CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2021 annual search to find the next great Canadian artist, Winners announced!
After some long and very careful deliberation, CBC Searchlight Judges have made their decisions: the winners of CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2021 have been announced!
Yes, winners. This year, unlike any other, we have one grand prize winner and four runners-up, all of whom will receive fabulous prizes fine-tuned to take their careers to the next level and beyond.
Grand Prize winner: Jhyve, ‘Down’ (Scarborough, ON.)
In 2018, this guitar-playing singer-songwriter was nominated for the Juno Award for best R&B/soul recording alongside Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar. Now, with a new EP out in 2020 (Rapture) and this 2021 Searchlight win — beating out nearly 2,500 other artists — Jhyve is poised for widespread acclaim.
“I feel like I want to find a mountaintop and scream off it,”- Jhyve, upon learning he had won CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight.
“That’s amazing. That’s amazing! That’s so amazing. I’m actually at a loss for words,” responded Jhyve when he learned he had won Searchlight 2021. “I feel like I want to find a mountaintop and scream off it.”
“‘Down’ was written in one of the hardest times in my life,” Jhyve confirmed about his Searchlight-winning song. “I was working with a record label that I was having creative differences with, and a personal relationship that was really big for me had ended earlier that year. ‘Down’ represented the low, a breaking point. It’s kind of crazy to think that something that came from such a dark place has had such an impact on people. It makes me feel like it wasn’t for nothing. It’s kind of poetic.”
Jhyve has won CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2021 grand prize, which includes:
1. Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience
By winning Toyota Searchlight, Jhyve has earned a spot in Canada’s premier talent development program — the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class — for a week in Toronto (or its virtual equivalent), surrounded by the music industry’s best. It will all culminate in a live industry showcase, plus a trip to Canada’s national music awards in 2022. (COVID restrictions may apply.)
2. A recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary
Studio time is expensive, but by winning Toyota Searchlight, Jhyve will spend five days in Calgary at the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell, and be given access to more than 300 musical instruments, a recording studio and a recording engineer to create his next album.
3. Play MPE Distribution Deal
Jhyve’s single or album will get a full promotional distribution campaign sent out by the most widely used secure digital distribution system available in the music industry. Play MPE is used by all major labels, as well as thousands of independents, promoters and artists globally.
4. CBC-TV/radio/digital feature on your song/band
Jhyve’s winning song and story will be turned into a cross-platform Toyota Searchlight feature hosted by CBC Music Top 20 host Grant Lawrence. The feature will air nationally on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and on digital platforms. Jhyve’s song will also be featured on the CBC Music Top 20.
5. Prize pack courtesy of Toyota Canada
- $2,500 worth of recording studio time.
- $2,500 worth of musical equipment/instruments.
CONGRATS to our very own Peterborough Songbird, Elyse Saunders for her song FREE as she was 1 of 4 TOP RUNNERS-UP!!!!!
“To know the judges picked my song is a real compliment. My journey in music has come a long way,” Saunders shares.
“I was pretty shocked and surprised … to know that they believe in the song and they believe in me as an artist is a huge compliment,” says Saunders of being named a top 10 finalist in what’s billed as CBC Music’s ‘annual hunt for the country’s next great undiscovered talent.
“The cool thing about it is I was one of the judges’ picks,” Saunders says, referring to being one of the seven finalists selected by CBC Music producers, with the other three finalists decided by popular vote.
“Two or three artists went through on voting. That helps — I had a lot of fans in my corner — but to know the judges picked my song is a real compliment. My journey in music has come a long way. To know that it’s paying off now, that people are recognizing that, and that the stuff I’m putting out is resonating, is huge for me,” Elyse shares.
1. Elyse Saunders, ‘Free’ (Peterborough, Ont.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsCpcoQ02gY&t=3s
2. Michaela Slinger, ‘Masquerade’ (Vancouver), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_WdQxQ0wuU&t=1s
3. Riell, ‘First’ (Edmonton), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KypjCKQ8mWE&t=157s
4. The Royal Foundry, ‘okay?’ (Sherwood Park, Alta.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V62Ap6x0JGs
Our Toyota Searchlight runners-up will each receive these prizes courtesy of Toyota Canada:
- Play MPE distribution deal for their single.
- $1,000 worth of recording studio time.
- $500 worth of musical equipment/instruments.
Elyse Saunders’ song ‘Free’, co-written with Shawn Moore and produced by Dan Swinimer, has garnered more than 500,000 streams on Apple Music, with the video earning more than 100,000 YouTube views while remaining in regular rotation on Stingray Music’s Country Music Video TV channel.
All in all, Peterborough is mighty proud of you Elyse, and your talent, congrats on all your success thus far kiddo, and for your amazing video ‘Free’ with the Video Of The Year honors at the Mississauga Music Awards, and for being CMAO’s June Artist of the Month as well, for your 2 x 2021 Rising Star and Female Artist of the Year nominations regarding your most recent release, Sunshine State Of Mind (May 14, 2021).
This incredible hit, ‘Free‘ will be incorporated on her new 3rd album dropping this October 2021.
“I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just part of my life. I don’t really know any different. Where I start to pinch myself is when these successes come or I reach major goals. It’s a reminder to me that it’s pretty amazing to be able to have this gift and be able to help people’s lives in some way through music. It’s pretty cool that I get to do this,” Elyse shares.
Fans can stay in tune with Elyse Saunders by visiting: