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20 standouts under 20 from Searchlight 2016

Kiah Welsh

In this year's Searchlight competition, we've received numerous submissions across the country from bright, talented musicians under 20. In the gallery above, we highlight a range of young acts representing different genres from folk to indie to R&B/soul.

With more than 2,000 artists applying for the $50,000 in grand prizing this year, there's a lot of amazing new music to discover. You can watch and vote for your favourites at, and for your efforts, you will be entered in a draw to win a guitar and amp prize pack from Yamaha Music Canada, valued at approximately $1,300. We're giving out one per round for the first three rounds.

Go through the list below for more, and don't forget to vote for your favourites. You can vote for as many artists as you like, once per day, at

Who: Grace Gardner
Song: "Dazed and Confused"

About: Grace Gardner will captivate your ears with her soft, pop-country sound. At just 15, this singer-songwriter from Calgary has a lot of musical experience. She's been dancing for 12 years, has played the guitar for six and been songwriting for three. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Dazed and Confused."

Who: Sunday's Children
Song: "Islands"

About: Sunday's Children — made up of 16-year-olds Avery Jane and Madeleine Dorion — are a young duo with harmonies that are the highlight of their music. They have a similar sound to the Good Lovelies. Check out their Searchlight submission, "Islands."

Who: Matty G.
Song: "Go"

About: Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter Matty G has a beautiful voice, sounding like a young Ed Sheeran. From Woodbridge, Ont., he's currently working on his first studio EP of all original material. Check out Matty G's Searchlight submission, "Go."

Who: Jasmine Kiara
Song: "Daydreams"

About: Jasmine Kiara is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Mississauga, Ont. She's studied voice for eight years, saxophone for three years and the guitar for two years — and it shows. Have a listen to Kiara's searchlight submission, "Daydreams."

Who: Jennie Harluk
Song: "Suitcase"

About: At just 13 years old, Jennie Harluk's voice is a powerhouse. She plays the guitar and piano, and has been performing and singing since she was nine. From Calgary, Alta., check out Harluk's Searchlight submission, "Suitcase."

Who: Jessie Bower
Song: "Kiss me in the Rain"

About: Repping Hamilton, Ont., Jessie Bower is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter who has been creating her own music for five years. Aside from writing songs, she also plays the guitar and piano. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Kiss me in the Rain."

Who: Matthew Bacik, a.k.a, MattErrs
Song: "Nothing can Stop You"

About: Fourteen-year-old Matthew Bacik started experimenting with different genres of music on his YouTube channel. He's covered his own renditions of various songs by different artists including Twenty One Pilots, Coldplay, Cage the Elephant and Billy Joel. After many renditions, he started creating original material, which he wrote and produced with the help of friends and family. From Oakville, Ont., take a listen to Bacik's Searchlight submission, "Nothing can Stop You."

Who: Vikki Gilmore
Song: "Where You're From"

About: You'll fall in love with Vikki Gilmore's acoustic, indie sound. This 18-year-old from Dorval, Que., is no stranger to performing onstage. She began her singing career as a YouTube cover artist four years ago, and has been writing music and engaging with viewers ever since. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Where You're From."

Who: Sophia Radisch
Song: "Hot Blooded"

About: Sophia Radisch may remind you of a young Alanis Morissette with her alt-rock sound. From Ottawa, Ont., this 17-year-old singer-songwriter is dynamic and passionate — her energy is showcased in her musical performance. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Hot Blooded."

Who: Evangeline Gentle
Song: "In the Morning"

About: Evangeline Gentle is a confident folk performer with a phenomenal voice — and she's only 19. Her music aims to break boundaries of love, living authentically and cultivating community. Check out her Searchlight submission, "In the Morning."

Who: Shafa Mazidi
Song: "Matter to Me"

About: Shafa Mazidi is an 18-year-old from Lethbridge, Alta. He's a talented singer with a sound similar to a young Michael Bublé. He mentions his best days are when he gets to compose songs on the piano. Check out his Searchlight submission, "Matter to Me."

Who: Kate Hennessey
Song: "Take me Home"

About: When Kate Hennessey plays the piano, it's beautifully seamless. Her piano skills paired with her indie-pop voice make for a great combination. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Take me Home."

Who: Wes Mason
Song: "Where do we Go"

About: Wes Mason is a 17-year-old from Rockwood, Ont., with a passion for music. He has taught himself how to play the guitar and piano, and loves to perform in front of others. His voice is deep, and has a great tone. Check out his Searchlight submission, "Where do we Go."

Who: Lakeisha Hewitt
Song: "Exit Signs"

About: Lakeisha Hewitt is a great performer. Her emotions, while performing, are felt beyond the stage. She's classically trained, and self-taught on the guitar. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Exit signs."

Who: Jamie Graham
Song: "Dance With Me"

About: When you first listen to Jamie Graham, his sultry voice and beautiful falsetto will leaving you wanting more. From Toronto, the 16-year-old has a mixture of musical tastes from jazz to folk to rap — which definitely shows while he performs. Check out his Searchlight submission, "Dance with Me."

Who: Mikalyn Hay
Song: "Carnival"

About: There's something about 14-year-old Mikalyn Hay that draws you right in. Her musical style is unique and refreshing, and her voice is a beautiful blend of alternative and pop. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Carnival."

Who: Naomi Bristow
Song: "Loyalty"

About: Naomi Bristow is an 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Beeton, Ont. She has been singing country and gospel music since the age of eight, and has a strong, attention-drawing presence onstage. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Loyalty."

Who: Jules
Song: "Super Girl"

About: Jules's electrifying guitar paired with her voice make for a great listen. The 14-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has an edgy pop sound. Her inspiration for writing songs is influenced by what she wants her life to be. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Super Girl."

Who: Travis Flynn
Song: "Sea the Ocean"

About: Travis Flynn will blow you away with his pop, indie pop-folk sound. The singer-songwriter's voice will have you replaying his song on repeat. Check out his Searchlight submission, "Sea the Ocean."

Who: Alexis Lynn
Song: "Weak"

About: Seventeen-year-old Alexis Lynn will make you "weak" with her pop voice. Her song is passionate and moving — she's an up-and-coming artist to keep an eye on. Check out her Searchlight submission, "Weak."