Dave Sampson has mixed feelings about his big night at the East Coast Music Awards.
After all, the Halifax-based singer-songwriter may have won two of the 3 awards in the categories he was nominated in but with last night's event being held virtually due to COVID-19, not being there to pick up the prizes in person definitely made the win bittersweet.
"It definitely made me a lot less nervous although, to be honest, I didn't think I was going to win either one of them," said Sampson. "(But) I found out through Twitter versus being in the crowd with hundreds of your peers waiting to hear your name so it's a little different and it's too bad because I look forward to the ECMAs every year."
Sampson won ECMAs for Country Recording of the Year as well as Rising Star Recording of the Year in support of his 2019 EP, "All Types of Ways". In addition, he was nominated for Songwriter of the Year.
The 31-year old singer-songwriter says he has been attending the ECMAs since 2009 either as a fan or participant but this is the first year he has been nominated for an award.
"It holds a lot of weight. As artists and people in my situation, it is important to have a platform like the ECMAs and be recognized by the industry and your peers." said Sampson, adding that there is an element to the week-long event beyond the awards that artists can't unfortunately take advantage of this year since the event was cancelled because of COVID-19.
"When it was supposed to be in St. John's, you are there playing shows and showcases (and) you're there for a whole week of interacting with talent buyers and festival buyers. When you win a couple of ECMAs, the eyes are on you for the people that are coming to the festival to basically export East Coast artists and bring them to their cities so I feel like that's where there's a huge advantage to these (events)," said Sampson.
"Nonetheless, it's still awesome and people are still watching and you've got to take what you can get."
For a full list of ECMA winners, visit www.ecma.com