by Greta Yeoman
Waimate’s Kaylee Bell has claimed the best country song award in the International Unsigned Only songwriting competition.
The South Canterbury musician was one of more than 9000 entrants in the global songwriting competition, which is open to artists of any age as long as they are not signed to a major label.
Bell won the award for her song Getting Closer, which was co-written with Morgan Evans and Lindsay Rimes.
It was one of two songs she entered in the competition and the other, Wasted On You, made the semifinals.
Bell previously won the competition’s Grand Prize in 2015 for her song Pieces, which was written with Jared Porter.
She was also awarded an honourable mention in the 2014 competition for Little Bit Small
The second-place country song in this year’s event was awarded to American act Virginia Creek, for Kiss Me Sober
The other nine artists who received honourable mentions in the country section were from America, except for one Canadian act.
Two Auckland acts made honourable mentions, Miller Yule for Diamonds in the Adult Contemporary section and the Phil Edwards Band for 6am in the folk/singer-songwriter section.
Other Kiwi musicians in the semifinals list included Andrew Masseurs, of Wellington, Ciaran McMeeken, of Dunedin, Jenny Mitchell, of Gore, Wellington rockers Sea Mouse, Auckland-based Spencer and Sequoia and Nelson duo Sonoraw.