The Results Out for the 26th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, the 27th Annual USA Songwriting Competition Kicks Off

Los Angeles songwriter Scott Oatley (aka Vân Scott) won the Overall Grand Prize as well as the first prize of the Gospel/Inspirational category of the 26th Annual USA Songwriting Competition with his song “What’s Coming Next?” He co-wrote the winning song with songwriters Jorge Mhondera and Jay Speight.

“I’m so glad to be awarded the Grand Prize in this year’s competition. I was an Honorable Mention winner 2 years ago; I see this as a huge improvement and testament to perseverance and dedication to my craft. It really means a lot to me to be validated and recognized in this way. It’s a happy byproduct of all the hard work that has brought me to this point”, said Scott Oatley.

Alt-pop singer-songwriter Scott Oatley aka Vân Scott has had the quiet success many only dream of. A sought-after singer in the Hollywood session scene, he’s had the opportunity to do vocal work for influential music producers such as Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Mike Elizondo, renowned film composers like Danny Elfman and Michael Giacchino, sung on blockbuster scores like La La Land and Jurassic World, been featured on ABC’s Black-ish, and performed as a background vocalist for The Voice, to name just a few of his credits.

Scott is currently a student at BerkleeNYC (Berklee College of Music’s brand new NYC campus at the legendary Power Station studios) working towards his Masters in Songwriting & Production. Earlier this year, he released his first full-length solo album, Almost Gone (AWAL / Oat Brand Music), featuring songs inspired by Scott’s experience of doubt and uncertainty as he left his full-time church position to pursue his own music. The 10-song debut includes “What’s Coming Next?” (Grand Prize winner of the 2021 USA Songwriting Competition) as well his singles “Starry Eyed,” “Die Young,” and “Poster Boy,” which won Honorable Mention in the 2020 USA Songwriting Competition. Sincere and true to himself, Vân Scott’s journey has only just begun. He hopes that his music encourages others to embrace who they are, and to be their best self.

Here is the list of winners:

Overall Grand Prize – “What’s Coming Next?” by Scott Oatley (Vân Scott), Jorge Mhondera & Jay Speight; Los Angeles, CA

Overall 2nd Prize – “Spotlight” by Spencer & Preston Dalton (Mr. Emotional); Nashville, TN

Overall 3rd Prize – “Break Itself” by Ava Suppelsa, Tristan Bushman & Michael August; Nashville, TN

Category Prize Winners (First Prize in each of the 15 categories):

DANCE/ELECTRONICA – “Spotlight” by Spencer Dalton & Mr Emotional; Nashville, TN

FOLK – “Cherokee Rose” by Stephanie Bettman & Luke Halpin; Denver, CO

ROCK/ALTERNATIVE – “Brightstar” by Ashley Doodkorte, Simone Dow, Alex Canion, Daniel Estrin & Scott Kay (Voyager); Perth, AUSTRALIA

LYRICS ONLY – “Lies From Truth” by Les Sampou; Boston, MA

CHILDREN – “You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” by Brian Banks & Phil Barlow (Outta The Books); Los Angeles, CA

NOVELTY/COMEDY – “Thicker In the Middle, Thinner On Top” by Justin Ezzi; Los Angeles, CA

HIP-HOP/RAP – “Light It Up” by Wilbur Levans; Demerara, GUYANA

LATIN – “Mi Nombre” by Estefania Sierra Martínez, Mery Hellen Urrego Franco, Juan Felipe Giraldo Molano (Nia Sierra); Bogota, COLOMBIA

R&B – “Got Me Dreaming” by Timothy Word (Sonny King) & Kristina Murrell; Reidsville, NC

INSTRUMENTAL – “To The Sky” by Todd Mosby; Chesterfield, MO

JAZZ – “Sequim Marimba” by Sims Delaney-Potthoff & Maggie Delaney-Potthof (Harmonious Wail); Madison, WI

GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL – “What’s Coming Next?” by Scott Oatley, Jorge Mhondera & Jay Speight; Los Angeles, CA

WORLD – “Dagen Flyr” by Stefan Brisland-Ferner, Traditional (Garmarna); Sundsvall, SWEDEN

COUNTRY – “Break Itself” by Ava Suppelsa, Tristan Bushman & Michael August; Nashville, TN

POP – “I’m Not Sorry” by Brooke Fair, Jamie Floyd & Hadley Donaldson; Memphis, TN

For the complete list of winners and finalists, go to:


USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television.


USA Songwriting Competition winner from 2017, Wouter Kellerman has earned himself a nomination at the upcoming Grammy Awards, taking place on 31 January 2022. From South Africa and now living in Australia, Wouter won the First Prize of the 2017 USA Songwriting Competition in the instrumental category with his song “Soweto Travels”. He is also the current 2021 USA Songwriting Competition Honorable Mention Award Winner.

Last year’s top winner (2020) Andrew Jannakos was signed to Sony Music Nashville/RCA Nashville records and hit #65 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. The 2019 and 2018 top winners had their winning songs receive radio airplay.

The 2017 top winner Pricilla Renae has her song recorded by Ariana Grande and that song hit #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts last year, her songs have been recorded by other big name artists such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Madonna, Selena Gomez and Chris Brown. Several of her songs have hit the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.

2013 winner American Authors were signed to Island Records, and hit #1 on the Billboard Charts and went Double Platinum.

In its landmark year, the 27th Annual USA Songwriting Competition is currently accepting entries. For more information, visit:

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