Toronto-based indie rock band Fast Romantics have been voted the winner of the 11th annual English SOCAN Songwriting Prize for their song “Julia,” written by founding band member Matthew Angus.
From June 9 to 23, 2016, Canadian music fans voted for their favourite from the 10 songs nominated by a panel of music industry experts. Other than nominees having to be members of SOCAN, the Canadian music rights organization had no role in determining nominees or winners.
After the votes were tallied, “Julia” was the English song that came out on top. A record of nearly 30,000 votes were cast in this year’s English and French competitions, shattering 2015’s record total by almost 33%.
“I’m surprised and thrilled to hear we’ve won this prize, and beyond honoured to have been included alongside so many spectacular Canadian songwriters,” said Matthew Angus. “Really, everybody on the list deserved this prize. Big thanks to our fans for voting, to the folks on the panel for selecting us, and to SOCAN for continuing to do stuff like this to help inspire, promote, and protect Canadian music creators. We love ya something fierce!”
“The SOCAN Songwriting Prize celebrates the art and work of music creation,” said Michael McCarty, SOCAN Chief Membership & Business Development Officer. “‘Julia’ is a winner deserving of the prize, and congratulations to Matt Angus for creating a fantastic, creative song that caught the ear of our judging panel, and music fans around the world.”
For winning the competition, Fast Romantics receive $10,000 from SOCAN, a choice between a Seagull Artist Studio CW guitar or Godin 5th Avenue Jazz guitar from Godin Guitars, a Yamaha PSRS970 keyboard from Yamaha Canada, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.
The SOCAN Songwriting Prize identifies 10 outstanding songs each in English and French created over the past year by emerging songwriters, as selected by a panel of 15 esteemed music industry experts. The general public is then invited to vote up to one time daily for their favourite in English or French to decide the winners in each language.
The winner of the French-language equivalent prize, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, was Laurence Nerbonne, for her song “Rêves d’été.”
The other nine songs nominated in the English category were:
• “Black Body” – written by Benjamin Addy, Renee Wisdom; performed by Spek Won, featuring Shi Wisdom.
• “Dead or Alive” – written by Jahmarie Adams, Michael Lantz; performed by Jazz Cartier.
• “Desire” – written by Kathleen Monks, Benjamin Reinhartz, James Rowlinson, Elizabeth Ball; performed by Dilly Dally.
• “How Could You Babe” – written by Tobias Jesso Jr.; performed by Tobias Jesso Jr.; published by Universal Music Publishing.
• “No Hurry” – written by Terra Lightfoot; performed by Terra Lightfoot; published by CCS Rights Management Corp.
• “Paradise” – written by Ashton Simmonds, Matthew Burnett, Jordan Evans, Alexander Sowinski, Matthew Tavares, Leland Whitty, Chester Hansen, Keaven Yazdani; performed by Daniel Ceasar, featuring BADBADNOTGOOD, Sean Leon; published by Reclusive Music Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd. Canada, Robinson Heart Publishing, Third Side Music
• “Pen to Paper” – written by Sean Graham, Thomas “Tawgs” Salter; performed by Modern Space; published by Sony/ATV.
• “Spirits” – written by Simon Ward, Jeremy Drury, Jonathan Hembrey, Darryl G.J. James, Brian Leigh Pickett, David Ritter, Joanne Setterington, Isabel Cunningham Ritchie; performed by The Strumbellas; published by Domino Double Nine.
• “Wendell Walker” – written by Andy Shauf; performed by Andy Shauf; published by Peer International Ltd. (Canada), Music of the Mothership.
Previous winners of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize: Dear Rouge for “I Heard I Had” (2015), Alejandra Ribera for “I Want” (2014), Mo Kenney for “Sucker” (2013), Kathleen Edwards for “A Soft Place to Land” (2012), Katie Moore for “Wake Up Like This” (2011), Brasstronaut for “Hearts Trompet” (2010), D-Sisive for “Nobody With a Notepad” (2009), The Weakerthans for “Night Windows” (2008), Abdominal for “Pedal Pusher” (2007), Propagandhi for “A Speculative Fiction” (2006).