Canadians Matt Epp and Faouzia Ouihya are this year’s International Songwriting Contest grand prize winner(s). The winning duet, “The Sound” is the perfect synergy between the seasoned Canadian troubadour Matt Epp and the Morocco-born Manitoba-raised 16-year old phenom Faouzia. A great duet can be magical, and “The Sound” is just that. It showcases the talents of each songwriter and singer, interweaving the yin and yang of Epp’s stark, tender vocals with Faouzia’s soaring delivery. Their contrasting styles and interpretation of the soulful lyrics and melody express the song’s sentiment, conveying a yearning and vulnerability.
The collaboration came about when Epp was on tour in Germany and received an email from his infant daughter, who he had been writing to since she was a newborn. The unexpected email from her read “What sound does a longing heart make?” In a hotel bathroom, he tearfully wrote the chorus of this song.
Fast forward a few months to when Epp was assigned to mentor a group of talented young performers; among the participants in the program was Faouzia. Perhaps unlikely kindred spirits, Epp and Faouzia formed a quick friendship, and they finished the song together. The song went to #1 on the Top 20 CBC radio chart in Canada, and it recently earned the SOCAN No. 1 Song Award in Canada based on its radio success.
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