Teen Songwriting Competition

ABOUT THE COMPETITION

Overture with the Arts is pleased to launch our 2nd Annual Teen Songwriting Competition. The competition is open to youth aged 13 to 18 who write their own original music. The Top 10 finalists of our 2nd Annual Teen Songwriting Competition will feature the best young talented singer-songwriters, aged 13 to 18, from Montreal, singing and performing their original acoustic music.

The live showcase will be held on Saturday November 28, 2020, from 2:00pm – 4:30pm, at Basebin Studios (4275 Rue Frontenac, Montréal, QC H2H 2M4). Finalists will sing in front of a live audience and the performances will also be live streamed. A panel of judges comprised of music industry professionals will give constructive feedback on performances and songwriting.

OWTA’s Teen Songwriting Competition will be lead by singer/ songwriter, pianist and jazz musician, Melina Soochan and is a revival of Soochan’s Acoustic Nights Montreal Songwriting Competition.

Three prizes will awarded on November 28 and the winner and runners up will be selected by jury of musicians and music industry professionals.

Submit your application by Friday, November 13, 2020 at 11:59PM.

FREE VIRTUAL SONGWRITING WORKSHOPS:

Saturday, October 17, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Music Business 101 with Paul Cargnello

Saturday, October 24, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Performance and Stage Presence Part 2 with Dawn Tyler Watson

Saturday, October 31, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Marketing and Branding for Today’s Artist with BAYLA

Saturday, November 7, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Songwriting Basics 101 with Sule Heitner

Saturday, November 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Performance and Stage Presence Part 1 with Dawn Tyler Watson

Saturday, November 21, 1:00pm – 3:00pm:
Ethno-Historic Origins of North American Music with Sule Heitner

MEET OUR SONGWRITING WORKSHOP LEADERS

Sule Heitner

Sule Heitner is an experienced artist known for his dedication to his craft. He has supported acts such as Sky, Corneille and Stephane Moraille (Bran Van 3000) to name a few. He’s also shared the stage opening for acts such as Celine Dion, Kool and the Gang, Sean Paul and Akon, and is heard on albums such as Lionel Richie’s “Coming Home”, Bet-E and Steph’s debut record, singer songwriter Katheryn Berry’s EP and the Café Méliès compilation series Vol 1. He reached the quarter finals on season three of “La Voix” (Quebec’s version of “The Voice”). His own songwriting touches on everything from Rock, Folk, Americana, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Reggae and the music of the Caribbean.

Dawn Tyler Watson

Singer-Songwriter Dawn Tyler Watson (BFA), is a multi-faceted and seasoned entertainer whose fiery performances have earned her a place among the International Blues elite. After graduating with a degree from Concordia University in Jazz Studies she launched a career that has spanned over two decades, five continents, and numerous recordings. She also works as a musical animator and educator with different populations and cognitive levels. In 2012 Watson co-created Vocal Expression Montreal and began running workshops with singers of all levels. She has been invited to give masters classes on vocal performance and improvisation in Western Canada, the US, and France. Watson continues to tour extensively and has just received a 2019 JUNO for her fifth album; “Mad Love.”

Paul Cargnello

Paul began writing original songs at an early age, performing his own work at the legendary Yellow Door in Montreal when he was barely into his teens. He went solo in 2002, and his first albums garnered much critical acclaim across Canada. Since 2005, he has won many prestigious awards for his work including a MIMI (Montreal Independent Music Initiative), a nomination for the Félix Leclerc Award, the Radio-Canada’s Sacré Talent award, nomination for Canadian Folk Music Awards, and so on. By 2012 Paul had a dozen songs in the top 40 charts in Quebec. With continued touring throughout the years across Canada and Europe, Paul had the opportunity to share the stage with Billy Bragg, Ari Up (The Slits), and Michael Franti & Spearhead among others. Now, with an extensive discography of 14 solo albums, 3 Vendettas albums, 2 Skinny Bros albums, 7 EPs, and a litany of features and collaborations, Paul has participated in over 50 albums. He has produced hip-hop, reggae, punk, pop, and R n’ B with the same vigor & intensity as his own music. 

Bayla

With the success of her Debut Single, “Turn It Around”, BAYLA continues to beat the odds. As a child, doctors diagnosed her with vocal cord dysfunction and told her she would never be able to sing. In 2016, BAYLA independently released “Turn It Around”. The single quickly caught on like wild-fire at Canadian Radio, reaching “Top 40” status and peaking at #24 on the Canadian Billboard Charts. Bell Media & iHeartRadio chose BAYLA as their “Future Star” winner for both CHR & HOT A/C, making BAYLA one of the rare artists to obtain the title in both categories. Since, BAYLA has been performing her energetic and anthemic pop sound across Canada with her full band. She has performed in many Festivals including Stars & Thunder, The Big Feastival, Canada Pride, GlowFair & many more. BAYLA has opened for artists including Simple Plan, Aaron Carter, Karl Wolf & Lights. In 2019, BAYLA was named “Emerging Artist of the Year” and was the recipient of the Grand Prize in Canada’s Walk of Fame & RBC’s “Emerging Musician Program”.

