Young Songwriters Contest Winners
We would like to introduce to you the winners of this year’s Money Wolf Music Young Songwriters Contest. We got a lot of really good music from some very talented composers and the choice wasn’t easy. To quote one of our judges,
“I have even more faith in the future after hearing these songs.”
- Mark Manning, curator and host of the Midday Medley on KKFI 90.1 FM
However, in the end there were four songwriters that stood out above the rest. We were so impressed with their work that we really struggled to choose two for the grand prize spots, but choose we did and here they are:
17-year-old Ethan Ridings picked up his first guitar at 11 years old and he started playing professionally around his hometown of Kansas City at the age of 15. Ethan also sings- plays bass, piano, and drums while producing his own music in his home studio. Ethan has also opened up for and played with acts such as Restless Heart, Sawyer Brown, The Drew Davis Band, and even Johnny Lee. One of his latest singles “For You” has even been featured on several Local and national radio stations. Recently accepted into Berklee College of Music, Ethan is planning on attending during the Fall 2014 semester.
Connor Leimer, born and raised in KC, has been writing songs and playing guitar since the 7th grade. He is now, amazingly, just a Junior at Blue Valley North High School. His songs span from folk and acoustic to alternative and feel-good. In 2013 he released his first EP entitled “Like it’s June” while getting local radio play and even a performance on Kansas City Live television to promote it. You can download “Like it’s June” on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud or Bandcamp and don’t miss him at the Granada Theatre in Lawrence on March 1st.
As grand prize winners, both will receive a full registration to the International Folk Alliance Conference, being held here in KC, starting on February 19. On Saturday, February 22, they are each scheduled for a live performance on the Money Wolf Music: Showcase Kansas City stage at the conference. In addition, they will each receive free studio time to record a demo.
We would be remiss not to mention our runners-up: Bennett Weaver and Remy Styrk. These two are both immensely talented songwriters who are producing material that deserves to be heard. We will be working with both of them to record demos. We hope to make music from all four of our winners available this summer.