022 taking home the grand prize package worth Ksh6.8 million ($50,000) including Ksh3.4 million ($25,000) in cash.
Ondara was among 15,000 entries from 150 countries globally. Some of the categories were rock, country, jazz, pop, and world music.
In the grand prize package, the artist is guaranteed two free releases, custom in-ear monitors, perpetual license of Filmora from different organisations.
The grand prize-winning song, "An Alien In Minneapolis," was from Ondara's most recent album Spanish Villager No. 3, and was described as characteristic of this stunning singer/songwriter and his artistry.
"Congratulations from ISC to Ondara!" wrote the competition organisers.
Furthermore, Candace Avery ISC founder and director stated, " Ondara's music is a true reflection of the diversity and richness of the human experience."
On his part, Ondara was overwhelmed and grateful for winning the competition.
"I am very humbled and speechless. I do not really have the right words at this moment but I am extremely grateful," he stated.
The 30-year-old grew up in Kenya listening to rock music before he relocated to the US after winning the green card lottery in 2013.
While in Minneapolis US, he taught himself how to play guitar and started performing at open mic nights and small venues.
In 2019, Ondara was nominated for a Grammy Award with his debut album Tales of America under the Best Africana Album category.
Mostly, some of his songs are based on the life of an immigrant in America.