This year’s Searchlight contest is in full swing, with contestants from across the country vying to take home our grand prize at a televised finale Sunday, April 9. Today we’re announcing the three celebrity judges who will be selecting the winner that night and making one artist’s dreams come true: Ruth B, Dan Kanter and Jarvis Church. Learn more about them below.
Edmonton singer-songwriter Ruth B started her career by singing six-second snippets of songs on Vine back in 2013 while she was still in school. It didn’t take long for people to take notice of the clips, which showcased the young musician on piano, singing with her affecting voice and unique style of phrasing. In 2015, she signed to Columbia Records based on the strength of her first original song, “Lost Boy,” and they released her debut EP, The Intro, that year.
Now 21, Ruth B is up for three Juno awards and will also perform at the ceremony in April, much to the delight her millions of followers on social media. Her full-length debut is also expected this spring.
Multi-instrumentalist Dan Kanter has directed and performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, Drake, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes and Miley Cyrus, to name a few. But he’s perhaps best known as the man behind none other than Justin Bieber. Kanter served as Bieber’s music director and was his lead guitarist as well as the co-producer on his My Worlds Acoustic and Believe Acoustic albums. He also co-produced the acoustic version of Bieber’s smash hit, "What Do You Mean." That’s him playing acoustic guitar in the video below.
Multiple award-winning singer and producer Jarvis Church first made a name for himself as the frontman for the platinum-selling R&B pop group the Philosopher Kings, who won the Juno for best new group in 1995. But he has also made his mark behind the scenes as part of the production duo Track and Field, the team behind Nelly Furtado’s debut album, Whoa Nelly, which garnered them a Grammy nomination for producer of the year. They also produced K’naan’s critically acclaimed 2005 album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher. Lately, Church has been turning his attentions to his solo career as he continues to cover classic soul legends with Soul Station Presents, which currently includes projects devoted to Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield.