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SOCAN Foundation Announces Winners for 2023 Black Canadian Music Awards

DVBLM, Liza, Myles Castello, Savannah Ré and NAIIM are the fourth annual winners, taking home $10,000 each to support their careers.

DVBLM

DVBLM

Courtesy Photo

The SOCAN Foundation has announced the five winners of its fourth annual Black Canadian Music Awards, a group of rising talents in Canada’s music industry. Hip hop artist DVBLM; R&B singers Liza, Savannah Ré, and Myles Castello; and genre-hopping NAIIM take home $10,000 each as this year’s winners.

The awards, which are sponsored by SiriusXM and were announced today in a press release, seek to recognize Black creators from all over the country. They're determined by a jury of Black artists and industry experts from a pool of applicants.


“There were so many great submissions that truly show the raw talent we have in this country,” says Jury Chair Kentya Kurban of Music BC. “Trust me, I added many songs to my playlist!”

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Honourable mentions for this year’s awards went to made to Eleanor, Tona, Kirk Diamond & FINN, Mah Moud and Ryan Ofei.

Here are the five winners:

DVBLM

Toronto musician DVBLM (pronounced Double M) makes energetic hip hop inspired by artists like Missy Elliott and Destiny's Child as well as her Caribbean heritage. Last year she performed at Toronto’s Manifesto Festival, and with singles like this year’s confident “B.G.A.” (Bad Girl Adrenaline) her star is poised to rise.

Liza

Ethiopian-Canadian artist Liza crafts a soft and inviting R&B sound on her EP DONE IS DONE, a style that makes her a natural fit with collaborator Daniel Caesar. This year, Liza was named an Amazon Music Breakthrough artist, setting her up for even bigger things in 2024.


Myles Castello

Myles Castello has a voice — and an emotionality — that calls to mind Miguel or Frank Ocean. This year, the Scarborough singer was featured in CBC’s 2023 Searchlight 100 and recent single “Highlight” is a stripped back showcase for his silky falsetto.

NAIIM

Montreal’s NAIIM has a pop sensibility that is helping him pop off. His 2023 collaboration with Toronto Raptors DJ 4Korners, “Mali Star,” garnered over a million views on TikTok, and his music has been featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and more.

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Savannah Ré

R&B artist Savannah Ré has three Juno Awards to her name, winning consecutively for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording. The songwriter has worked with artists like Jessie Reyez and Normani, while also gathering millions of streams on songs like the sleek “Last One.”

The SOCAN Foundation also just announced winners for another awards program: the Young Canadian Songwriters Awards.

The winners include seventeen-year-old Sofia Kay, who recently helped K-POP group Tomorrow x Together hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, co-writing their single, “Sugar Rush Ride.”

The winners are:

Andelina Habel-Thurton for “Le grand retour de l’insomnie”

Brighid Fry (a.k.a. Housewife) for “Matilda”

Elizabeth Royall,for “Numb”

Fin McDowell for “People I Barely Knew”

Sofia Kay, for “Fuu”

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Valence
'La nuit s’achève' album cover

Valence

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The Grand Théâtre de Québec and its partners, the City of Québec, Solotech and De la Létourneau, are awarding the inaugural Bourse Karim-Ouellet to singer/songwriter Valence (Vincent Dufour). The prize was created last Sept., in memory of the late Quebec City-based singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet. It awards a $7,500 cash prize, plus consulting and publicity services from communications firm, and the opportunity for a paid performance at the Grand Théâtre de Québec in 2024. Applications for next year’s Bourse Karim-Ouellet open on Aug. 30, with a Dec. 1 deadline.

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