The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) has shortlisted Riit’s song #Uvangattauq for their 2020 Songwriting Prize. Music industry influencers will vote to determine winners among the 20 songwriters in line for the prize, which identifies the best song by an emerging Canadian songwriter. “This year’s nominated songs are meaningfully poignant, timely, heartbreaking and inspired,” said SOCAN when announcing the shortlist.
Members of the public are also encouraged to listen and vote for their favourite songs from now until July 29.
This is a big year for singer, performer, musician and television host Riit, who also goes by Rita-Claire Mike-Murphy. ataataga, the album on which #Uvangattauq appears, is her debut album and was also nominated for a 2020 Juno for Indigenous Music Album of the Year and longlisted for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize Canadian Album of the Year.
The prize is awarded for one English and one French song each year (#Uvangattauq is sung in both English and Inuktitut). Both winners will receive $5000 as a grand prize, but, for the first time in its fifteen-year history of awarding the prize, SOCAN will also award $500 to each nominated songwriter.
“The decision to change the prize structure this year was an easy one, rooted in our core value of supporting our members,” said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. “We hope this small gesture helps them navigate the situation.”
Based in Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, Riit’s sound combines katajjaq (throat singing) with electropop influences, mixing Inuktitut lyrics and ambient sounds to create a varied audio experience for listeners. Both the sound and the subject matter of this album and song are deeply personal to her; she shared with the IAQ in fall of last year that all of the songs on this album “come from very personal experiences and relationships.”
The winning song will be announced on August 2nd, 2020