Second- and third-place winners for the contest have also been chosen. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, the two affiliated nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy, in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids' Above the Influence campaign, will honor each contest winner in late January and early February with exclusive GRAMMY experiences and prizes. The GRAMMY Foundation offers a range of GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs for high school students, teachers and schools, along with archiving and preservation initiatives. MusiCares provides emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music industry in need.
The contest asked young musicians, ages 14–18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance abuse.
"We are honored to partner with the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares to recognize these creative and talented teen musicians," said Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. "We're thrilled to recognize these individuals for shedding light on the realities of substance use disorders and what being above the influence of negative pressures means to them."
"The Teens Make Music Contest is an engaging and effective mechanism that encourages young people to consider and give voice to the issues around substance abuse," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Foundation, and MusiCares. "The submissions are very compelling across the board, and they bring the challenges of addiction and the paths to recovery into focus."
First-place winner David, a student at Davidson Academy in Nashville, Tenn., submitted "Deep Snow," a song that metaphorically compares snow to addiction and focuses on how easily a person can drown in its depths. Yet there is hope as the lyrics reflect a cry for redemption: "Lay me down to rest. Alone in the deep snow. Feel the cool, the rush, the chill, the numb, the kiss of the deep snow. Flurries luring in their ear. Hold still. It will all be over soon. Swallowed up in emptiness. Left as bare as the surface of the moon. … Is it too late to fight it? Take me back. Save me from being buried alive, stolen from life."