The MusicNL Bell Media Songwriting Challenge is a professional development initiative presented by MusicNL in conjunction with the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA). Now in its fourth installment, the Songwriting Challenge sees a group of 15-20 participants attend a weekend-long songwriting retreat facilitated by local and nationally-acclaimed songwriters. Participants attend daily workshops in songwriting and production facilitated by Peter Daniel Newman, and branch off into groups to collaborate on one song per day. The songwriting mentors rotate between groups to provide constructive feedback on the works in progress, and at the end of each day the songs written are performed for the rest of the group. The MusicNL Bell Media Songwriting Challenge concludes with a public performance by the songwriters of all the songs they have written during the Challenge.
Three songwriting mentors are confirmed for the 2018 MusicNL Bell Media Songwriting Challenge; internationally-acclaimed songwriter Jenson Vaughan, and award-winning local songwriters Janet Cull and Mick Davis
Jenson Vaughan is a musical talent who has crafted his skills as a songwriter for more than a decade drawing upon a wide range of influences from pop, dance, R&B and soul to country, rock & roll and beyond.
As a songwriter Jenson has a variety of Gold and Platinum projects to his name and has recently written for and collaborated with the likes of Madonna, Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi, DJ Antoine, Snoop Dogg, Iyaz, Mann, Craig David, Kelly Rowland, Boyz II Men, Honorebel, Shaggy, Ian Carey, Sander Van Doorn, Ferry Corsten, Paul Van Dyk, Fedde Le Grand, Michael Mind, Rosette, Danny Fernandes, Craig Smart, Mia Martina, JRDN, Alex Gaudino, and many more great talents from around the world.
“Girl Gone Wild” – Madonna
“This Is What It Feels Like” – Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie
“What A Feeling” – Kelly Rowland
Janet Cull is enigmatic. She’s a firecracker, a force to be reckoned with. She has boundless energy, and limitless talent. Her voice is warm and inviting, timeless, smooth, and maybe just a little bit dirty. Just like frigid Northern air, she is edgy, dramatic and larger than the everyday.
Since her record’s release in Fall 2016, Janet has received numerous accolades – most recently winning 3 MusicNL awards: FACTOR Album of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Pop/Rock Artist of the Year. Janet was selected as Singer Universe’s Best Vocalist of the Month, and was the only Canadian winner (Vocal Performance category) of the 2017 Unsigned Only International Competition. Janet has also taken to the road in support of the record, with notable live performances in 2017 including opening slots for Grammy award winner k.d. lang, Juno-award winners Marianas Trench, as well as her own sold-out province-wide (Newfoundland and Labrdor, Canada) “Island Soul Tour”.
Mick is a singer, songwriter, guitarist & producer from St. John’s, Newfoundland, who earned international acclaim with his group the Novaks. Now a prolific solo artist, Mick plays over 150 gigs a year, releasing albums regularly, with 5 independent releases since 2014. Mick is the recipient of MusicNL’s Male Artist of the Year award (2017). He lives in his hometown with his wife Tracy & their cat, Tom Petty.