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GLOBAL – Henry Daw is one of Nokia’s Sound Designers. He believes that ringtones can and should be “elegantly crafted compositions”.


Get strumming

That’s why he’s worked with the rest of the sound design team to launch a Nokia crowdsourcing competition giving people the chance to create ringtones that reflect local music cultures and style. The competition runs until 17 April, and the winners will be announced on 24 April.


Nokia already has a long history of creating local ringtones that reflect different music from around the world – but now people can have a go for themselves. 


There are five separate contests running over four weeks for China, India, Latin America, South East Asia and Pacific, and Middle East and Africa – with a prize fund totaling over $37,000. In addition, the competition provides the participants with a unique opportunity to get their work into millions of Nokia handsets.



The Nokia Sound Design team will listen to all the entries and make a final selection of five ringtones for each region. To help guide the selection, everyone is encouraged to rate the content throughout the duration of the contest.


Winners will each pick up $1,500 in prize money, and their tunes will sit alongside existing Nokia ringtones in the regions they were created for.


The secret is to be bold and creative, Henry Daw says.


It’s fair to say that after nine years writing ringtones in Nokia’s fully-equipped London music studio, he’s an expert. Although most composing is done on a computer, there are still instruments lying around for live sessions.


The competition winning tunes can be “music, or with no determinable melody,” Daw says, but should avoid lyrics or singing. The judging team is looking for specifically crafted ringtones, with original, upbeat, sound that doesn’t mimic the original Nokia tune.  


“Simplicity is key. To be successful it will probably be quite minimal, not layers and layers of music.”


It’s likely that the winners will be “shorter than 30 seconds, and with elements that are clearly audible through mobile speakers.”


So, get composing today and support Nokia’s firm belief in a thriving local music culture.

There are five separate competitions, depending upon where you live, in China, India, the Middle East and Africa, South East Asia and Pacific and Latin America