They came from Australia, Sweden, Hawaii and, of course, the continental US. Women, men, children of every race and background and all with a song to sing. As a songwriter myself and contest judge, I was torn more times than I can count between songs that were amazing, songs that had so much potential and songwriters who let their heartbeat give rhythm to words I was lucky enough to hear. To every contestant in the CREATE Songwriter Search, thank you! Sending that box of finalists to Provident Label Group was like sending your kids to school and wondering who’s gonna win the talent show. You love them all and to you, they’re all winners. But in the end, the top songs, as selected by the label, did emerge. A couple from a church worship leader, one from an Australian country doctor, some from disgruntled Christians and musicians come back around and one from a traveling worship leader up in Michigan. The winners were diverse. The songs were powerful. The stories are too. Congratulations to Jason Dyba, Joe Romeo, Tommee Profitt, Jeremy Drinkwine and Erik Bledsoe, our winner and runner-ups. Read on to learn more about these faithful artists who were so kind as to share their gifts with us. And of course, take a listen or two. We think you’ll like what you hear! And click here to hear dozens of other amazing song-entries from CREATE 2011! Jason Dyba grew up in Chicago, first learning how to play piano at age 10. Even from those first musical moments, Jason had always felt a natural inclination to compose music and write songs. In 2003, he moved to Nashville, where he attended Belmont University and graduated with a music degree. From there, Jason was hired as a musician at Long Hollow Baptist Church and eventually became their Creative Director, overseeing all music and production elements for all three of their campuses. Story Behind the Song: “What the World Needs” This particular song was co-written with a good friend of mine, Bo Jennings. He’s the one that suggested the hook line, ‘what the world needs from me is You.’ I thought that was such a simple yet powerful statement about evangelism being something that God empowers us to do, pouring out of us by His Spirit. My sinful nature is ever driving me towards complacency, so this song is sort of an anti-self anthem: all my good ideas and strategies will not save the world. But the power of Christ can save the world! So that’s what I’m going to live by: Christ’s power in and through me. – Jason Dyba Jason’s song, “Revelation 5” was also a runner-up. Learn more about Jason and hear more of his music at Click here to listen to “What the World Needs” Click here to listen to “Revelation 5” The Songwriter Search 2011 CREATE The winners and the stories behind the songs by Caroline Lusk WiNNER Jason Dyba