Island musicians make it to semi-finals in songwriting competition
New contest with big prizes attracts top Island talent
Kinley Dowling and Bryson Guptill are two talented P.E.I. musicians and singer-songwriters with very different styles.
Dowling is more pop, and Guptill has more of a folk sound, but they both write songs from personal experience, songs that touch others.
Now they are both semi-finalists in the Canadian Songwriting Competition, and dropped by CBC Mainstreet P.E.I. to talk about that.
It's the first year for the competition, and Guptill was attracted by the level of talent he found in the jury, music producers and talented musicians including Kardinal Offishall, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.
$35,000 prize package
It's a significant prize package, worth more than $35,000, with artists in 14 different categories.
Dowling is a semi-finalist in the pop category for her song Microphone, and Guptill is a semi-finalist in the folk/singer-songwriter category for his song, Forest Glen.
Also in the semis are a family from Borden-Carleton, Connie Doerksen and her sons Joshua and Elijah.
Dowling is pleased with making it this far in the contest, especially since songwriting is relatively new for her, as she has been branching out from her highly respected violin playing.
Microphone was written about being raped the night of her high school prom.
Personal song for Guptill
Guptill's song is also a personal one, written after he picked up songwriting when he retired.
"There was a memory about my grandmother's home, and building a cottage there after the home was gone," he said. "It was one of the first songs for my album. The song is a benchmark for me for other things that have flowed from that."
He's not surprised that Islanders have done well in the competition.
"Clearly on a population basis, we have an extraordinary group of talented people here, and they keep winning national recognition, and international recognition," Guptill said.
The finalists will be announced at the end of the month, and winners will be named in May.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | P.E.I. woman's Facebook 'friend' was really a scammer
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | 'A victory for pigs': Activists applaud P.E.I. pig scramble decision
From the Mainstreet P.E.I. interview by Angela Walker