A local high school student has won the top honours at the 2017 International Songwriting Competition. Faouzia is a sixteen-year-old Carman Collegiate student who was born in Morocco and raised in Manitoba and has been gaining a name for herself in the Canadian Music Industry thanks to her powerful voice.

"I actually couldn't believe it," said Faouzia. "I was told yesterday that I won and I just found out last minute because I was so busy all week and I couldn't get in touch with the ones who were working in the International Songwriting Competition. I got out of drama class and finally called the lady and she had told me that I had won. I was absolutely speechless and I was smiling super big. I felt so honoured to win such a title."

This competition allows artists from all over the world to submit their songs to have them judged. Faouzia and Winnipeg's Matt Epp submitted the song 'The Sound' and took home the competition's top prize. This song 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?. Epp reportedly wrote the song with a heavy heart in a hotel bathroom.

"The grand prize includes a lot of different things. There's a cash prize and a few smaller prizes such as a subscription to music related things, there's a guitar in there, some microphones, and a whole package to help an artist out," said Faouzia.

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.

Being part of this songwriting experience with Epp was a great learning experience for her and a step in the right direction for her career. Faouzia stated in the past she's been known for her ability to sing, but she would like to also be known for her writing abilities as well.

"The fact that I had written something that was touching to someone and that can be relatable to others as well,' said Faouzia when asked what she's proud of with her input into the song.

Not only did she help write this song, but also is featured in a couple of verses throughout the song.

You can listen to the song in the video below.  Video used with permission.



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