SAS Judges are experienced songwriters, musicians, and industry professionals that will pick the winners of the competition and offer detailed feedback on your song submission.
Asha Adia Santee
Asha Santee’s passion for music and art have taken her all over the world as she has been asset to several bands across the DMV such as The Peace & Body Roll Duo BOOMscat, The CooLots, The Huda Asfour Trio, Grammy Nominee Carolyn Malachi, and Grammy Award Winning, Mya. Asha currently has three solo projects on all streaming platforms including her latest release, GINKGO.
Shea Diamond, who, with a gritty mix of sounds that digs into everything from R&B, rock and hip-hop to blues, folk and gospel, makes music that speaks to the universal experience while sharing from her very personal one. Shea (pronounced she-uh) has always had to fight to live her truth. Indeed, she has fought to live her very she-ness. As a black transgender woman, that’s just what she does every time she walks out into the world–representing herself and amplifying the voices and experiences of her community. But now, after all of her struggle, this game-changing new singer-songwriter is living her dream, with an HBO theme song, performing for presidential candidates and notable super fans like Sam Smith and Demi Lovato singing her praises every chance they get.
Since the release of the GLAAD Media Award nominated EP, Shea and Tranter have co written two new stand alone singles. The ever so timely Don’t Shoot, and I Am America, the protest celebration that proclaims “my existence is a riot!” The latter serves as the theme song to HBO’s We’re Here and is getting a lot of early Emmy buzz.
Kai Farr – GenderCool Representative
Kai is a high school senior from Upstate New York. Kai loves theater, film, and music. He has been writing songs for as long as he can remember, and recently had his song, He’s Not You, officially produced. Kai is extremely involved in musical theater; his most recent role as Shrek in his high school production of Shrek The Musical. Kai has also worked with MTI’s iTheatrics program, debuting the role of Captain Hook in a New York City production of Peter Pan Jr. Kai is the Student Council President at his high school, as well as a member of the Building Leadership Team and District Emergency Response Team. As a Gendercool Champion, Kai has spoken to countless companies on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Identifying as transgender, Kai sees his identity as a unique contribution to the next generation workforce. Kai has spoken at the Out&Equal Workplace summit (the largest LGBTQ+ conference in the world) and has been featured in USA Today. Kai plans to pursue a major in Film and Television when he attends college next fall.
Nicole Talbot – GenderCool Representative
Nicole Talbot is a singer and musical theater actress with Broadway aspirations. She is a rising freshman at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theater.
Nicole is a passionate advocate for transgender youth and played a major role in passing and protecting anti-discrimination legislation in Massachusetts. She is a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Youth Ambassador and has been featured in documentaries produced by HRC, Associated Press, NowThis and .them. Nicole has conducted countless interviews for major national media outlets including the New York Times, NBC News, Teen Vogue, Boston Herald and Megyn Kelly Today. She is also a founding Champion of the GenderCool Project, a national campaign that is changing the narrative about transgender youth. Nicole was also featured in episode 10 of “I Am Jazz,” Season 5. In 2020, she was named the first recipient of the Trans Club of New England’s Trans Community Visionary Award.
Each song is judged based on four main elements: music, lyrics, connection to the cause, and marketability. The judges each score the songs with a score of 1-5 for each part of the criteria.