Saipan songwriter and musician Nikkie Ayuyu has won People’s Choice in the IT&E Song Challenge, according to a company statement yesterday.
His song, Life in Motion, received close to 9,000 votes. Some 20,000 residents of the CNMI and Guam voted for People’s Choice in the IT&E Song Challenge.
Now 24 years old, Ayuyu has been making and playing music since he was in the seventh grade. His instruments of choice are the guitar and ukulele and he dabbles in the keyboard and bass.
For Ayuyu, music is a great form of self-expression. He tries to write music as often as he can, letting the moment guide him toward making a great piece.
“For me, it’s all about the moment,” he said. “When I try too hard to write music, usually I don’t end up finishing it at that time. Sometimes it takes a long time to finish one song. When music comes to me, it keeps coming. But when it stops, it stops. But that isn’t a bad thing. Music takes time.”
Ayuyu was awarded $500 in cash and a $300 gift card for musical equipment. Ayuyu will also get the opportunity to perform at an IT&E sponsored event to be announced in the future.
A panel of judges comprising IT&E and music experts in the CNMI and Guam selected the Top 8 finalists to compete for People’s Choice. Community judges of the IT&E Song Challenge were Harold Easton, faculty member of Speech and Drama at Marianas High School and board member of the Friends of the Arts; Victorious Falan, radio personality at i94; Dr. Randall Johnson, professor of Music and division chair at the University of Guam; Max Ronquillo, Jr., music director and chief band master, Omega of the Guam Territorial Band; and Gary Sword, radio host at KKMP.
The other finalists were Frank Candaso, Travis, Kaliga, Ellery Sablan, Benny and Friends, Coco + The Way Cool Heroes, DC Crew, and PROVIDENCE.
“We’d like to thank our community judges, the thousands of residents that voted in support of our local artists and the musicians that produced songs for the IT&E Song Challenge,” said Rubyjane Buhain-Redila, Brand and Public Relations manager at IT&E. “The response from all is a testament to the universality of music and we’re glad to provide a platform that showcases their talent.”
People’s Choice voting took place from Oct. 7 to 13. The IT&E Song Challenge was launched this past September to find its next theme. By inviting the community to participate, IT&E sought to find a song that represents the company and the people it serves in the CNMI and Guam. (IT&E)