Prince Albert singer songwriter LJ Tyson has been recognized with an honourable mention for the SOCAN Foundation’s TD Indigenous Songwriter Award.
Created in 2018, The SOCAN Foundation’s TD Indigenous Songwriter Award was created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Indigenous songwriters of any genre.
Cree/Metis folk-pop artist LJ Tyson received a special distinction award of $1,000 to recognize his song ‘Home on a Rainbow’.
“I was super surprised,” Tyson said. “It’s not often something like this happens you submit sometimes for a bunch of things, so when this one did come back I was super excited.”
Tyson drew on his Prince Albert roots when writing the song, which made it even more special when the it received recognition.
“This is a song about my experience growing up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and so to be recognized for it, to receive a songwriting prize for it, it’s validating in the most pure way,” Tyson said.
The fact the award recognizes his heritage as well was also special to Tyson.
“To have this award out there specifically for Indigenous artists is super important,” he said. “I think that it’s super important that we highlight people who are making art in minority groups because far too often we are swept under the rug or easily forgotten about.”
Tyson first learned about the award through social media posts. He though it sounded interesting, and submitted an entry.
“I always submit to a bunch of different things and I really don’t know what ones will come back,” he explained. “This one finally hit and what a one to hit. (It’s) such a complete honour, especially after the award came with grant money, which helps out an artist tremendously. I mean I put my money right back into my career.”
Tyson’s career is going well since music venues and festivals reopened following the pandemic. He recently performed on the main stage at the Ness Creek Music Festival over the weekend, and plans to record some new music with his bandmates.
Other winners include critically acclaimed Attikamek artist Laura Niquay from Trois-Rivières, QC. She’s being recognized as this year’s winner for her songs “Moteskano” and “Nicto Kicko”, works that offer a glimpse into her energized folk-grunge universe. Niquay will receive a cash prize of $10,000 in addition to opportunities and efforts toward her career development. Additional special distinction awards of $1,000 are also being made to ANYMA, Jayli Wolf- Saulteau, Kristi Sinclair and Shane Ghostkeeper to recognize their works.
Tyson thanked everyone involved in the award for the recognition, and congratulated the other prize winners.
“There were five other honourable mentions and a grand prize,” he said. “Congratulations to them too, I think it’s important that we keep celebrating Indigenous talent, I think that’s so important.”