In a modest Facebook reveal, local hip-hop artist Johnny Jr. recently confessed to winning quite the incredible honor. “I’ve been trying to keep it to myself (don’t ask why because I don’t even know lol),” he said. “Last Wednesday, I received an email saying that I won the 2016 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Hip-Hop category.”

The contest was judged by such names as George Clinton, Jimmy Cliff, Sheila E., and 311.

“I thought it was a scam ’til I did actual research behind the contest,” Johnny Jr. admits. “At that point I was speechless. Didn’t know what to do or who to tell.”

The song that got the judges’ attention? The fittingly titled, “Keep the Dream Alive,” off his second mixtape, Jah, released last December. The track was produced by Tone Jonez.

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is an international songwriting contest that’s been around since 1997.  Open to amateur and professional songwriters, the JLSC features two sessions with 72 finalists, 24 grand prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners, and 1 “Song of the Year.” All entry fees from the contest help support the non-profit John Lennon Educational Tour Bus mobile recording studio.

Johnny Jr. will move on to the next round of competition beginning April 1. Stay tuned to for further contest and new music announcements.

Oh, and check out Johnny Jr.’s tribute to Atlanta’s late great Bankroll Fresh, released on the artist’s death anniversary, March 4, and produced by NBOMe.

Or the track he double-teamed with Matt Monday entitled “Give ‘N Go,” produced by AustinMarc. Johnny Jr. said, “Killed this track and passed it to Matt Monday. That’s a a Give ‘N Go.”

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