SOCAN members Matt Epp and Faouzia win more-than-$70,000 Grand Prize in 2016 International Songwriting Competition

May 18, 2017

Out of more than 16,000 entries from 137 countries, SOCAN members Matt Epp and Faouzia have won the Grand Prize of more than $70,000 in cash and prizes in the 2016 edition of the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), becoming the first-ever SOCAN members (and Canadians) to take home the top honour.

Singer-songwriters Epp and Faouzia won $25,000 cash, and more than $45,000 in other prizes, for their collaboration, “The Sound” – which recently earned a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for topping the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 Chart in January of 2017.

“The Sound” was inspired during Epp’s latest tour in Germany. After receiving an e-mail from his young daughter asking him “What sound does a longing heart make?,” Epp began penning the song. A few months later, he met his co-writer, Faouzia – a 16-year-old Manitoban with Moroccan roots – at the Winnipeg Folk Festival Stingray Young Performers Program, where he served as her mentor, and together they finished it.

Epp says that he’s “always felt that we songwriters receive songs, more than write them,” adding that he’s “grateful for this one to have chosen me and my very talented collaborator Faouzia, and especially to the ISC for this prestigious Grand Prize award!”

The 2016 International Songwriting Competition boasted the most songs written by SOCAN members, with nine of them winning second- and third-place prizes in various categories.

The list of additional 2016 SOCAN member winners is as follows:

Second  Place

  • “The Way It Goes” –John Nathaniel, with Keaton Simons (BMI), of Laval, QC – Rock Category
  • “Fallin’” – Jaylene Johnson, of Winnipeg – Christian Category
  • “Imogene” – Raquel Cole, with Jack Williams (ASCAP) Jon Coleman (BMI), of Vernon, BC – Unsigned Only Category
  • “Diamonds” – Michael Harmel, of Regina – Lyrics Only Category

Third Place

  • “I’ll Be” – Troy Kokol and Tenille Nadkrynechny, of Calgary – Christian Category
  • “Fiend” – Sam Roberts, of Montréal – Rock
  • “Devil Under Her Skin” – Spencer Mackenzie and Richard Mackenzie, of Ridgeway, ON – Blues Category

For a complete list of 2016 winners and honorable mentions, and to hear the winning songs, visit the ISC website. SOCAN congratulates all of our winning members on their achievements!