Hip-hop artist and producer Mattmac takes home CBC Music’s 2023 Searchlight Grand Prize

Winnipeg-based hip-hop recording artist and producer Mattmac as the Grand Prize winner of CBC MUSIC’S SEARCHLIGHT 2023 contest. Artists in every province and territory submitted an application including an original song for consideration and the panel of judges awarded the top spot to Mattmac. Mattmac entered his song “Rez (Remix)” featuring Okema & Dakota Bear, which is a re-imagining of Akon’s track “Ghetto” and will appear on his upcoming full-length album.

In addition, four acts in categories newly created for SEARCHLIGHT 2023 will receive prizes courtesy of Long & McQuade, Yangaroo music and more. The secondary prize winners include: winner of the Outstanding Country Artist category, husband and wife country duo Rosewood Ave from Matheson, ON; winner of the Outstanding Indigenous Artist category, classic garage rockers Miesha and The Spanks from Calgary; winner of the Songwriting Prize category pop-rockers Encore from Winnipeg; and 18-year-old singer-songwriter Luna Elle from Mississauga, ON takes the Top Teen category.

“Winning this means a lot to me,” said Mattmac. “From making beats in my bedroom in my mom’s house on the rez to playing shows on stages across Canada to winning CBC Music’s Searchlight. From everyone who has been supportive, to those who have been along for the journey, and to everyone who made this possible – thank you so much.”

Mattmac has captivated large audiences with his music, having garnered more than 10 million combined listens across music streaming platforms and half a million “likes” on TikTok, with one of his TikTok videos garnering 2.7 million views. At Indigenous Day Live, We Day Ottawa on Canada Day in 2017 and We Day Manitoba in 2019, Mattmac performed alongside Canadian singer and international superstar Nelly Furtado. Mattmac is the winner of Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Award for 2022, Hip-Hop Album Of the Year at the International Indigenous Hip-Hop Awards 2023,  the Rap/Electronica Album Of The Year at the Summer of Solstice Indigenous Music Awards in 2021, and the winner of the Emerging Artist Award at the Canadian Radio Awards.

As part of the Grand Prize, Mattmac will take part in the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class talent development program, receive a residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary, a Yangaroo Music DMDS music and video promotion package and $1,000 from Long & McQuade towards the purchase of music equipment. Full prizing details can be found at CBCMusic.ca/searchlight.


Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Addicted Magazine. Her myriad of addictions include music, fashion, travel, technology, boxing and trying to make the world a better place. Nadia is also a feminist, an animal lover, and a neverending dreamer. Keep up with her on social media through @thenadiae.
Nadia Elkharadly