Lorde will soon be passing judgment on the world's songwriters. But in a good way.

She has been named as one the superstar judges for this year's International Songwriting Competition (ISC), now in its 15th year.

Lorde is in certainly in good company. The judging panel consists of about 40 established, celebrated and hugely respected musicians, including legends like Tom Waits, Chris Cornell, India Arie and Ziggy Marley, as well as a similar number of top-level industry figures, including the President of Warner Bros. Records, the CEO of Atlantic Records and the President of Roadrunner Records.

What's cool about this competition is that it's open to anyone from anywhere in the world.


Established artists can - and do - enter, as can unsigned and unknown musicians hoping for that big break.

So if you ever wanted to get your music in front of the industries biggest wigs then the ISC offers you that shot. Entries for the 2017 competition have opened.

Although it sounds daunting to be competing against the world, it's not an impossible feat. Little New Zealand punches well above its weight with former winners include Kimbra and Gin Wigmore.

The list of finalists for 2016 has just been announced and our local musos are well represented across five categories.

So best of luck to the ex-Goodshirt member and current indie-pop artist Gareth Thomas; the South Pacific fusion group Te Vaka, most recently heard on Disney's Moana soundtrack; the children's music artist Kath Bee; blues man Darren Watson; and Dunedin's Americana musician Matt Joe Gow.

May Lorde have mercy on all y'all songs.

What: The International Songwriting Competition