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Searchlight 2018: here are the top 10 finalists

By
Grant Lawrence

Searchlight 2018 began back in January with more than 2,000 artists submitting original Canadian songs from every province and territory. Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast and counted, and you helped us pick a national top 100.

After another week of voting with extremely close results, we have whittled that list of 100 artists down to the best of the best: the top 10 finalists for Searchlight 2018, CBC Music's hunt for Canada's best undiscovered musical talent.

Your votes determined half of the list, and our CBC Music producers selected the other half.

Good luck and congratulations to all of the artists who made the top 10, and thank you again to the thousands of artists who submitted their music in this year's Searchlight competition. It's been an incredible year!

Top 5 finalists as decided by vote

Artist: Amanda Jackson Band
Location: Charlottetown
Song: "Dance Into the Light"

After running an engaging voting campaign — which involved everything from a rooster, voting cards and pop-up performances in downtown Charlottetown — the effort has paid off for this contemporary roots band.

Artist: C.C. Trubiak
Location: Flin Flon, Man.
Song: "Raven"

A hardworking country-folk star in the making, who rediscovered himself and his music when he returned to his remote hometown in northern Manitoba.

Artist: Chloe Hataley
Location: Ottawa
Song: "Palace"

Like the second coming of Ruth B, this Grade 10 student from Canterbury High in Ottawa has delivered a wonderfully uplifting piano ballad.

Artist: The Kwerks
Location: Vancouver
Song: "Firelight"

The band name almost says it all: this is an upbeat, quirky, folk-rock group with locked-in harmonies and soaring melodies.

Artist: Scarlet Sway
Location: Dawson Creek, B.C.
Song: "Room of Mirrors"

Swagger. That's what this northeastern B.C. band offers in its original, confident take on rock, blues and soul.

Top 5 finalists as judged by CBC Music

Artist: aquakultre
Location: Halifax
Song: "Sure"

Called "the best new rapper to come out of Halifax in twenty years", this artist is self-taught, and was inspired to embark on a music career after getting out of prison at age 20. Our producers loved his voice and the production on this track.

Artist: Fallbrigade
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Song: "Sweet Hope"

Beautiful and confident, this is radio-ready indie-pop, like a cross between Said the Whale and Hey Rosetta!.

Artist: Jordana Talsky
Location: Toronto
Song: "Run"

One of the most original-sounding tracks submitted this year, Talsky's fusion of jazz, pop and indie is totally engaging.

Artist: Sara Diamond
Location: Montreal
Song: "Stay a Little"

Sara Diamond needs to be on the radio now. A fresh, contemporary take on R&B-infused pop, with great vocals and hooks.

Artist: Sinzere
Location: Calgary
Song: "On time"

Flow. Sinzere has it, effortlessly mixing hip-hop, funk, R&B and soul in a rapid-fire delivery.

Listen to the top 10 here.

Now it's up to our panel of celebrity judges to decide which one of these artists will be the ultimate winner of Searchlight 2018. The judges will make the announcement live on q on CBC Radio One on Monday, March 19, at 11 a.m. local time (11:30 a.m. in Newfoundland) to kick off Juno Week in Vancouver.

Your job is done. No further voting will count. Thank you for the many hundreds of thousands of votes you cast in Searchlight 2018. Now all we can do is wait until the winner is announced. Congratulations again to our top 10!

More to explore:

Listen to the Searchlight 2018 top ten finalists here

Searchlight 2018: meet the judges

Searchlight 2018: the prizes

Check out twelve standout artists from the Searchlight 2018 top 100

Former Searchlight artists nominated for 2018 Juno Awards

CBC Music’s annual hunt for Canada’s next undiscovered talent is back for 2018.