Live on q with Tom Power, CBC Music announced Toronto-based hip-hop artist Shopé as the winner of the SEARCHLIGHT 2019 competition. With almost 2,000 original songs entered since January for this year’s edition of the annual contest, music acts from across the country have been vying for the top spot through a combination of public votes, a Canadian music industry panel and celebrity judges. Shopé, also known by his given name Mosope Adeyemi, impressed judges with his submitted track “Come Wid It,” earning him this year’s title of Canada’s next big music act.
Upon finding out he won SEARCHLIGHT 2019, Shopé told CBC q that he’s “beyond honoured, beyond grateful. It’s incredible validation that this journey that I set out on 10 years ago isn’t a fools’ errand. At the end of the day when you truly believe something and you’re willing to work hard for it, you can achieve it.”
Before entering SEARCHLIGHT 2019, Shopé brought his sound, described as a blend of Afropop, hip-hop and soulful R&B, to live shows across Canada, the United States, Africa and Europe, including two showcases at SXSW (2016 and 2018) and Canadian Music Week (2016) in Toronto. The Nigeria-born artist also volunteers within the community, bringing his voice to issues around racial injustice and the educational achievement gap in inner city communities through workshops with the Toronto District School Board and by mentoring at-risk youth.
As part of the grand prize, Shopé will take part in Canada’s premiere artist development program: the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class. This includes a performance spot at the 2019 JUNO Master Class music industry showcase in Toronto, and a trip to the 2020 JUNO Awards in Saskatoon where he will perform at JUNOfest.
“We are excited to have Shopé join the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class as this year’s Searchlight winner,” said Allan Reid, President and CEO, CARAS, The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “Shopé’s voice and songs are unique and we look forward to connecting him with mentors who can help him on his journey.”
Shopé has also earned a five day residency at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, with access to recording studios, professionals, and a historic instrument collection that spans more than 450 years of technology and innovation, in addition to a performance slot at this year’s CBC Music Festival at Toronto’s RBC Echo Beach.
For more information on CBC Music’s SEARCHLIGHT, visit cbcmusic.ca/searchlight