CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2022: the Top 10 finalists

The Top 10 national finalists in CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2022 have been decided. (CBC)

CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2022 began back in April, with Canadian musicians from every province and territory entering their best original songs. Your votes were cast and counted, we listened to every song and checked out every artist, and you helped us pick our national Top 100.

That’s when our judges took over. Here’s how we decided on the best of the best, the Top 10 finalists for CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight 2022, our hunt for Canada’s greatest undiscovered musical talent:

  • Potential for success in the Canadian music industry.
  • Vocal performance, quality of music and lyric composition.
  • Our judges’ impression of the artist’s song and career to date.
  • Social media engagement and streaming numbers.

Please also note that the quality of each song is being judged on audio, not video. 

Below, you’ll find the 10 finalists in alphabetical order. Congratulations to them all!

Capri Everitt, ‘Not Your Toy’ (Vancouver)

This is the second time in the Top 10 in the last three years for this young pop powerhouse from the West Coast, who now splits her time between Vancouver and L.A. Capri Everitt famously set a Guinness World Record for singing the national anthem in 80 different countries — in each country’s native language — and her Instagram followers are through the roof.

Chad Price, ‘Somehow, Someway’ (London, Ont.)

Smooth, melodic and feel-good soul and R&B flow effortlessly from this hugely talented singer, originally from London, who now calls Toronto home. In his own words, Price has evolved from “a bashful singer-songwriter into a savvy, seasoned, confident and respected artist/entrepreneur who literally does it all.”

Fionn, ‘I Won’t Lie’ (White Rock, B.C.)

Alanna and Brianne Finn-Morris are the twin sisters behind the electro-folk-pop unit Fionn from the Vancouver area — and they are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on a national level. Dedication, creativity and drive are just a few words that describe the artistry of the twins, who have already released a string of singles and albums on 604 Records. 

Justin Fancy, ‘Better Than You’ (Conception Bay South, N.L.)

Is Justin Fancy the next breakout Canadian country music star? The Newfoundland singer just won the highly contested award for fan choice entertainer of the year at the 2022 East Coast Music Awards, and has previously won Music Newfoundland’s 2020 award for country artist and rising star, marking the first time in the award’s history that the same artist has won both categories simultaneously.

Kresnt, ‘One More Thing’ (Vancouver)

Delivered with a classic old-school hip-hop flow, this Vancouver rapper on the rapid rise has already been name-checked in magazines and music blogs across North America, and his clever and funny songs and videos have crested up and over 30 million streams.

Meltt, ‘Love Again’ (Vancouver)

Sounding like a Canadian version of Tame Impala, Meltt has the distinction of being the one true band in the Top 10. This West Coast indie group is made up of four multi-instrumentalists who craft dreamy, melodic, indie-electronic, psych-rock journeys. Speaking of journeys, check out their North American tour dates this summer. 

Mindflip, ‘Mind Control’ (Gatineau, Que.)

Already with a certified gold record to his name, this Ottawa-area rapper is very much a name to watch. Mindflip rose to popularity with his 2018 single “Everywhere We Go,” which accumulated more than 5.5 million streams on Spotify. Then he struck gold with “Run My Sh*t,” which hit more than eight million streams and earned him his first framed gold record.

Riell, ‘Lie to Me’ (Edmonton)

This electro-pop star on the rise is no stranger to Toyota Searchlight, having placed as a runner-up last year. Nor is she any stranger to music competition: Riell won a Western Canadian Music Award for electronic artist of the year in 2020, the grand prize in the electronic category of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition in 2019, and first prize in the 2019 U.S.A. Songwriting Competition for the dance/electronic category. Will the crown for Toyota Searchlight 2022 be next?

Roveena, ‘Time’ (Toronto)

What. A. Voice. Check out this emotional, piano-driven ballad and what might only be rightly described as a perfect vocal take. This Sri Lankan-born, Toronto-based singer has seen huge streaming numbers, and is currently writing and recording her third studio album with Juno-nominated producer Ryan Worsley (Nuela Charles, Monowhales, Dear Rouge) on her upcoming third studio album.

Siibii (a.k.a. Angel Baribeau), ‘Wish we Were Older’ (Mistissini, Que.)

An absolutely gorgeous, soaring, self-aware slice of indie pop from this Montreal-based, queer, non-binary artist originally from the Cree community of Mistissini, Que. “Wish we Were Older” has already won best music video at the 2021 Toronto Indie Shorts Film Festival.

Now it’s up to our panel of celebrity judges to decide which one of these artists will be the ultimate winner of Toyota Searchlight 2022, as well as choose the four runners-up, all of whom will win great prizes. The winning announcement will be made on Tuesday, June 28.

The grand prize-winning artist will receive a prestigious placement in the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class in Toronto, five days of recording at Studio Bell at the National Music Centre in Calgary, a trip to the 2023 Juno Awards in Edmonton, a Play MPE distribution deal, and a Toyota prize pack of studio time and musical instruments. Read more about our prizes here. 

There is no further voting — now all we can do is wait until the winner is announced. Congratulations again to our Top 10!

Questions? searchlight@cbc.ca.

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