CBC Radio Searchlight competition features Humber artists

Junisha Dama
Arts Reporter

College roommates and female country music duo Jess and Tay were among some 2,000 musical applicants who entered this year’s CBC Radio Searchlight competition.

Public voting has now reduced the list to 25 finalists, yet while the two Humber students in the Bachelor of Music program may no longer be in the running, they’ve still managed to leave an imprint.

Jessie Bower and Taylor Adams began their journey by simply singing together in their home. While opting for music as a career was an obvious choice for both, their genre of music is what brought them together.

“It was an easy decision. We started singing in our room together. Our sound harmonizes together… It just feels right,” said Bower.

Performing as soloists, the two became fast friends and came together a year ago to perform for the popular Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Festival in Oro-Medonte, north of Barrie. After the collaboration, they decided to continue writing, singing and performing together.

For CBC Searchlight, the duo submitted the song, “Never See Me Cry”. They credit Bower’s father for the inspiration.

“I had previously entered the competition as a solo artist. My dad asked if I wanted to do it this year as well. That’s when I told him about Tay and how we were collaborating. So we ended up entering in as a duo,” said Bower.

As the song already won them a top seven position at another festival, they felt it was the right one to put forward for a prestigious showcase like a CBC Radio project. The tune about empowerment and refusing to be weak emerged from hardships Bower was facing in her personal life.

The pair love it because, “it showcases our style well. It is somewhat pop-country and it is about personal experiences. That’s exactly what we want our music to be,” said Adams.

Drawing on lyrics that are meaningful and relatable, music by the young duo – who aim to be singer-songwriters – is an obvious fit for those looking for heartfelt country music. They plan to keep creating more music and collaborating with other musicians at Humber, along with making more videos for songs they’ve already composed.

“We are excited about a collaboration with a DJ, a fellow student at Humber, to get different sounds,” said Adams.

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