Maneli Jamal Wins 2014 SoundClash Music Award

Maneli Jamal Wins 2014 SoundClash Music Award
Five unsigned Greater Toronto Area artists have been battling it out to claim the top prize in this year's SoundClash Music Award. Now, the Harbourfront Centre has named its 2014 winner: acoustic guitar composer Maneli Jamal.

As first prize, the solo axe-slinger takes home $5,000. He will also perform at the Harbourfront Centre's Hot & Spicy Food Festival on August 15, with other goodies including artist development, vocal coaching and round-trip airfare from WestJet.

Jamal beat out runner-up Keita Juma (who takes home $3,000) and third place finishers DATU (who win $2,000). CANVAS and Pale Eyes were also nominated.

The winners were chosen by a fan vote. All of the artists performed at the Harbourfront Centre's Canada Day Extravaganza in order to earn support.

So how will Jamal spend his winnings?

"I'm planning to put it all toward the recording of my new album, which should be out next year," he said in a statement. "It means a lot to be given this opportunity by Toronto music fans. This city has always embraced me and my music, and by extension, my experiences."

He is the fourth winner of the SoundClash Music Award. Past victors are Brendan Philip (2013), Chloe Charles (2012) and Saidah Baba Talibah (2011).