The SoundClash Music Award Experience: Jessica Stuart

Jessica Stuart and her band, The Jessica Stuart Few, were semi-finalists in the 2013 SoundClash Music Awards and placed second overall with their unique jazz-pop fusion. Featuring the sound of the Japanese harp, koto, which Jessica learned as a child in Japan, this band is a great example of the diverse and distinctive sounds showcased by the SoundClash Music Awards.

Having just returned from a successful tour in Australia, The Jessica Stuart Few are getting back to the studio to record their third full-length album. Jessica was kind enough to take some time and share her thoughts on the SoundClash experience.

Describe the experience of playing at Harbourfront Centre as an artist.
It was our first time playing at Harbourfront Centre for SoundClash. I loved the outdoor stage, and that it was an all ages show. Also, it was cool to play to an audience that surrounds you 360 degrees.  In 2014 we were invited to come back. It was a career highlight for me because I was able to bring my mother to the show.

What opportunities came to your band as a result of the SoundClash Music Award competition, and what did you learn from it?
Since the SoundClash performances are free to the public, it was a great way to connect with a large number of new fans. I also really enjoyed connecting with other semi-finalists, hearing their stories and be creatively inspired. The Music Ontario membership which was part of the SoundClash prize has also connected me with a lot of helpful resources and insights. As well, there was some great press that came out of SoundClash.

What advice would you give to artists who are submitting?
I think SoundClash is looking for groups that have a uniqueness to them. So my advice is to follow your authentic voice, no matter what the popular or trendy sound in Toronto is at the moment. Put that foot forward and I think you’ll do great!

The SoundClash Music Award offers a total of $10,000 in cash prizes: $5,000 to the winner, $3,000 for 2nd place and $2,00 for third. Other prizes include flight vouchers from WestJet, vocal coaching, career development sessions. The five finalists will all perform at Harbourfront Centre’s Party on the Block festival, July 10-12.

Submissions for 2015 close on May 10. Submit now via SonicBids or email soundclash@harbourfrontcentre.com