5 Finalists Announced for the Harbourfront Centre’s SoundClash Music Award!


Harbourfront Centre is thrilled to announce the selection of five incredible finalists in the competition for the SoundClash Music Award, an annual live music contest. Chosen by a panel of industry experts, the 2014 shortlist was selected from countless submissions entered by unsigned musicians from across the GTA during SoundClash’s call for submissions in April. 

From today until July 4, the public is invited to vote online at harbourfrontcentre.com/soundclash/ for their favourite shortlisted artist to win the 2014 SoundClash Music Award. To prove their chops in a live performance, each of the artists will play a set for voters during Harbourfront Centre’s Canada Day Extravaganza on June 28 and 29. 

The musicians are competing to win thousands in cash and other prizes, including vocal coaching, artist development, promotional photo shoots, and two roundtrip flights provided by WestJet to any destination in their network. When the final votes are counted, cash prizes equal to $10,000 will be divided among the top three finalists – with $5,000 going to first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third.

The following five musical acts are the nominees for the fourth annual SoundClash Music Award and will perform live at Harbourfront Centre this summer in a bid to be the best in the GTA: 

CANVAS – Toronto-based five-piece indie rock band led by award-winning songwriter and producer, Chris Graham

Comprised of vocalist and guitarist Chris Graham, keyboardist Loryn Taggart, bassist Andrew Thomas, drummer Mike Wood and guitarist Rachael Kennedy, indie rock band CANVAS blends the old and the new with futuristic synths, danceable grooves, hooky melodies and shimmering guitars. Singer-songwriter Graham is also an award-winning producer who has worked with a variety of artists across genres, from hard rock to children’s music

DATU – Modern Fillipino tribal music crew infusing traditional sounds with hip-hop and electronic influences.

This modern Fillipino tribal music crew consists of Alexander Junior, Rudy Boquilla and Romeo Candido, who bring their 20 years of musical experience together with a mission to preserve, reinvigorate and share with the world the best of traditional Fillipino music. Infusing indigenous instrumentation with their hip-hop and electronic backgrounds, the members of DATU create a whole new sound that is equal parts North American and Fillipino, and completely Torontonian.

Keita Juma – Mississauga-based, English-born rapper and producer with a penchant for sculpting and refining classic hip-hop sounds

The sound of this Mississauga-based rapper/producer, originally born in Bristol, England, was influenced from an early age by the West Coast rap played at home by his Jamaican father. Upon moving to Canada, it was fused with a new set of influences, from sounds of the Dirty South to East Coast rap. A rapper with an interest in sculpting and refining sounds, KJ has worked with Noel Cadastre (now an assistant to OVO’s Noah Shebib), taking his production and mixing skills to the next level.

Maneli – Acoustic guitarist and composer translating a nomadic upbringing into an expansive, international musical style

Acoustic guitarist and composer Maneli Jamal lived in five different countries (Iran, Belarus, Germany, USA and Canada) and moved twenty times before he was 18-years old. Translating his nomadic life experiences into musical movements using extended guitar techniques, Maneli has crafted a sound that conveys a unique balance of power and sensitivity, and a large breadth of ideas.

Pale Eyes – Musical duo made up of Lisa J. Smith and Ben McCarthy known for combining a minimalist synth sound with emotionally urgent vocals

The duo of Lisa J. Smith and Ben McCarthy have shed the indie rock sound of their former projects to forge a new sound, combining emotionally urgent vocals with minimal synth arrangements, hypnotic drums and thrumming subs. Pale Eye’s 2013 release, Sweatshop, earned the band comparisons to Radiohead, Tent Reznor, the XX and The Knife. The same year, the band transformed their sound into a frenetic multimedia showcase for festivals including NXNE, Pop Montreal and Electric Eclectics. 

The winner of the SoundClash Music Award – to be announced in August – will perform one more celebratory set for the public at Harbourfront Centre’s Hot & Spicy Food Festival on August 15. 

Public voting is limited to one vote per IP address. For additional information the public may visitharbourfrontcentre.com/soundclash or call 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront. 

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe.