The Newfoundland & Labrador Songwriter Challenge


MusicNL held their Canadian Songwriters Challenge August 12-14, 2016 at the Spa at the Monastery and JAG Hotel in St. John’s. They created a songwriting retreat with both national and international experts as well as local professionals, songwriters, producers, and artists to offer a space and a climate to collaborate and write new material. The songwriting participants were paired off into groups of four or five in each session; they collaborated for the songwriting and then recorded demos in the same day. On the last day, the event moved to a local venue to showcase all songs written to all participants and mentors as well as the public.

In addition to songwriting mentorship with Justin Gray and Karen Kosowski, participants took part in business development sessions with Lauriana Zuluaga (Los Angeles, Music Supervisor with Quiver, Writer, Spoken word artists, DIY punk rocker), Jason Jordan (New York City, President of Imagem Music NYC, Senior Vice-president Republic Records & Universal Records), JD Connell (Nashville, Vice President and Counsel, New Media Licensing for the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)), and Peter Daniel Newman (St. John’s, rocker and singer/songwriter).

Participants (2016)


  • Blair Lane
  • Matt Dines
  • Eddi Kenny
  • Bev Allen
  • Rachel Cousins
  • Sabrina Roberts
  • Chris Pond
  • Kellie Loder
  • Cassandra Abbot
  • Evan Aucoin
  • Chris Kirby
  • Jordan Coaker
  • Cody Basha
  • Joel Hynes
  • Peter Willie Youngtree


  • Justin Gray (Los Angeles): Canadian-born LA Songwriter, Record Producer, Music Executive, Tech Entrepreneur
  • Karen Kosowski (Toronto): Record Producer, Songwriter, Musician

Gallery (2016)

Recorded Songs from Challenge (2016)