After a record number of votes, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards (SOCAN) and co-writer John Roderick (BMI) have emerged the winners of the 2012 SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize for their song "A Soft Place to Land." Edwards and Roderick receive a prize of $5,000 for their achievement.
"Being acknowledged for songwriting is the highest compliment I could ever hope to be paid," said Edwards. "It's nice to think that after releasing four albums and being a touring musician for over 10 years, I'm living proof that artists who are nurtured and supported can evolve and grow and do their best work years after making their debut. Of course I'm humbled by the honour, and enjoy being in great company in this country when it comes to music-making, and putting our heart into the work we do."
A total of 16,804 public votes were submitted online for the English and French independent songwriting prizes, eclipsing last year's record by 34 percent. Fans could cast one vote daily from Sept.10 - Oct. 10 at www.echoprize.ca
for one of the five nominated songs in each of the English- and French-language contests.
The five nominated songs in English were:
- "House that Heaven Built" – written by Brian King and David Prowse; performed by Japandroids.
- "Post-war Blues" – written by Gordon Grdina, Kenton Loewen, Dan Mangan and John Walsh; performed by Dan Mangan.
- "A Soft Place to Land" – written by Kathleen Edwards and John Roderick; published by Beats Working Mus/Kobalt Mus Pubg Ltd Canada II and Potty Mouth Production / Peer International Ltd (Canada); performed by Kathleen Edwards.
- "Unkind" – written by Jay Ferguson, Christopher Murphy, John Pentland and Andrew Scott; published by Two Minutes For Mus Pubg Ltd; performed by Sloan.
- "When I Write My Master's Thesis" – written and performed by John K. Samson.
"Congratulations to Kathleen Edwards and John Roderick for winning this year's English song competition, and to all the nominees for writing such fantastic songs," said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. "The 2012 ECHO competition achieving an overall voting record shows just how important original, independently-produced music is to Canadians. Music is an essential aspect of Canada's culture, and our songwriters bring joy every day to all of us through their craft."
The five nominees for the SOCAN ECHO Songwriting Prize are determined by a panel of Canadian music experts. The winner was decided over a four-week online voting process. "The ECHO Songwriting Prize is a reward for tune-smithing by independent artists – not engineering, moral support or big-budget razzle-dazzle, but melody, words and framing," said Brad Wheeler, 2012 ECHO panelist. "Edwards' 'A Soft Place to Land' is a victory of transcendent emotion and grace, an affecting, clear and memorable waltz-time appeal. As such, ECHO is represented perfectly."
The winner of the French SOCAN ECHO Songwriting prize was Koriass for the song, "St-Eustache." Vera Ryan from Nova Scotia was the lucky winner of a new Apple iPad, as her name was drawn from the pool of voters.