Alexandria Maillot has been named a finalist in the 2018 International Songwriting Competition, for her music video, The Floor. Photo provided

Courtenay musician a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition

Alexandria Maillot recognized for her music video, The Floor

Courtenay musician Alexandria Maillot has been named a finalist in the 2018 International Songwriting Competition, for her music video, The Floor.

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest offering the opportunity for aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena.

Maillot said she was pleased to see her video get some recognition, but is taking the nomination in stride.

“I don’t often do contests, but they are always nice, because if you can make it to a certain level, they can offer you something that you otherwise would not have an opportunity with,” she said. “The nice thing about getting this far is now it actually goes to a panel of industry judges… so as an artist, this is the point you want to get to. It’s not as much about winning as it is about who you might be able to meet along the way, or connect with.”

The 26-year-old Vancouver Islander, who graduated from Mark Isfeld Secondary, has been in the music industry most of her life, and said some early success in a similar contest helped pave her way. When Maillot was 12, she entered a songwriting competition, and although she did not win, she made some lucrative connections.

“I was contacted by one of the agency panellists who was on the judging panel,”she said. “He said he really liked the song and was… with a German artist and would love to have her sing it. So it was my first publishing deal and it helped pay the bills for most of my early career. It was pretty crazy to be 12 and have that happen.”

Comox Valley musician Helen Austin has won a couple of ISC awards. In 2012 she won the Children’s Music category, for her song Always be a Unicorn, and in 2013 her band, Big Little Lions, with American musician Paul Otten, won the Folk Singer/Songwriter category, for the song The way Home. Austin said the exposure gained through such a competition is invaluable.

“Winning the ISC was so great for Big Little Lions, as it exposed our music to a wider audience and was a useful award to have when applying for festivals, grants and more,” said Austin. “The prizes are pretty cool and the ISC was a big part in helping us get physical CDs made of our subsequent albums, connection us with music supervisors and we can string our guitars for quite a few years now! Also, the people at ISC are so enthusiastic about our music and the relationship we have built with them is wonderful.”

Maillot has been making great strides in the music industry. In November, she was named a finalist for Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program, and performed at the Showcase, held at the Great Hall in Toronto.

Maillot’s second full-length album, Benevolence, will be out at the end of May.

Benevolence was co-produced by Sam Woywitka of Courtenay and also featured fellow Comox Valley musicians Isaac Symonds, and Dylan Phillips from the band Half Moon Run, Montreal drummer Volodia Schneider, and bassist Mishka Klein (Patrick Watson Band).

She describes her music as “a mix of old country and Southern rock, but it does have elements of popular music because I do dabble in synths (synthesisers) and stuff. But more ingrained in rock, with singer/songwriter elements.”

The Floor is one of two Canadian entries into the ISC to be named a finalist in the Music Video category.

Duff Kelly, of Seniac, Sask., also made the list for Melissa’s Song.

Winners will be announced in April.

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