SOCAN announced the finalists for the 15th anniversary of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize celebrating the exceptional talent of emerging Canadian songwriters over the past year.
At a time when many Canadians are experiencing financial stress, musicians have been among the hardest hit. In an effort to ease the burden COVID-19 has caused for emerging songwriters, the SOCAN Songwriting Prize will award cash prizes to all 20 nominees for the first time in its 15-year history.
Music feeds the soul during times of crisis and change, and this year's nominated songs are meaningfully poignant, timely, heartbreaking and inspired. Voted on by music industry influencers, each displays a proficiency for the craft and are rich in both cultural and musical diversity.
The SOCAN Songwriting Prize, and the equivalent Prix de la chanson SOCAN for Francophone songwriters, is the only major songwriting award in Canada where fans determine the results with online voting.
The 10 finalists for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize (English):
- "#uvangattauq" – written by Rita Claire Mike-Murphy, Zahrah Ibrahim, Andrew Morrison; performed by Riit; published by Girl On A Horse, Aakuluk Music Inc.
- "Breaking Down" – written by Meghan Meisters, Mary Beth Ancheta, Alex Mak; performed by iskwé; published by Hyvetown Music Inc.
- "Grip" – written by Clairmont Humphrey II; performed by Clairmont The Second.
- "Mind Games" – written by Lauren Isenberg, David Charles Fischer, Jeff Hazin, Matt Kahane; performed by renforshort.
- "Mountain" – written by Scott Zhang; performed by Monsune.
- "Same Room" – written by JP Saxe, Ryan Marrone; performed by JP Saxe; published by SONY ATV Music Publishing Canada.
- "Some Kinda Love" – written by Kira Huszar, Adam Pondang, Akeel Henry; performed by LOONY; published by Keys Open Doors, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada.
- "The Spark" – written by William Prince; performed by William Prince.
- "Thinking 'Bout Love" – written by Khalid Yassein, Robyn Dell'Unto; performed by Wild Rivers; published by Wild Rivers Ltd., Robyn Dell'Unto Music.
- "Thirteen" – written by Haviah Mighty, Preston Chin, Tim Hill; performed by Haviah Mighty.
From July 16 to July 30, 2020, music fans are encouraged to listen to and vote for their favourite song from the nominees by visiting Socansongwritingprize.ca or on Twitter using the hashtag #mySSPvote and identifying the performer's name in the tweet. Fans can vote once daily in each of the English and French prize competitions.
The winning songs are scheduled to be announced the week of August 2, 2020.
"Fifteen years later the SOCAN Songwriting Prize nominees continue to exemplify the incredible creative talent that Canada continues to be known for around the world," said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. "The decision to change the prize structure this year was an easy one rooted in our core value of supporting our members. We hope this small gesture helps them navigate the situation."
The French and English finalists are determined by independent panels, each of 15 music-industry influencers. Panelists nominated two songs by emerging Canadian songwriters and composers released in 2019 that they feel were artistically superior. Each song had to meet the criteria for eligibility. All long-listed songs are then considered and voted on by each panel to determine the final 10 short-listed nominees in English and French.
SOCAN does not have a role in determining nominees or winners.
The 10 song finalists for the 2020 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, exemplify an equally diverse variety of musical genres:
- "Attends-moi pas" – written by Vincent Roberge, Félix Petit; performed by Les Louanges; published by Bonsound.
- "Aujourd'hui" – written by Alexandre Beauregard, Daphné Brissette, Guillaume Chiasson, Mélissa Fortin, Étienne Côté ; performed by Bon Enfant; published by Ambiances Ambigües, David Murphy et Cie.
- "Cadran solaire" – written by Justin Boisclair, Thibault de Castelbajac, Benjamin Duplantie-Grenier, Thomas Thivierge-Gauthier, Maxime de Castelbajac, Clément Langlois-Légaré; performed by LaF; published by Disques 7ième Ciel.
- "Chaleur 10" – written by Mat Vezio; performed by Mat Vezio.
- "Coton ouaté" – written by Christian-Adam Gilbert, Mathieu Lafontaine; performed by Bleu Jeans Bleu; published by Chalet Musique SENC.
- "Instant Zéro" – written by Laurence-Anne C. Gagné; performed by Laurence-Anne; published by Ambiances Ambigües and David Murphy et Cie
- "La fin du monde à tous les jours" – written by Lou-Adriane Cassidy, Stéphanie Boulay; performed by Lou-Adriane Cassidy; published by Dare to Care.
- "Maintenant ou jamais" – written by Félix Dyotte; performed by Evelyne Brochu; published by Dare To Care.
- "Topographe" – written by Julien Bakvis, Jonathan Robert, Julian Perreault, Dominic Berthiaume; performed by Corridor.
- "ZayZay" – written by Léo Fougères, Tom St-Laurent; performed by FouKi; published by Disques 7ième Ciel.