Nanaimo’s Whitey Somers is one of 10 “live performance” Canadian Songwriting Competition finalists. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo musician Whitey Somers makes Canadian Songwriting Competition short list

Winner will be decided by online public voting, which closes Feb. 28

Whitey Somers doesn’t normally partake in songwriting competitions – he says they can sometimes be “popularity contests” – but about a month ago he submitted a video from a new song to the Canadian Songwriting Competition and soon learned that he was a finalist in the live performance category.

“I did it on a bit of a whim,” the Nanaimo-based singer-songwriter said.

“I just said, ‘Why not? … Go for it. Whatever, a couple bucks, see what happens.’”

What happened was the performance of his folky blues number Down that Road, the title track from his upcoming album, unexpectedly made the cut.

The competition is open to amateur and professional songwriters alike. The songs must be original and at least half-written by Canadians.

Prizes range from a $10,000 grand prize, to studio time and professional development opportunities. A roster of industry judges, this year including recording artists Joel Plaskett, Sam Roberts and Alan Doyle, will pick the winners for all categories except for “live performance,” which is decided by public voting.

Somers said he was “stoked … humbled and surprised” when he heard the competition committee placed him on the 10-artist short list. He said his song must have connected with the committee members.

“I think it’s just engaging, you know. It’s warm, it’s honest, it’s a lot of fun and the song itself is fairly catchy,” he said.

Somers said he’s been having a good 2018 so far and his position in the Canadian Songwriting Contest is further evidence of that.

He is currently “right smack-dab in the middle” of recording a new blues album that he hopes to release in the spring. He said he’s been getting more into the blues since moving to Nanaimo from Collingwood, Ont. in 2013.

“There’s a big blues thing on the Island. There’s a lot of blues players and that’s where a lot of the work is, is in that sort of genre: roots [and] blues,” he said.

“I’ve sort of started swinging in that direction a lot more.”

The oldest track on the record Somers wrote when he was a teenager in the mid-’70s and the latest was written the night before heading into the studio.

“There’s a couple of really new tunes on the album that people have never even heard and there’s some I’ve been kind of flogging around a little bit for a while,” he said, adding that the songs of his youth were “not as deep, but for a 15-year-old I obviously had a sense of the blues.”

To view all 10 live Canadian Songwriting Competition finalists, click here. Voting is done by liking the artist’s post. Voting ends on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

OPINION: It’s important that we exercise our right to vote

If we vote for a competent and collaborative council, the Hub City will thrive, says guest columnist

Discontent City can remain where it is until the end of next month

B.C. Supreme Court judge grants application for an extension to comply with injunction

Clippers bounce back and beat Eagles

Nanaimo defeats Surrey 6-2, next home game is this Sunday, Oct. 21

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: So much for ‘say no to drugs’ in Canada

I’m from the ‘users are losers’ generation, says letter writer

Former Nanaimo Daily News editor writes first business book

Book launch for It Worked For Them, It Will Work For Me is Tuesday, Oct. 23

UPDATE: Shots fired at house during fight in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Candidates for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Local government elections are today, Oct. 20

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

When to vote, where to vote, how to vote

Voting day is Oct. 20, with polls open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Most Read