The votes are in! Today, “Blood//Water,” performed by grandson, has officially been named the winner of the 14th annual English SOCAN Songwriting Prize. Written by Chester Krupa Carbone and Jordan Benjamin of Toronto, and Kevin Hissink, originally of the Netherlands, “Blood//Water” runs deep with social commentary.
Over the last two weeks, music fans from across Canada cast their votes, hoping that their favourite would be dubbed the 2019 SOCAN Songwriting Prize winner. With so many fantastic songs and varied musical styles in the mix, voting was a tight race, but in the end, “Blood//Water” took the top spot, receiving the $10,000 cash prize, a Yamaha PSR-S970 Keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.
“It’s a great honour to receive this recognition as a Canadian songwriter,” said Benjamin. “‘Blood//Water’ was written from a place of frustration and disillusionment, an expression of the manifestations of karma that are waiting for those who continue to subvert justice and democracy in the name of a dollar. Those core themes are as relevant today as when the song was written. Thanks to Kevin and Krupa for bringing this song to life with me; it really does take a village. We’ll continue to make noise until the grand-kids are heard.”
The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is the only major songwriting award in Canada where fans vote to determine the winner. Ten outstanding songs created by Canadian songwriters over the past year are nominated by a panel of 14 esteemed music-industry experts. The general public is then invited to vote for their favourite song, each day, for two weeks, to determine the winner. SOCAN plays no role in determining the nominees or winners, apart from ensuring that they’re members of SOCAN. A parallel competition for songs in French, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, is conducted separately.
“We’re thrilled to award the 2019 SOCAN Songwriting Prize to Jordan, Kevin and Krupa,” said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. “This year’s nominated songs saw a wide range of genres and eclectic musical styles, making voting on just one winner a true challenge for music fans. Each year, a new wave of Canadian songwriting talent who aren’t afraid to push the envelope with their creativity is unveiled. ‘Blood//Water’ is an anthem that can’t be pinned down to a single musical genre and its lyrical strength is inspiring. We wish continued success to these immensely talented writers.”
“It was such a pleasure working with this team who are so committed to making honest music and pushing the sound of rock & roll. I’m humbled by this award, and I’m excited for the next chapter,” said Krupa. Kevin Hissink said, “I’m truly honoured to receive the SOCAN Songwriting Prize. To be able to write music that rocks hard and empowers those who feel powerless is an incredible experience. Thanks Jordan and Krupa, thanks home team. Thank you SOCAN!”
The winner of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN is “On fouette,” written by Teddy Laguerre, Shawn Volcy, Marc Casseus, and Vladimi Methelus, and performed by Tizzo, featuring Shreez and Soft.
The other nine songs nominated in the English category were:
- “Bad Biology” – written by Elizabeth Ball, Kathleen Monks, Benjamin Reinhartz, James Anthony Rowlinson; performed by Dilly Dally.
- “Chances” – written by Kevin Celestin, Shanice Mohamed, Anthony Pierre; performed by Kaytranada feat. Shay Lia; published by Casablanca Media Publishing Inc.
- “Elephant Man” – written by Sam Lucia, Geoff Millar; performed by So Loki; published by Owake Records.
- “Hang Ups” – written by Scott Helman, Thomas Salter, Gordie Sampson, Simon Wilcox; performed by Scott Helman; published by EMI April Music Canada, SONY ATV Music Publishing Canada.
- “Payback” – written by Sarah Hagen, Maxwell Pankiw, Isaiah Steinberg; performed by Bad Child.
- “She’s The One” – written by Chloé Soldevila, Miles Dupire-Gagnon, Gabriel Lambert, Zachary Irving; performed by Anemone.
- “Soundboi” – written by Dominique Dias, John Samuels; performed by Just John + Dom Dias.
- “Tortoise” – written by Clairmont Humphrey II; performed by Clairmont the Second.
- “Whatever Comes To Mind” – written by Seth Nyquist, Adrian Cook; performed by MorMor.
The 2018 winner of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize was Partner for “Play The Field” written by band members Josée Caron and Lucy Niles. Additional winners are available to view on the SOCAN Songwriting Prize website.