We all have that one song that we always fall back to. Whether it’s a song that reminds us of a special someone, takes us back to our favorite place, or simply brings a smile to our face—there’s something about it that makes it our song. We want to know what that something is for you!
We’re asking Vocal+ creators to share the untold story behind a particular song that changed their lives. This challenge is all about uncovering the unique meaning of your favorite tunes—does this song remind you of your father-daughter wedding dance? Did you meet your fiancé at a concert when this song was playing? Did you reconnect with an old friend through your love for this song? Tell us what makes this song a memorable one, and be sure to include the song in your story—we want to give it a listen too!
At the end of the challenge, on February 28th, we’ll reveal our winner and two runners up. We’re excited to reward the three creators that blow us away with their stories. These creators will win:
Grand prize: $5,000 USD
Second place: $2,500 USD
Third place: $1,000 USD
We’ll also share what you create on our social media profiles, so be sure to follow our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to catch our winners.
In order for you to enter this challenge, you must be a Vocal+ member. Not a member? Join now to unlock more challenges and push your creativity to new limits.
For your story to be eligible, it must be between 600 and 5,000 words, and adhere to our Community Guidelines. You must embed the song you’re writing about, which you can learn how to do here. Stories published on Vocal and entered into the contest up until February 28th will be entered for consideration.
To be eligible to win the grand prize, second place, or third place prizes, you must be over the age of 13 and residing in a country where Stripe is available at time of entry. A complete list of countries where Stripe is available can be found here—winners will need to have a Stripe account created and connected in order to receive the prizes. For this reason, entrants located outside of any of these 32 countries will not be eligible to win.
Jessica Angeles is the Creator Relations Manager at Anchor, an all-in-one podcasting platform under Spotify where creators can record, edit, distribute and monetize their podcast for free. She ensures that top creators have the best experience on Anchor while also helping them grow their podcast. Before that, she led music partnerships at Tumblr, working with musicians to create digital and IRL moments to connect with their fans in a unique and authentic way.
Laura Frias works as an A&R for AWAL, Kobalt’s alternative to the traditional music label. AWAL’s roster ranges from new, breaking artists to global successes, including Kim Petras, Snoh Aalegra, FINNEAS, Steve Lacy, girl in red, Little Simz, Tom Misch, Yeek, and more. Since moving to Los Angeles from Lima, Perú in 2012, Laura has been passionate about paving a space for cultural diversity in music, and strives to empower artists to find their voice in the industry.
Lea Orlando is the Head of Music and Culture at Tumblr. She currently heads the team that brings all of your favorite artists’ Tumblrs to life—from partnering with artists including the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, 5SOS & more, she’s constantly bringing fans closer to their idols, both online and offline. Music connects people and she knows how to make these connections extra special.
How it’s judged
We’re looking for stories that take us to that memory, place, person, or whatever it might be that your song represents to you. Share with our judges all the details and memories that make this song so special. Our judges will look for quality, but also creativity and your ability to accurately respond to our prompt. For more on their judging criteria, click here. Read the Official Rules here.
How to enter
- Create your story on Vocal.
- When submitting your story for review, select Submit to a challenge and select Behind the Beat.
- When your story has been approved, it will appear under Submissions on this page.
Submit an existing story:
If This, Then That Challenge Winners
Together with our partners at Decider, we asked our entire community to get inspired and create stories that shared the perfect formula to help viewers decide what to watch next by taking a show or movie that most people know and love, and making recommendations for fellow fans from there. After much deliberation, our sponsor and our judges have spoken.
Little Black Book Challenge Winners
We celebrated the first anniversary of Vocal Challenges with our biggest partnership, and our biggest prize yet. Together with our partners at Moleskine, we asked our entire community to get inspired and create short fiction stories involving a small black book, in which someone who unexpectedly comes into $20,000—for the chance to win $20,000 themselves.
How I Won $1,000 in My First Vocal Fiction Challenge
I recently won the first Vocal Challenge I’ve ever entered, and it was a fiction Challenge! I have to admit—I was shocked when I got that congratulatory email for my short story, Pinky Promise.