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Liverpool’s John Lennon-inspired International Song for Kindness contest receives over 15k entries from 18 countries

2 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Liverpool’s John Lennon-inspired International Song for Kindness contest receives over 15k entries from 18 countries

An international song contest launched last year in memory of John Lennon to inspire new songs about kindness has received more than 1500 entries from 18 countries.

International charity started the search for the world’s best new song of hope and optimism on what would have been the former Beatle’s 80th birthday with the aim to raise spirits in what has been a traumatic 18 months for the planet.

Inspired by John Lennon’s global hit and peace anthem, Imagine, hope to unearth new songs that embody a message of kindness, offering musicians an exciting opportunity to gain international exposure, a showcase concert at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club for finalists and a fantastic prize for the ultimate winner.

The top 10 songs will be announced in September before being performed live at the Cavern on October 9th 2021, John Lennon’s birthday. In addition to receiving a great deal of international exposure, the winner will have their song professionally produced, mixed and mastered by record producer and head of TUFF Music, Daniel Xander at Liverpool’s iconic Motor Museum studio known for the likes of Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys, Ben Howard and Jake Bugg. was founded by Anna Prior and Dr Shamender Talwar in 2011 to bridge community sectors, organisations and government, rebuilding social integration and global community cohesion.

Its mission has found support from global leaders and public figures, including former US President Barack Obama; HM Queen Elizabeth II; Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; and President of Iceland, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson.’s patron is His Holiness Pope Francis.

Dr Shamender Talwar said:

“The response to our call for songs that promote kindness has been immense and we are delighted that it has resonated with so many people.

“We are living in challenging times, where kindness can seem to be in short measure and so it is as important as ever that we come together to face them as a global community – as John Lennon wrote more than 50 years ago in Imagine, for ‘the world to live as one’.”

Dr Shamender Talwar has also announced that the difficult task of judging the huge number of songs will be led by the inspiring Knoydart Songwriting Retreat which brings together a collective of multi-platinum selling songwriters, music managers and a BAFTA award-winning producer.

Part of the judging panel are the immensely successful Shelly Poole and Paul Statham who have written tracks for superstar artists such as Janet Jackson, Dido, Paloma Faith, Kylie Minogue, Marc Ronson, Jack Savoretti, Gary Barlow, Massive Attack and Simple Minds.

Judges will be considering the theme, the lyrics, melody, composition and originality as they whittle the entries down to the top 50, before more judges are brought on board to decide on the final 10.

Janey de Nordwall

Janey de Nordwall, Knoydart Songwriting Retreat co-founder said:

“One of the positives to come out of this last year is that songwriters have been able to have the time and space to spend writing and we have certainly seen a huge burst in artistic creativity. It’s commonly accepted that being involved in the creative arts can have great benefits to an individual’s wellbeing and mental health.”

Knoydart Songwriting Retreat co-founder and Liverpool-based judge Duncan Lewis added:

“Helping songwriters to develop their writing skills and craft is at the heart of what we do at the Knoydart Songwriting Retreat. Being located in such a spectacular part of Scotland and working with our award-winning mentors, allows them to become very mindful and fully immerse themselves in the process.

“It’s a real honour to be involved in the judging process of this brilliantly conceived contest and it’s very exciting. We can’t wait to start and then announce the next line up of well-known expert judges.”

The contest is being supported by the City of Liverpool and Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said:

“We might have lost our UNESCO world heritage status this year, but this city was built on music.

“I am so proud to be working with, the Cavern Club, LIPA, Strawberry Fields and TUFF Music to keep our music heritage alive, organisations that stand for the unity of people, and something I’m sure John Lennon would be incredibly proud of.”

Bill Heckle, The Cavern Club’s owner said:

“It’s great to be helping to inspire the next generation of artists around the world and who knows, we might unearth a future star or two.

“To have Liverpool and the Cavern hosting this celebration of new music inspired by one of John Lennon’s greatest songs on what would have been his 81st birthday, is a reflection of how timeless his peace and unity message is and how vital it is to keep it going.”

For more information on the contest and to find out who makes the top 50, please visit


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