MEET OUR HOST AND JUDGES

Bilal Butt

Host

Radio host, voice actor, MC, singer/songwriter, producer, audiophile, music lover, foodie. For the last decade, Bilal has been the friendly voice on your drive home (“The Afternoon Rock Ride with Bilal”) from 3-7pm on the Spirit of Rock – CHOM 97-7 in Montreal. In addition, he continues to provide a wide range of talent services including acting, voice work, commercial jingles, audio production, public speaking, event hosting and musical entertainment in the form of a solo act or rock band. After nearly 20 years as a performer and radio host, Bilal has remained connected to the community through volunteer work for several local charity organizations, including Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Leucan, Share The Warmth, GOAL Initiatives Foundation and the development of young musicians. His passion for bringing people together with music and food continues to be his focus in helping to affect a positive change in society.

Albert Chambers

Judge

Albert has had an illustrious career, having won many awards including the 2014 JUNO Nomination for Best Adult Contemporary Album of the Year (Coral Egan – The Year Me Drove Me Crazy), the 2014 Felix Nomination for Best English Album of the year (Coral Egan), and the 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards. He has also been an official Juno Jury member for several years. His credited works include being a published songwriter with All Music Works publishing, having been Grammy nominated (Dream Theater), doing a live recording at the Boston Opera House DVD (Over The Fourth Wall), and working with top notch artists including Broadway singers (The Jersey Boys), Jim Valance, Harvey Mason Jr, Moist, Simple Plan, Debbie Gibson, Coral Egan, and David Usher. He has also been a songwriting collaborator with Steven J Robinson (drummer for Selena Gomez), and contributing columnist for various publications including Canadian Musician Magazine, Professional Sound Magazine, and Muzik ETC Magazine.

Hanorah

Judge

Hanorah is a soulful singer-songwriter from Montreal, Canada. She attracted the attention of the coaches on the television show La Voix, where she reached the quarter finals. She has since released her debut EP “For the Good Guys and the Bad Guys” (2019) on Dare to Care Records and toured with such renouned artists as Coeur de Pirate and Seratones. Hanorah took to the festival circuit that same year, playing Montreal Jazz Fest, Ottawa Blues Fest, Toronto Jazz Fest, FEQ, Winnipeg Folk Fest, and POP Montreal, where she opened for soul legend Mavis Staples. Hanorah is currently working on a full-lengh album.

Kim Sullivan

Judge

Kim had no idea that a career in broadcasting would be in the cards for her. She dreamed of one day hosting a travel TV show, but Kim chose to pursue studies in the fields of educational psychology and became a teacher for the deaf at the Mackay Centre. It was a public speaking competition, much like this singing one, that kickstarted Kim’s media career! One of the judges recognized her talent and hired her at his radio station. Twelve years of radio later, Kim made the jump to television, hosted 3 different local tv shows and is now the weather specialist with Global News Morning.

Farley Flex

Judge

Flex is an impresario and social change innovator whose recognitions include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, Scarborough Walk of Fame induction, Unicef Ambassadorship and several others. His accomplishments in the entertainment industry include managing multiple Juno Award winner Maestro, launching and operating FLOW 93.5, Celebrity Judge on Canadian Idol and much more. Flex has always chosen to juxtapose business endeavors with community contribution.

MEET OUR GUEST ARTISTS

Billie Dupage

2019 1st Place Winner

Billie is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter and last year’s winner of the 2019 OWTA Teen Songwriting competition. She has been writing songs since the age of 13, and has played piano since the age of 4. She has also recently started the guitar. She considers her style of music as “pop folk”. Since the OTWA competition, she has continued to work with producer Albert Chambers and has 2 songs on every music platform. She recently won the talent competition on the show of Julie Snyder’s “La semaine des 4 Julie”. Billie has appeared on talk shows such as “Salut Bonjour” and “Global News.” During this year’s quarantine and summertime, she has been writing a lot and is planning on getting those songs produced as soon as possible. She is trying to be active in social media and constantly puts out her songs and covers. Music is a very important aspect in her life and it’s her way of expressing herself. She writes about different subjects such as teenage problems, love, how she feels and life experiences.

Brittany Kennell

Canadian Singer-Songwriter

From Beaconsfield (QC), Brittany Kennell packed her bags over 10 years ago to complete her studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston and then spent 8 years in the writing streets of Nashville. She became the first and only Canadian to be on NBC The Voice when country superstar Blake Shelton pushed his button to her rendition of Sheryl Crow’s Strong Enough. She made it to the knockout round singing Shania Twain’s You’re Still the One with Miley Cyrus as her mentor. Brittany has been featured in Rolling Stone, Pat Monahan’s “Train Tracks” on Sirius XM and American Songwriter. She has sung for the Montreal Canadiens, Grand Prix F1 and MLS Montreal Impacts and has written and played with some of Nashville’s finest; Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, Hailey Whitters, Tenille Townes, Carly Pearce, Jillian Jacqueline, The Reklaws, Aubrie Sellers, Charlie Worsham. Now back home in Montreal (QC), Brittany has released some new music in a modern country sound inspired by Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert mixed with some roots and rock influences such as Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow. Opening for new country star Matt Lang all over Quebec and one of the 8 semifinalists of SiriusXM’s Top of the Country contest, Brittany is working on an EP to be released in the next few months.

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CONTACT

Telephone: (514) 889-8678

Email: info@owta.org