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International song-writing competition results: Canadian artists honoured in prestigious US-based unsigned only music competition.

Press Release--The Unsigned Only Music Competition, geared toward musical artists who are unsigned to a major record label or its affiliates, announced its 2015 winners. The competition recognizes the best in up-and-coming artists worldwide and acts as a benchmark for excellence in contemporary music. Winners were selected from 7,000 entries from all over the world and represent many genres of contemporary, commercial music. More than $100,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to a total of 26 winners. The winning songs can be heard at

First Place in the Rock category is Willa with the song "Swan" Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Willa's music has been dubbed electronic pop with a hint of edge and darkness. Having honed her chops in the jazz world at a young age, Willa has since evolved into a unique and creative artist who stands out among others in her genre. She is a respected vocalist, performer, and songwriter who isn't afraid to take chances and pushes the boundaries of her music and talent. Willa has performed at the Canada Winter Games and headlined her first West Coast tour last year. She continues to tour and perform throughout Canada.

First Place in AC (Adult Contemporary) is Patrick Lehman with his song, "Games." A soul singer and songwriter originally from Montreal, QC, he has been heavily influenced by the soul music of the 1960s and rock and roll of that era. Lehman has recorded three albums and toured across the US, Canada and Europe. His music has been described by Elle Magazine Netherlands "as warm as whiskey", and CBC Music has named him "the nation's best kept soul secret". Patrick had a Top 40 hit in the Netherlands last year with his song "Oh I" and will be releasing his new album Butchy's Son in the fall of 2015. The Unsigned Only winning song "Games" will be the first single.

In addition to these First Place winners, three Canadian artists were awarded a Second Place in the competition.

Second Place winners

Brock Zeman (Carleton Place, ON)--"Pulling Your Sword Out Of

The Devil's Back"--Americana

Jules Collarile (Oakville, ON)--"City Lights"--Teen

Liz Labelle (Montreal, Qc)--"Bombs Away"--Pop/Top 40

An additional list of 26 Canadian Honorable Mentions can be found at

"As we entered the fourth year of this competition, the level of talent has grown exponentially," state Founders Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. "This year, the winners impressed the judges with their passion, creativity, energy, and artistry. The winners embody the future of music, and we hope that the recognition they receive through Unsigned Only gives them the inspiration and ammunition to keep growing as artists and succeed in attaining their goals." Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2016 competition. Information on entering the competition can be found at

(Editor's note: For more information on the winners, photos, prizes, judges and upcoming competitions, please visit the website listed. In addition, if any of these winners were at some point one of your students, please send me an email at

"A staggering 31 Canadian artists have won either First, Second or Honorable mention in the 2015 US based Unsigned Only Music Competition. Chosen from over 7000 submissions, this is an incredible achievement for Canadian music and the accomplishments of these artists." Candace Avery, Director/Co-Founder
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Title Annotation:in the spotlight
Publication:Canadian Music Educator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2015
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