They came, they saw, they sang.
Oshawa Music Week is officially over, having finished the week off with Songs Revealed 2018, a songwriting competition, held at Simcoe Blues and Jazz on Simcoe and Robert Street.
Nathan Bottomley won first place in the competition, winning a free studio recording courtesy of Chalet Studio in Toronto. Bottomley is a singer/songwriter from Lindsay and plays acoustic pop/rock.
Roberta Michele, a singer/songwriter and vocal coach, Milos Angelov, a musician and record producer, and Jeff Dalziel, owner and operator of The Post Office, a production studio in Toronto, judged the event. The three judges offered feedback on every artist’s performance.
For Bottomley’s song, “So Far Gone,” the judges told him to work on editing in his songwriting, with Michele saying she prefers taking out words that have more than two syllables in her choruses.
“Truly, I think I’m going to take away and use that [feedback]. It’s not often people comment on the words so much as what they hear and feel,” Bottomley said.
Overall, the judges said every musician should take a “crash course” in chorus writing.
The winner of second place was Kaley Bernard, a first-year nursing student at Durham College, who wrote a song about coping with depression. She won a $200 gift card to Long & McQuade as well as a ticket to NXNE, a ten-day summer festival in Toronto.
Pauly Wog, the only rapper in the competition, earned third place. His prize was a $100 gift card to Long & McQuade and a ticket to NXNE.
Songs Revealed, along with the rest of the week’s events, was organized by Durham College’s Music Business Management (MBM) program. The $400 in proceeds from the event went to the Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle, an Aboriginal-led non-profit agency in Durham Region.
Sanjay Baboolal, a second year in the program, says opportunities like Oshawa Music Week allow MBM students to see what they’re good at on the event-planning side of the music industry.
“The whole point of the assignment is to get experience putting on an event. All the logistics that go into it, sponsors, talent, getting people from the town involved,” Baboolal said. “A lot of us are going to be in the industry doing that exact same thing soon.”
According to Baboolal, artists also benefit from events like Songs Revealed.
“Artists get exposure to different crowds they normally wouldn’t necessarily,” he said, referring to people connected to the college who normally wouldn’t go out to see live music.
Baboolal also said the feedback given from the judges is beneficial for the artists as well.
Seven artists and bands from genres such as rap, punk rock, funk and more came out to the competition, including alternative rock band Rikashay and punk rock band Nothing Special.
With the week at an end, Baboolal reflected on his favourite part of the week.
“Personally, I think I had a good time at the World Music Showcase,” he said with a smile. “I think it was super cool to see all the different cultures performing.”