Announcing the Inaugural Shortlist for the Billboard Canada Non-Performing Songwriter Award

Five songwriters are in consideration for the SOCAN-presented Award, the only one of its kind in Canada, with the winner announced at the Billboard Canada Power Players event on June 2.

Announcing the Inaugural Shortlist for the Billboard Canada Non-Performing Songwriter Award


Five impressive songwriters have been shortlisted for the inaugural Billboard Canada Non-Performing Songwriter Award, presented by SOCAN.

These songwriters each had a banner year in 2023, penning memorable songs with indelible melodies that garnered Grammy nominations, top chart placements, and millions of streams.

They are recognized for their work as songwriters for other artists, making an impact from behind the scenes – a first for an award of this kind in Canada.

“SOCAN is proud to present the Non-Performing Songwriter Award, with sincere thanks to Billboard Canada for their support and partnership," says Cameron Kennedy, Vice President, Creative and Member Relations. "We were thrilled but not surprised by the outstanding quality of submissions that came in from across North America. This shortlist is a testament to the exceptional songwriters in and from Canada and the extensive reach of their influence and invaluable contributions to writing the music we all enjoy.”


In no particular order, here are the shortlisted songwriters along with their bios:

Aaron Paris

Aaron ParisAaron Paris

Aaron Paris is a songwriter, record producer, and composer from Toronto, Canada. Having worked with artists including Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Drake, DJ Khaled, Russ, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Kali Uchis, NAV, Charlotte Cardin, and more, Aaron has built a strong international reputation as a musical composer and collaborator. In 2023, Aaron co-wrote over 70 major artist releases and received five Juno nominations and 2 Grammy nominations for songs he co-wrote. As a multi-instrumentalist and string arranger, Aaron is dedicated to bringing the “new classical” sound into the modern music industry. He founded the group Strings From Paris, a collective of string players which aims to bridge classical and modern worlds and educate the next generation of musicians. Strings From Paris’ videos have gained millions of views on Instagram and TikTok. Aaron Paris distinguished himself in 2023 with work on Charlotte Cardin's Juno-winning album 99 Nights, as well as 6LACK's Since I Have a Lover and Russ' Santiago.



Lowell is a singer, songwriter and producer known for her collaborations with Beyoncé, Madison Beer, Charli XCX, Tate McRae, Charlie Puth, The Beaches, Lennon Stella, Nessa Barrett, Hailee Steinfeld, bülow, Lu Kala, Leah Kate and many more. Specializing in artist development, Lowell has proven herself to be a powerhouse in consistently breaking artists. Whether producing, writing or A&R’ing projects, her ability to anticipate stylistic and production trends has launched many young artist projects into successful careers. With two songs on Beyoncé’s critically acclaimed new album – the international smash “Texas Hold’em” and upcoming single “Bodyguard” – Lowell has become a trusted collaborator for the legendary artist. Previous highlights include co-writing and co-producing The Beaches’ breakthrough album, featuring “Blame Brett”, which held #1 at alternative radio for 17 weeks and is rising at U.S. and Canadian Top 40. Lowell co-wrote two EPs with JUNO Award-winning artist Bülow, spawning the hit “Not A Love Song” and “You and Jennifer.” She co-wrote Madison Beer’s debut LP Life Support which scored a #1 Artist Debut US chart position and features the US platinum single, “Selfish.” She then went on to pen Nessa Barrett’s debut, “la di die” which peaked at #25 on US Top 40 radio and was certified US Gold. Previously, she was nominated for Canadian Screen Awards for best score and best original song in Bloodthirsty, the feature film co-written by Lowell.


Tobias Jesso Jr.

Tobias Jesso Jr.Tobias Jesso Jr.

Tobias Jesso Jr. is a North Vancouver-born, L.A.-based songwriter and two-time Grammy-winner. In 2023, he earned the first-ever Grammy Award for Songwriter of The Year for his work on releases by Harry Styles, Adele, FKA Twigs, Orville Peck, King Princess, Diplo and Omar Apollo in addition to taking home Album of The Year for his contributions to Harry Styles’ Harry’s House. Additionally, Tobias was named the 2023 Recipient of The CMW Nile Rodgers Global Creator Award, which was established in 2014 to celebrate the most outstanding of creative geniuses of all ilks who have consistently made an indelible impact on a global scale throughout their careers. Tobias was also a major contributor on Dua Lipa’s most recent album Radical Optimism co-writing on the tracks "Houdini," "Illusion," "Training Season," "Happy For You," "End of An Era," "French Exit," and "Anything for Love."


Jeremy Fedryk

Jeremy FedrykJeremy Fedryk

Jeremy Fedryk – a.k.a. Sarcastic Sounds – spent much of 2023 immersing himself in the budding folk-pop scene. The year was highlighted by his writing contribution to David Kushner’s international smash “Daylight,” which accumulated over 1 billion Spotify streams and reached multi-platinum status in every major market. His success continued with the release of Chance Pena’s “I am not who I was,” which has amassed over 170 million Spotify streams and reached the top 20 of Billboard’s alternative chart. The year saw a number of other notable releases for Jeremy, from artists like Arden Jones, Lil Dicky and Hayd.

Ali Willa Milner

Ali Willa MilnerAli Willa Milner

Fresh off a Grammy nomination for her work with The Knocks and Dragonette, Ali Willa Milner found herself part of six Juno nominations for her work in 2023. Her writing led to nominations with Reve, Katie Tupper, and multiple nominations for Aysanabee who won two, including Songwriter Of The Year. Her original songs were also featured in national and international advertising campaigns for Kia, Tinder, TSN, and more and her forthcoming single was selected as a feature in Apple+’s Land Of Women. Ali also has a focus on mentoring upcoming songwriters and co-hosted a song camp with SNGL and SheWrites, an organization focused on connecting and championing women, non-binary, and trans songwriters and producers.


The winner of the prestigious award will be announced at Billboard Canada's Power Players event on Sunday, June 2 at the CN Tower. Tickets are available here.

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