SOCAN Songwriting Prize 2019 winners Grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin) and co-writer Chester Krupa Carbone dropped by SOCAN’s Toronto offices on Aug. 7, 2019, to receive their prizes – a SOCAN cheque for $10,000, a Yamaha PSR-S970 keyboard, and a $500 gift card from musical instrument retailer Long & McQuade – for co-writing the winning song, “Blood/Water” along with Kevin Hissink (BUMA), who was unable to attend.
Accompanied by his touring guitarist Ramón Blanco, Grandson – who writes songs from a very strong social, political, and moral viewpoint – played a powerful, authentic, three-song acoustic SOCAN Session in the Harmony Lounge at our Toronto office. The songs were “Despicable,” “Apologize,” and the prize-winning “Blood/Water,” an intense anti-climate-catastrophe screed, featuring lines like, “The price of your greed is your son and your daughter,” and “You poisoned me for just another dollar in your pocket.”
Long & McQuade’s Sheri Katz then presented the pair with their $500 gift card; Yamaha’s Charmain Dennison gave them their prize keyboard; and SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste handed Grandson and Krupa (and Hissink, in absentia) their $10,000 cheque. “We’re celebrating songwriting, but we’re also celebrating work,” said Baptiste. “It’s clear that Grandson and Krupa, have talent, they work hard, and they’re very nice people, too. ’Blood/Water’ is an important political song.”
As befits a purveyor of social comment, Grandson wore a T-shirt shouting out the mostly low-income, downtown West-end Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale. The surprisingly charming and good-humoured singer-songwriter talked about his often lengthy song-creating process with Krupa and Hissink; how he was so grateful to be able to make music for a living, to SOCAN for the prize and other support, and to all of the collaborators and supporters on his team; and how at least some of the prize money will be donated to his XX Resistance Fund, which funds organizations that help young people across America to empower themselves to create positive change (especially among his fanbase of “grand-kids”).
After receiving their awards, Grandson and Krupa sat for a SOCAN video interview, so stay tuned here at www.socanmagazine.ca for that.
The winning song of the equivalent 2019 Francophone prize, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, was “On fouette,” written by Teddy Laguerre, Shawn Volcy, Marc Casseus, and Vladimi Methelus, and performed by Tizzo, featuring Shreez and Soft.
SOCAN congratulates Grandson, Chester Krupa Carbone, and Kevin Hissink once again on winning our 2019 songwriting prize!