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SoundClash Music Award presented by NOW Magazine

Shortlist announcement of five bands competing this summer
for $10,000 in cash and other prizes

TORONTO, ON (Wednesday, May 25, 2011)The SoundClash Music Award presented by NOW Magazine is Harbourfront Centre’s first major music award. Nearly 300 GTA artists in all genres of music submitted applications from April 11-25, 2011. Harbourfront Centre, along with its panel of esteemed judges, and its new lead summer partner, the Toronto Port Authority, is proud to now announce the five contenders on the 2011 SoundClash short list.

All of the shortlisted performers are playing at Harbourfront Centre during its Hot Spot Summer July festivals. The winner, who will be determined by a combination of public votes as well as jury selection, will receive $5,000 in cash along with other prizes and will perform on the WestJet Stage at September’s Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine. Second place will receive $3,000 while third place will receive $2,000.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

The bands competing for the top prize are:

Young Empires
The members of Young Empires, Robert Aaron Ellignson, Jake Palahnunk and Matthew Vlahovich, have been together since October 2009. With their high-energy sets and catchy hooks, Young Empires has received recognition coast to coast, playing in Canada, the United States and South America. The band recently played at the Grammy Award’s “after show,” entertaining bands such as Arcade Fire and other Canadian artists.

Kids & Explosions
Josh Raskin, who is known for his Oscar-nominated short film, “I Met The Walrus”, has now ventured into a new music project. As the sole member of Kids & Explosions, Raskin uses other artists’ songs and blends them together to form a new musical creation. Or, as Raskin likes to put it, “steals other people’s songs, mixes them together, and makes them worse.”

Saidah Baba Talibah
Born and raised in Toronto, Saidah Baba Talibah attributes the city as an influence on her unique sound. The dynamic performer promises that her new album, (S)cream, will take listeners on a journey to discover Saidah as a person and performer. Saidah is the daughter of Obie Award-winner and Tony and Grammy Award-nominated Salome Bey, Canada’s Queen of Jazz, Blues and Spirituals, and the niece of Andy Bey, also a Grammy Award-nominated musician. She offers up a distinct and fluid blend of bluesy rock, deep funk and hot, buttered soul with a voice that can go from a seductive, soft purr to a powerful bellow at the turn of a dime.

The Worst Pop Band Ever
Combing improvisational Jazz music and “Pop” music, The Worst Pop Band Ever straddles music genres. Putting a unique twist on covers, and also their roster of original music, the band has been playing for packed houses. Recently showcasing the music from their latest album ‘Dost Though Believeth’ the band has received critical acclaim. They have also worked with some industry heavy hitters like Feist and Wynton Marsalis.

Miles Jones
A rising star in the Toronto music scene, Miles Jones is making a name for himself as a young emcee. His critically acclaimed album, One Chance, helped this artist win the Ontario Independent Music Award for Hip Hop Artist of the Year. Jones has also been recognized for his songwriting talent, as he helped contribute 11 songs to a Sony BMG music catalogue. If that isn’t enough for the talented Canadian he also produces and runs his own label, Mojo Records & Publishing.

Check out each performance on the WestJet stage during Harbourfront Centre’s Hot Spot Summer July festivals, and then see the winner revealed at the Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by NOW Magazine in September. The public can participate in online voting to help crown the SoundClash Award winner.

The dates of shortlisted artists’ performances are forthcoming.

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change of defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. For more information visit

The Toronto Port Authority, Harbourfront Centre’s lead summer partner, owns and operates the Port of Toronto, the Billy Bishop Airport, and the Outer Harbour Marina. It is committed to building a waterfront community that is vibrant and enjoyable for Torontonians and visitors, by working with partners to create a clean, green, prosperous water’s edge. For more information visit


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