Hear Spanish Songwriting Contest Winners

By 
Allen Bush
March 16, 2009
Daniel Dayz is the Berklee Canta en Espanol first-place winner. He is from Mexico City. Dayz has also won songwriting awards from BMI.
Cristal Marie, the second-place winner from Santo Domingo, has recorded two albums and been nominated for two awards that are the Dominican equivalent of the Grammys.
Bogota's Joel Waldman, third-place winner, has also composes music for theater.
Fourth-place winner Rique Colon, from San Juan, won an Independent Music Award for his 2007 album Sentido Tropical.
Fifth-place winner and Mexico-city native Juan Corpus (second from right with his band Tornasol) has been performing and recording since he was 9.

Five Berklee College of Music students and alumni from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Colombia have been named the winners of the first Berklee Canta en Español singer/songwriter contest, presented by Berklee College of Music and SGAE. Winners received cash prizes totaling $10,500. Judged by renowned artists and producers from the Latin music community, the contest awarded $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and $1,000 to the remaining finalists.

The winners are:

First place: "Aunque Falte el Aire" by Daniel Dayz, alumnus from Mexico City

Daniel Dayz's "Aunque Falte el Aire"

Second: "Confieso" by Cristal Marie, alumna from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Cristal Marie's "Confieso"

Third: "Hacia Atras" by Joel Waldman, student from Bogotá, Colombia

Joel Waldman's "Hacia Atras"

Fourth: "Amor Febril" by Rique Colon, alumnus from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Rique Colon's "Amor Febril"

Fifth: "Noche Azul" by Juan Corpus, student from Mexico City

Juan Corpus's "Noche Azul"

Berklee music business/management student and contest organizer Javier Samayoa, a Guatemala native, received nearly 50 submissions by Berklee artists from 10 Latin American countries. Styles ranged from pop, rock, folk, and jazz to salsa, merengue, bossa nova, and house. Judges based their sores on performance, creativity, and musicianship.

Judging were Aureo Baqueiro, alumnus, recording artist, producer, and composer (Sin Bandera, Aleks Syntek); Edgar Cortazar, songwriter and lyricist (Luis Miguel, Cristian Castro); Benny Faccone, alumnus, producer, and engineer (Sting, Mana, Soda Stereo); Daniel Freiberg, alumnus, producer, and songwriter (Marc Anthony, Paquito D'Rivera); KC Porter, producer and engineer (Ricky Martin, Santana, Selena); Nir Seroussi, alumnus and VP of Marketing and A&R, Sony BMG Los Angeles.

The Spanish language songwriting competition is a result of a cultural partnership between Berklee and SGAE, the Spanish performing rights organization whose members include artistic creators around the globe.

Berklee has a current population of over 130 students from 22 Latin American countries and Spain, and an alumni pool of more than 700 musicians from 25 Spanish-speaking countries.

About the winners:

Daniel Dayz (aka Daniel Diaz) is a 25-year-old Mexican-American singer/songwriter and pianist. Raised in Mexico City, he was born into an artistic family of actors, musicians, writers, and painters. In 2005, Dayz enrolled at Berklee, where he honed his writing, performance, and entrepreneurial skills. In 2007, Dayz was awarded the prestigious BMI Foundation Inc/Peermusic Latin Scholarship for his song "Todo Lo Que Necesito," at the BMI Latin Awards, in Las Vegas. After graduating from Berklee later that year, he won first place in the BMI Foundation/Pepsi Music Enrichment Fund national songwriting competition. Dayz recently finished recording his debut album Aunque Falte el Aire in New York. It was cowritten and produced by award-winning producer/songwriter Jeffry Fischmanand mixed by 2007 Latin Grammy Producer of the Year Sebastian Krys.

Cristal Marie is an alumna singer/songwriter from the Dominican Republic. She is best known for singing the title song from Telemundo's "Pecados Ajenos" (the sins of others) as well as her ability to sing not only in Spanish, but also in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Finnish, and Japanese. With just two albums, she has twice been nominated for Singer of the Year at the Casandra Awards, the Dominican Republic's equivalent of the Grammys. She was also the youngest finalist for the title of Woman of the Year from the national newspaper Diario Libre. She has performed with such artists as Armando Manzanero, Maridalia Hernandez, and Adalgisa Pantaleon. Marie studied performance and music business at Berklee.

Joel Waldman is a student from Bogotá, Colombia, whose grandparents emigrated from Poland before World War II. He started teaching himself piano at 5, and at 9 he was singing jingles for TV and radio. Soon he was writing his own songs and teaching himself guitar, which became his favorite instrument. At 19 he was hired as the official chantor for the High Holidays by the Jewish community in Medellin, Colombia. Waldman enrolled at Berklee in 2006 after receiving a scholarship. He is currently majoring in contemporary writing and production. In 2007 he composed the music for the play The Trial of God, which was performed off Broadway in New York and select theaters in Boston.

Rique Colon is a guitarist and singer/songwriter from Puerto Rico. At Berklee, he completed a degree in professional music, after studying classical guitar from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico in San German. Both experiences connected him with important figures in the music scene and helped develop his performance, arranging, and composition skills. Colon's album Sentido Tropical was a 2007 Vox Populi winner at the Independent Music Awards, where it was also a finalist in the Latin Album category.

Juan Carlos Corpus, a student from Mexico City, was born in Boston, while his parents were studying at Berklee and Boston Conservatory. The son of a musical family, his career began early, at 4, when he recorded "Los tomatitos del Fuerte," a popular commercial jingle in Mexico and Latin America. He recorded his first original song at 9, at 13 he was leading his own band, and at 15 he was invited to sign a record deal and also began producing music for other artists. Corpus received a scholarship to Berklee after studying at Fermatta, the college's partner school in Mexico City. He is currently majoring in music production & engineering and playing with Tornasol, a band he formed with other Berklee students Michel Heyaca and Milo Coello, who both co-wrote the winning song "Noche Azulwith" with Corpus. He plans to have his own company specializing in management, publishing, and production.