Mo Kenney claims SOCAN songwriting prize

Halifax singer-songwriter Mo Kenney took home the 2013 SOCAN Songwriting Prize Wednesday for her soulful breakup song Sucker.

'She has the potential to be the next k.d. lang,' panellist says

Halifax singer-songwriter Mo Kenney is the first Maritimer to win the SOCAN Songwriting Prize. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Halifax singer-songwriter Mo Kenney took home the 2013 SOCAN songwriting Prize Wednesday for her soulful breakup song Sucker.

Among the spoils of her victory are a $5,000 cash prize, a Gibson Les Paul guitar and a gift certificate good for $3,000 of Roland gear.

"I am honoured to receive the SOCAN Songwriting Prize," she said in a statement. "I wrote Sucker in my first apartment in Halifax after getting dumped, I never dreamed back then that I'd win a prize for it. Thanks, SOCAN, and thanks to all the other nominees and the people who voted for me!"

The nominees are selected by a panel of Canadian music experts, but the winner is chosen by the public. Nearly 14,000 online votes were cast for both the English and French nominees between June 3 - July 3.

"Mo Kenney is the perfect winner of this prize," said Grant Lawrence, SOCAN panellist and CBC Radio 3 host. "She is a brilliant up-and-coming songwriter whose strong, mature voice and amazing knack for melody defy her young age. When I first heard Mo Kenney, my impressions were 'she has the potential to be the next k.d. lang.'"

Kenney is the third consecutive female winner, and the first to hail from the Maritimes. She was also nominated for the 2013 East Coast Music Awards Rising Star prize.

Past winners of the SOCAN prize include punk band Propagandhi, indie rockers The Weakerthans and hip-hop artists Abdominal and D-Sisive.

The other English-language nominees were:

  • Baby’s Got It – written and performed by Maylee Todd.
  • Devil’s Got a Gun – written by Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland; performed by Whitehorse.
  • Fineshrine – written by Megan James and Corin Roddick; performed by Purity Ring.
  • Mule in the Flowers – written by Tamara Hope and Steven Lambke; performed by The Weather Station featuring Baby Eagle.

Quebec City's Keith Kouna won this year's French prize for the song Batiscan.