Tag: International Songwriting Competition

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada-based indie rock act Hey Major, comprised of sibling multi-instrumentalists Mickaël and Raphaël Fortin initially formed under the name Orange O’Clock — and back in 2015, competed against 3,000 Canadian acts in CBC’s Searchlight competition, eventually winning the contest with their single “Can’t Fight the Feeling.”  The following year, the Fortins traveled to Nashville and competed in the International Songwriting Competition, eventually landing second place with their song “Wax ‘n’ Wane.”

Adding to a growing national and international profile, the first single off Crazy Carnival was added to Grant Lawrence‘s monthly “Songs You Need to Hear” playlist — and was promoted on NPR, BBC Radio 1 and CBC music.

Earlier this year, the up-and-coming Canadian sibling duo went on a month-long Australian tour. And upon returning to Canada, the duo holed up at Montreal’s Indica Studios to finish their forthcoming Peter Edwards and Franz Schuller co-produced album  The Station.  Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single is the brooding “The Station.” Centered around a soaring hook, twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, dynamic and propulsive drumming, the Canadian duo’s latest track reminds me quite a bit of Danish JOVM mainstays Palace Winter, as the single finds the duo pairing an elegant and deliberate attention and to craft, and deep introspection with ambitious songwriting.

“This song is an introspective track, describing a moment between two people and what they could have been, but knowing deep inside that they will never be,” the Canadian sibling duo explain via email. “It’s a journey of change and enlightenment through love stories, struggles, encounters and wishes for humanity. That was the inspiration.”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of its seven year history, you may have come across a post or two featuring the up-and-coming New York-born and now Los Angeles-based pop artist and multi-instrumentalist  Beca. Receiving classical training at Juilliard, the New York-born, Los Angeles, CA-based pop artist forged her own path away from her formal training as she sought out opportunities to explore avant garde electronic music, compose for amplified string instruments and NYC’s underground club culture — all of which had been influences on her and her later work.

Since 2012, Beca has released two EPs through British label This Is Music Music, Ltd., self-released her full-length debut Ecliptic in 2015 and worked with Midnight Magic‘s Morgan Wiley. Beca has received praise from the likes of Flaunt, Galore Magazine, Lucky Magazine, received airplay from over 50 stations nationally including NPR’s “The Essentials” and KCRW, and she’s had her work remixed by the likes of Ashley Beedle, Klic, Night Drive and others.  Along with that, Beca was once a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. And adding to a growing profile, the up-and-coming artist has played at CMJ, SXSW, Miami Fashion Week, Sundance Film Festival, POP Montreal and NXNE and she’s toured across the US, Europe and Mexico.

Beca’s latest effort, the Blake Robin and Fabian Ordorica-produced, six song EP, In Deep Love is slated for release on September 15, 2017 and the album finds the up-and-coming New York-born, Los Angeles-based artist further cementing her reputation for crafting material that draws from 80s and 90s synth pop paired with lyrics influenced by mythology, classical music, film, art, romantic stories and her own personal life. EP title track and lead single “In Deep Love” is a shimmering and propulsive, club-banger that sonically seems indebted to Giorgio Moroder-era disco and 80s freestyle but while dance floor friendly, the song is under-pinned by a bitter heartbreak — the realization that you may have to let go of someone you love and accept the idea that there won’t be a future with that person. And while it may be painful, it’s the best thing for both people involved.


With singer/songwriter Victoria Celestine having spent a significant portion of her childhood growing up in France and in San Antonio, TX, music became a refuge and one of the languages she was most fluent in was music; in fact she first learned the piano and upon her return to States, she learned guitar, both of which helped her as a songwriter.

As the story goes, Celestine was at an open mic in downtown San Antonio when Gordon Raphael, best known for his work producing The Strokes, Regina Spektor and others had discovered her and invited her to record some of her then-more acoustic-based material. In fact, with her acoustic material, Celestine placed highly in the International Songwriting Competition, was nominee in the International Acoustic Music Awards, and as a result she’s had several songs hit the iTunes Charts. (From what I understand, some of her acoustic material will be released on a 3 song EP, produced by Blake Harnage of VERSA sometime next year.)
In the meantime, her debut EP, which is also slated for release sometime next year is a slickly produced collection of crafted pop songs that’s remarkably contemporary; in fact, the EP’s third and latest single “As We Grow Old” manages to be reminiscent of the likes of Little Boots, Chelsea Lankes, Phoebe Ryan and others as it pairs Celestine’s sultry cooing with a bouncy, upbeat production featuring gently cascading synths, skittering drum programming and swirling electronics. But lyrically the song stands out from a crowded field as it openly discusses how difficult it is to be what you think you might want to be when other people are forcing you to be and do things that you’re not — or that you’d hate. But it also suggests that the only way to live is to be unabashedly you because you don’t want to be old and live a life of regrets. Imaging popping in an actual message in between catchy hooks, eh?