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Searchlight 2019: frequently asked questions

By
Editorial Staff

How do I enter Searchlight?

This year, we are accepting YouTube videos as part of the submission process. This will allow you to use any video that you've recorded directly onto their YouTube page without needing to recreate it on CBC Music.

All you need to enter is a link to your YouTube video. Once you have that, go to our Searchlight entry page to submit it via our online registration form.

My video is on YouTube, but not on my account. Can I still enter?

To enter, you must be the owner of the YouTube account where the song exists, or the song must be uploaded on behalf of your record label. If your song is deleted on YouTube after you have entered, this will void your entry. It is important to perform the upload yourself and ensure that your video cannot be tampered with, or be in an agreement with a label who is managing your songs for you.

I don't have a YouTube account. How do I create one?

First, you will need to have your Google account ready. If you don't have a Google account or are not sure and would like to check, click on "Create an account on YouTube."

Once you can log into your account, go to YouTube, where you will find the option to "Create Account" where you log in.

Once you have created your YouTube account, upload your video using the steps provided via the "Upload videos" page.

I don't have a video, can I upload a song?

There are a number of tools available to help you create your entry. All that you'll need is an image of your band, an MP3 file and your YouTube account.

Please go to audioship to upload your song.

There are step-by-step instructions that will guide you through logging into your Google account, selecting your YouTube account, uploading your MP3 file and uploading your band image.

Once this has been completed, you can fill out the entry form, located at cbcmusicsearchlight.ca.

I don’t have any original songs, can I submit a cover?

Unfortunately not. Only an original song that you or someone in your band wrote (lyrics and music) is acceptable this year.

Can I enter if I already have a record deal?

Yes, but your label must consent to our rules and regulations in order for you to do so. The onus is on you to ensure you are not breaking any copyright laws by entering.

Do I lose rights to my song?

No, the song will always be yours. By entering, you agree to our rules and regulations, though, which allows the CBC to use your song for broadcast and editorial purposes.

Where can I find the rules and regulations?

You can read the fine print about this year's Searchlight contest here.

Why should I ask people to vote for my song?

Because advancing in the contest will be partially based on popular vote. The rest of the artists who advance in Searchlight — and the ultimate winner — will be determined by a judging panel. Use your social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and ask people to vote for your song. Don’t forget to tag it #Searchlight2019, but don’t worry if you don’t have a big social reach — the judges will be listening for great songs throughout.

Can I submit a co-written song, even if the co-writer is not part of my band?

Yes, as long as the song belongs to you.

Who decides if my song goes through?

In the opening rounds, your song will continue onward with a combination of audience votes and input from CBC Music producers. In the national top 10 round, our celebrity judges will decide the ultimate winner.

How long do I have to enter my song?

Song submissions open on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at midnight and close on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2018, at 3 p.m. ET.

So I entered Searchlight: where does my music go from here?

Our radio producers will be sharing your music with CBC Radio One stations across Canada, as well as with CBC Music, CBC-TV programs and CBC digital. From there, our celebrity judges, CBC Music producers and music industry professionals across Canada will be listening to your music.

When will the winner of Searchlight be announced?

The winner will be announced on Monday, March 7, 2019.

What will the winner of Searchlight get?

The winning artist(s) of Searchlight 2019 will receive a prestigious placement at the weeklong 2019 Allan Slaight Juno Master Class in Toronto, as well as an industry showcase to cap your week. The winning artist(s) will also win a trip to the 2020 Juno Awards to perform at JunoFest and take in all the festivities, including the awards show. As well, the winning group/musician will win a weeklong recording residency at Studio Bell in the National Music Centre in Calgary. Finally, the artist(s) will win a performance at the 2019 CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach in Toronto.

Can I enter in more than one of my bands?

While we understand how busy a Canadian musician can be, we ask that you only enter Searchlight 2019 one time, with one band.

Can we submit more than one song?

We’re sure you have tons of great tunes, but we ask that you only submit your very best original song for Searchlight 2019.

Can we use backing tracks?

Yes.

What do we mean by "JUNO-ready?"

It is the hope of CBC Music, along with our partners at the JUNO Awards, that the Searchlight 2019 winner is prepared, ready, and fully committed to embark on a long music career, with a strong foundation already in place: a very good original song entry, a strong social media following, touring experience, and the potential to be a JUNO winner within a year or two of winning Searchlight.

Are there any hashtags we can use to promote our song once it is published?

Yes, please use #Searchlight2019 in your tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, and feel free to tag us in any of those posts, too!

Twitter: @CBCMusic
Instagram: @CBC_Music
Facebook: CBC Music

Are there any key dates I need to keep in mind?

Yes! See below.

  • Submission period: starts on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 12:01 a.m. ET and ends Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Round 1: voting begins on all eligible songs on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m. ET and ends Thursday, Feb. 14 at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Round 2: voting begins on the top 100 on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 3 p.m. ET and ends on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Round 3: judges vote on the top 10 from Thursday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. ET until Tuesday, March 5, at 2:59 p.m. ET.
  • Final: the grand prize winner will be announced on q on Thursday, March 7, at 10 a.m. ET.

How do I know I've successfully submitted my entry?

Once you get to the confirmation screen of our entry form, you will have successfully entered. This is the text you will see:

"Thanks for entering. Please come back on February 5th to vote for your favourite song! Searchlight 2019 is our hunt for Canada's next great undiscovered talent. #Searchlight2019"

If there is a problem with the entry, we will contact you.

I have a question that has not been answered here. Who can I contact?

Send us an email at: Searchlight@cbc.ca

Related:

Searchlight 2018 winner: aquakultre

Searchlight 2019: rules and regulations

Get ready for Searchlight 2019, our hunt for Canada's next great undiscovered talent