Calgary hip-hot funk artist makes CBC Searchlight contest shortlist

Two thousand people applied for the CBC Searchlight 2018 music discovery contest and 10 finalists were recently announced. Five were chosen by public voting, five by a panel of celebrity judges and Calgary hip-hop artist Sinzere was one of those.

Sinzere secured her spot as a top 10 finalist out of 2,000 submissions

Calgary hip-hop funk artist Sinzere is one of the 10 finalists recently announced in CBC's Searchlight music discovery contest. (Ellis Choe/CBC)

Two thousand people applied for the CBC Searchlight 2018 music discovery contest and 10 finalists were recently announced. Five were chosen by public voting, five by a panel of celebrity judges and Calgary hip-hop funk artist Sinzere was one of those.

"It was overwhelming. I ran to my window, I opened it and pushed my head and I was like, 'We made it,'" Sinzere told The Homestretch on Friday.

"For the last 12 years I have been crafting and I just think that now, I have brought myself there musically so I think I have arrived to that place where it's time."

She says her Searchlight submission, On Time, is about a personal journey.

"It's an ode to a person who has finally arrived at their true self. It's coming into your own, and arriving at the person you are going to be," she explained.

Her musical journey started with spinning records.

"I was in dance group, then I started DJing. I was self-taught. It was just something for fun, and then I ended becoming Western Canada's number one female DJ. It was an accident but incredible," Sinzere said.

"I started writing music in a group and that's led me to here."

Sinzere, born in Calgary, Alberta; is a singer-songwriter and rapper re-defining hip-hop music. Sinzere defines herself by her daring, witty, powerful, and unapologetic lyrics; creating what some call a genre of its own. Sinzere and her production team mix elements of Funk, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, and Reggae – creating a groovy, melodic, bass heavy sound – rich in originality. She switches comfortably between silky flows and poetically-punchy bars to singing like R&B was her full-time gig." 3:34

Today, she describes her genre as hip-hop funk and she loves that women are finally finding their voice in a formerly male-dominated category.

"Hip hop derived out of the most impoverished places in the world. People used it as a way to inform the rest of the world of the injustices that were happening in these places. How people were treated," she said.

"I feel like it's time and it's time to stop putting all female hip-hop artists in the specific category. With everything going on with women empowerment, it's just the perfect timing."

The winner is announced Monday on CBC's q with Tom Power and Sinzere has some plans to pass the time this weekend.

"I'm probably going to have a little bit of cognac and relax."

One Calgary musician has made it to the top 10 in Canada's searchlight contest., CBC music's annual hunt for the best undiscovered musical talent. Sinzere is a singer/songwriter and rapper. The annual contest began last month with more than 2,000 artists in the running. Five finalists were selected by popular vote. Five, including Sinzere, were chosen by a panel of CBC music producers. She joins Doug in studio 6:40

With files from The Homestretch and CBC's Ellis Choe