Artist Development

The SOCAN Foundation and SiriusXM partner to celebrate Black music creators


The SOCAN Foundation, with an ongoing partnership with SiriusXM, recently announced the winners of the Black Canadian Music Awards. Now in its fourth year, the Black Canadian Music Awards, was created to recognize the accomplishments and creativity of Black Canadian artists across genres. Five finalists and five special distinctions are awarded along with a monetary prize value of $10,000 and $1,000 each, respectively.  

Founded in Canada in 1992, SOCAN works on behalf of its member artists in the areas of music licensing, rights management, advocacy, and international royalties. Under the SOCAN umbrella are the annual SOCAN Awards, the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, the SOCAN Foundation, and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Awarded at year’s end, the 2023 Black Canadian Music Awards recipients included DVBLMLizaMyles CastelloNAIIM, and Savannah Ré. The 2023 special distinction honorees were Ryan Ofei, Tona, Kirk Diamond & FINN, Mah Moud, and Eleanor.  

A native of Montreal, NAIIM’s artistry fuses pop, rap, and R&B to create a sound that he describes as an extension of his personality. Prior to his music career, NAIIM studied medicine but opted for a different, more creative path that allowed him to connect emotions and culture. 

Liza is a renaissance woman: singer, songwriter, nurse, and clinical researcher. The Ethiopian-Canadian neo-soul and R&B artist has garnered substantial praise with her penetrating music and empathetic lyrics. Not only was she selected as part of YouTube’s Music Class of 2022, but she was also named as one of Amazon Music’s Breakthrough Artists To Watch of 2023. 

Hailing from the Scarborough district of Toronto, R&B singer Myles Castello isn’t afraid to cross genre boundaries. Castello’s glossy vocals over his striking beats allow listeners to experience his versatile artistry. In addition to his lyric writing and song production, Castello plays the piano and guitar – something he learned in order to grow in his musical aptitude. 

Rising hip-hop artist and Toronto’s own DVBLM (Double M) uses her Caribbean culture and life experiences to breathe life in her music. DVBLM’s talent is evident in her ability to adapt her rap cadence to nearly any sound and genre. While she has yet to release a full studio album, she has released multiple noteworthy singles and has garnered a devoted fan base. 

Rounding out this year’s award winners is Savannah Ré: a three-time, consecutive winner of the  JUNO award for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. While Savannah Ré has only released one LP and one EP, along with numerous singles, her discography is impressive due to her lyrical storytelling, soulful vocals, and consistently captivating musical production. The Scarborough native has become a preferred writing collaborator for the likes of Babyface, Jessie Reyes, Boi-1da, and Wondagurl, further establishing her as a rising star and cementing her burgeoning legacy in the music industry. 

Image by Sarah Del Ange, courtesy of the artist.

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