Inaugural awards recognize Black music creators in all genres of music from across Canada

The SOCAN Foundation today announced the recipients of the inaugural SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards, an award created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Black music creators. The five winners will each receive $5,000, made possible by SiriusXM Canada.

More than 300 applications from artists across Canada covering a wide variety of musical genres were submitted for the 2020 Awards.

“Congratulations to all the winners for their extraordinary talent in music creation,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “The musical pieces submitted are indicative of the extent of the contributions made by the Canadian Black music community that is enriching Canadian culture while contributing in a significant way to social and economic inclusion.”

Winners were selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Black artists and industry leaders, including jury Chair DJ Agile. Furthermore, four of the five winners of the SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards are first-generation Canadians.

“SiriusXM would like to congratulate the five winners of the inaugural SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards,” said Paul Cunningham, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, SiriusXM Canada. “We were blown away by the outstanding talent and submissions from Black music creators from across the country.”

The SOCAN Foundation, in partnership with Sirius XM Canada, will virtually celebrate the winners of the 2020 SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards with a series of short videos on its Instagram page @socanfdn from January 12th to 14th.

Launched September 2020, the Black Canadian Music Awards aim to recognize and celebrate Black songwriters and composers. The Awards support the SOCAN Foundation’s objective to develop equitable and inclusive programming as diverse as the communities in which we live.

The five winners are TOBi, Naya Ali, RAAHiiM, Hunnah and Dylan Sinclair

TOBi // Growth, City Blues // Hip-Hop // Ontario // English
Born in Nigeria, 26 year old TOBi immigrated to Canada with his father at 8 years old. He
went from rapping to writing R&B, afropop, pop music and alternative music as well. He
writes almost all of the lyrics in his music and he has started producing and writing for other
artists locally and internationally.

Naya Ali // Get It Right, Godspeed // Rap // Quebec // English
Born in Ethiopia and now living in Montreal, she started creating music only 2 years ago and
she’s already on billboards in downtown Toronto. She’s drawing a lot of attention in Canada
and abroad with her unique flow, flamboyant but calm personality and high energy
performances.

RAAHiiM // Peak (Fet Up), Red Light // R&B //Ontario // English
Singer, songwriter, and producer from Toronto, he grew up singing in church and talent
shows across North America. At 17 he was selected to join the 2014 class of The Remix
Project’s recording program. His writing and production skills, along with his silky voice
paved the way to some major collaborations.

Hunnah // Away, Think About It // R&B // Ontario // English
Nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto who started honing his voice in church at
the age of 4. He began writing and recording music by the age of 15. In 2017, Dylan
released his first independent project entitled “Red Like Crimson” and draw the attention of
some high-profile artists in Toronto.

Dylan Sinclair // Home, Ask Me // R&B // Ontario // English
She began her musical education with piano lessons at age 4, and by age 9 she was
performing at church and writing her own original songs. Her greatest talent is her ability to
reach out through the speakers and forge an emotional bond with her listeners. She’s now
bases in LA and she’s working with major companies.