Toronto - For her song “I Want,” Montreal-based singer-songwriter Alejandra Ribera is the winner of the 2014 SOCAN Songwriting Prize, Canada’s most prestigious award for independent songwriting. Ribera receives $5,000, a Gibson 1941 SJ-100 acoustic guitar, and a prize pack from Roland consisting of a BOSS Micro-BR BR-80 Digital Recorder, two CM-30 CUBE Monitors, and one set of RH-300 Stereo Headphones.
“‘I Want’ is a song about hope, joy and gratitude, and I feel all of those very deeply in receiving this honour from SOCAN. I was so happy just to be nominated and am indebted to those who celebrated my nomination and supported ‘I Want,’” said Ribera, who sings her richly textured songs in English, French and Spanish, and often finds her inspiration in images, myths and historical figures.
From June 3 to July 3, 2014, the public voted at www.socansongwritingprize.ca to choose their favourite of five independent songs determined by a panel of Canadian music experts. Fans could vote once a day in the public, online voting process, and SOCAN did not play any role in the selection or voting outcome.
The other nominated English songs:
“Emeralds Shatter” – written and performed by Louise Burns
“Gold” – written by Colyn Cameron; performed by Wake Owl; published by BMG Rights Management Canada
“Having You Around” – written by Peter Dreimanis, Leah Fay, Eamon McGrath, Daniel Miles, and Josh Warburton; performed by July Talk; published by July Talk Music Inc.
“Reservoir” – written by Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumack, Zachary Mykula and Steven Sladkowski; performed by PUP
“In ‘I Want’ Alejandra Ribera sings about ‘the aching of a melody,’ an achingly great line in an achingly great song,” said Michael McCarty, chief membership & business development officer of SOCAN. “The strength and wide stylistic range of the nominees’ songs this year offer testimony to both the depth and breadth of Canada’s enormous songwriting talent. We’re thrilled with the success of any and all of our more than 120,000 members, and we’re delighted to congratulate Alejandra as we celebrate her great accomplishment.”
“This is a song that is terrifically affecting, with its use of tension and release,” said Brad Wheeler, SOCAN Songwriting Prize panelist and music critic for The Globe and Mail. “The lyrics reflect the very progression of the chords – Ribera wants what the listener wants, which is the power of song, a metaphor for a life force. She sings about the aching of a melody, and we hear it. She sings about the ocean opening up for her, and we hear it. The word ‘timeless’ gets thrown around much too easily, but this is a song that, if not timeless, is going to be around for quite a while.”
The winner of the French SOCAN Songwriting Prize, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, was Ribera's fellow Quebecer Patrice Michaud, for his song, “Mécaniques générales.”
About SOCAN SOCAN is a member-based and governed organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of more than three-million Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 120,000 Canadian members, and the Canadian music industry overall. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses in Canada, and distributes royalties to its members and music rights organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of their music internationally in collaboration with its peer societies.