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Sohayla Smith & the Smith Brothers nominated for country music award

September 25, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

 

Shelburne band Sohayla Smith & the Smith Brothers has been nominated for the Best in Country at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. (TIMAs)

The annual competition was created in 2004 to support independent musicians across Ontario, celebrating songs in a variety of genres “without regard to recording quality, industry affiliation or sales history.”

The TIMA is a coveted award shared by independent up-and-coming musicians like Sohayla Smith & the Smith Brothers. Well known in Shelburne for her hard work with her community arts group Troupe-Adore, Sohayla Smith says she has been writing songs since she was 12 years old.

“I was recorded for the first time when I was 15 at Skylab Studio Q107 with Robert DiGioia.”

“I’ve never submitted to the TIMA’s before this year,” says Ms. Smith. “I’ve always noticed the buzz when it happens, and knew some musician friends that were nominated, but just never felt I had good quality recordings to enter until this year.”

Between 1995-2008, Sohayla played a large number of open mics, little venues all over the GTA, weddings, festivals, and busked. She released her first CD in 2008, and that same year she was noticed by Jane Harbury Publicity, and played the Jane Harbury Presents Discoveries Series at Hugh’s Room.

In 2009, Sohayla formed a trio with the Smith Brothers, guitar players and singers Adrian and Nathan, from the band “The Pedestrians.” Together, they began recording more original music together, including some worship songs.

From 2010-2016, the Americana-Pop-Rock-Alt-Country band played at venues such as Free Times Cafe, The Black Swan, The Great Hall, Tivoli House Concert and many more.

In 2016, their song “Bridges” qualified the trio for the Collingwood Live & Original songwriter showdown, where they took 4th place along with a feature at the Arts & Culture Awards that year. The band recorded a CD with Red Room Recordings and their EP – The Red Room Recording Session is now for sale; their music is distributed world wide through sites such as iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer.

Early in 2017, the band shot a music video for their song “The Breakdown” inviting local talent including dancer Madison Walsh, Josh Oatman on camera and lighting, and Wes Lomond as stage manager to be part of the project.

In April, “Bridges” took #1 in Americana on Ourstage, as well as Roots Finals Grand Prize Winner, and was featured on Amazing Radio and Salford City Radio in the UK. Locally, the group was included in the main exhibit at Dufferin County Museum and Archives: “True Grit,” where they performed for the grand opening.

This year, saw Nick Ovington, a drummer from Orangeville join the band, along with bassist Devon Eichhorn from Shelburne…and now they are five.

Sohayla says with their first small hall concert at Simcoe Street Theatre, “Music for a Sunday Evening,” approaching, the band has been working hard to prepare, as well as recording new singles and releasing them – with plans for a full band album next.”

The Simcoe Street Theatre is located at 65 Simcoe Street in Collingwood. Tickets can be reserved for the October 15th concert at 705-888-8502.

Prizes at the TIMAs include custom prize packages to help independent musicians to “network, attain tools for success and be discovered,” such as radio promotion, recording and consultation.

Sohayla Smith & the Smith Brothers are nominated in the Country category along with Tianna Woods, Dani Strong, The Argues, Alessia Cohle, Cheryl Casselman, and Campbell Woods.

“Every time I enter a contest I don’t go in with expectations,” says Sohayla, “I just hope to enjoy the experience if we happen to get noticed.” But she says, “Getting the nomination email was awesome… I read ‘Congratulations’… then I got excited.”

She says, “A TIMA nomination in the recorded material category is a high achievement according to Dani Oliva the Executive Producer and Founder of the Toronto Independent Music Awards. A nomination means that after round one of judging – our song(s) received top scores in their genre category in the areas of: Lyricism, Musicianship, Uniqueness, Songwriting Skills, and Hook/Addictive Factor. Now, it’s off to round two of judging, where they will be evaluated by the TIMA Grand Jury.”

The winners will be announced live at the 13th Annual Toronto Independent Music Awards Gala and Festival presented by 94.9 The Rock’s Generation NEXT on Friday, October 13 at Revival in Toronto.

To learn more about Sohayla Smith and the Smith Brothers visit: www.sohaylasmith.com.

         

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