Fanshawe MIA alums win big with Canada-wide award

Header image for the article Fanshawe MIA alums win big with Canada-wide award Credit: ALEXANDER LAM
Lost in Japan consists of four Fanshawe MIA grads.

Fanshawe alumni band, Lost in Japan’s single Lonely won Corus Entertainment Radio’s second annual $20,000 Summer Song Contest. Group members include Addison Johnson (vocals and guitar), Chris Hoekstra (lead guitar), Karl Von Estorff (bass), and James Wiseman (drums). All members graduated from the Music Industry Arts (MIA) program at Fanshawe in 2017, and during their time at the college, they were able to form their indie-pop band.

Corus Radio stations spanning across the nation asked Canadian musicians to submit their original song to win a prize of $20,000. The judges selected the top 10 performances prior to enlisting finalists to a public vote.

“I think we applied in July, and we found out that we were in the top 25, and a month later, we weren’t allowed to disclose anything, we found out we were in the top 10 about a week later, and I was like, ‘oh sweet!’” said Johnson.

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Their single, Lonely was recorded in 2019, and is about missing loved one’s while being on tour. Lonely was produced and mixed at Sugar Shack Studios in London by Juno-winning producer, Canadian recording Engineering Professor, and MIA program coordinator, Dan Brodbeck.

“This is such a great opportunity for this talent and up-and-coming group,” said Brodbeck. “I always enjoy keeping track of and collaborating with our graduates. I love how bands forming in MIA and moving onto great things is starting to become the norm. It’s music to my ears.”

The band previously won the Free 98.1FM Made in London contest and the Jim Beam Make History Talent Search. They have also performed at the New Year’s Eve Bash at Victoria Park and Rock the Park.

“We’re going to try later this year [to perform] but if not, you’ll see a lot of us in 2022, performing all over Canada,” said Johnson. “We’re still extremely excited about it and kind of on a high right now, we’re kind of riding that wave. We’re putting out a new single in Oct., so that’ll be funded from the money we received [from the contest].”

The band experienced a few drawbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including being unable to perform shows. But the band took advantage of their time throughout the pandemic to continue to record and produce music together.

“We understood at first, but now, we’re starting to get back into the groove of things again, and things are starting to work out again,” said Johnson.

Lost in Japan as well as Fanshawe’s MIA department acknowledged the significance of the win and the positive impact it has made.