Matt Epp and Faouzia just made some songwriting history. The singer/songwriters just landed the grand prize in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), the world’s largest international songwriting competition, becoming the first Canadians to win the top spot in the 16-year history of the competition. Their song "The Sound" was chosen by judges from more than 16,000 entries from 137 countries.
Globetrotting troubadour Epp began writing "The Sound" during a tour of Germany before connecting with Morocco-born, Manitoba-raised Faouzia. They met through the Winnipeg Folk Festival's Stingray Young Performers Program, where 16-year-old phenom was a participant and Epp was a mentor. They finished the song together and it quickly went on to reach #1 on the CBC Radio 2 chart and earn the SOCAN No.1 Song Award in Canada based on its radio success. Read more about the story behind the song
"I've always felt that we songwriters receive songs, more than write them," said Epp in an ISC release. "I'm so 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!"
Jaylene Johnson was awarded second place in the Christian category for her song "Fallin'", which appears on her JUNO Award-nominated album, Potter & Clay. Johnson, who is up for a Western Canadian Music Award this fall, also landed an honourable mention for her co-write with Ottawa's Brant Pethick and Arun Chaturvedi on Pethick's "A Million Stars".
Winnipeg songwriter Harvey Downes picked up an honourable mention in the lyrics only category for his song "Outskirts".
The 2016 competition featured 47 Canadians, the most since the ISC's inception.