For the future of Newfoundland music to shine brightly, new musicians need a spotlight on them. For buzz to build and opportunities to knock, we must support those following in the footsteps of Ron Hynes or Amelia Curran, or we’re going to have some dull Folk Fests on our hands in 5 or 10 years time.

To keep the tidal wave of wonderful local musicians rolling strong, MusicNL and Statoil have, for years, partnered up on the “Newfound Talent contest” during the NL Folk Festival.

Once again this August, the contest will suss out talented musicians to represent the next generation of local songwriters, and help launch their career. The contest goes beyond merely awarding these young songwriters, to developing their skills and showcasing them.

The pat on the back comes with $6,000 to aid a talented young performer or group, aged 19 or younger, so they may  take their songwriting, audience, and performing skills to the next level. The $6,000 in prizes has included things like a professionally recorded demo, a website, a music video, a manufactured CD, music gift certificates, a year-long membership at MusicNL, and more.

For a snippet of the calibre of artist the Newfound Talent Contest churns up, watch this stunning video from last year’s winners. Bridget Swift and Dahlia Waller are not “great for their age,” they’re great, period. And they’ll be performing at the Folk Fest this year.

“After last year’s Statoil MusicNL Newfound Talent contest, many exciting things have been happening for us,” the duo says.

“We have worked with many different people such as Tom Cochrane, who filmed a music video for our new song “Dum De Dum,” and Georgie Newman, who recorded our new demo CD entitled Wooden Castles.”

Their demo has two songs, “Ebony” and “Castle,” “Castle” being the song that won them last year’s competition. You can hear it on SoundCloud or buy a CD. “From this whole experience we have learned so much about recording and the music industry. It has been so amazing and we are very grateful for all that’s happened after winning the contest.”

“Castle” was written by Swift, and it’s about her Grandmother’s old house, that was torn down and rebuilt. It won in a year of particularly tough competition. MusicNL’s Abigail Pye told us last year that “because the competition was so tough, the judges insisted that we have a fourth place winner.”

Pye says what struck her about the song was the maturity of the songwriting, as well as the gorgeous vocal harmonies.

This year’s batch new songsters will perform for a panel professional judges AND any folk festival audience members at the Neil Murray stage on August 5th.

Young performers must sign-up in advance, and there is a limited amount of spaces. To register, youth must contact MusicNL: by Friday, July 27th, 2017 at 11:55PM.