Geneviève Côté, AMÉ, Étienne Chagnon, David Murphy

Left to right: Geneviève Côté, Chief of Québec Affairs at SOCAN, AMÉ, Étienne Chagnon, and David Murphy of David Murphy et Cie.

As a proud partner of the Rendez-vous Pros des Francos for a seventh consecutive year, SOCAN renewed its commitment to foster the export of homegrown talent – by once again presenting a showcase, this time featuring SOCAN members AMÉ and MB, who captivated the international representatives and general public who flocked to see them.

The free, public performances highlighted the Francos, an event organized by Francofolies de Montréal, that welcomes more than 150 professionals of the music and stage industries, promoting exchanges throughout La Francophonie.

Amélie Larocque performs at the heart of a type of pop music that entices people to dance. Sa couleur is her sophomore album, but as a songwriter, AMÉ has sprinkled her many musical hues on the work of many artists over the past few years. Now she’s ready to spread her mature talent all over La Francophonie.

Success is already knocking at her door, as evidenced by a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award, which SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs, Geneviève Côté presented to her by surprise, onstage. The honour  recognizes her song “Déjà-Vu,” which reached the top of the ADISQ Correspondants chart on May 1, 2018. The irresistible ditty was co-written by Amélie Larocque and Étienne Chagnon, and is co-published by David Murphy et Cie and Éditions Arielle.

As for MB, a year after the release of “Couvre-feu,” his first mixtape, full of simmering violence, he’s now turned toward a more accessible brand of rap, aimed at a wider audience. This change in direction is as surprising to us, as it was carefully considered by the artist, who’s garnered millions of views on YouTube. MB and his 5sang14 collective provoked a frenzy onstage, offered testimony thatr he;s ready to conquer new territories.

Their performances were followed by a SOCAN’ meet-and-greet cocktail for the accredited professionals attending the confernece. During the event, the winners of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize – Loud, RealMind and Ruffsound, for their song “56k” – received their $10,000 cash prize, a PSR-S970 keyboard from Yamaha Canada, and a $500 gift certificate from Long & McQuade.

SOCAN held three meetings with our #ComposersWhoScore, and representatives of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC), for the fourth straight year, to strengthen our relationship with that community. This time, we held three separate meetings, in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, and surveyed our screen composer members in advance to determine the subjects they most wanted to address – which were international and internet royalties. At all of the meetings, there was a very healthy dialogue between SOCAN and our members, with lots of questions from the attendees.

The Toronto gathering was held June 2, 2018, as a panel at The Harris Institute in downtown Toronto, moderated by SOCAN’s Paul Stillo. SOCAN’s Connor Chapman explained how we take pro-active measures to collect international royalties for our members, including an increase in the number of personal visits to our affiliate performing rights organizations in recent years. SOCAN’s James Leacock discussed cable versus internet revenue, noting that a modest decline in cable has been limited to certain genres of programming/stations, while SOCAN has dramatically increased the number of services that it’s licensing in the past three years. SOCAN members Janal Bechthold and Greg Fisher explained the Screen Composers Guild of Canada model agreement and rate card, which help to guide music creators in doing business for movies and television.

Karine Melchior, SOCAN Screen Composers Meeting, 2018, Montreal

In Montréal on June 6, 2018, SOCAN’s Karine Melchior updates our #ComposersWhoScore about royalties for music used in advertising. (Photo: Eric Parazelli)

The Montréal meeting, held June 6 at Centre Phi, was facilitated by SOCAN’s Geneviève Côté, except for a digital platforms panel led by SOCAN’s Eric Parazelli. After an update on royalties for music used in advertising, presented by SOCAN’s Karine Melchior (who also organized the entire event), Paul-Étienne Côté, composer and founder of the music agency Circonflex, spoke about his transition from composing film and TV scores to creating music for advertising. After some information offered by SOCAN’s James Leacock, Pauline Boisbouvier, Chief of Development and Production, Digital and Brand Content for Zone3, asked about scoring content specifically aimed at digital platforms. Screen composers Nathalie Bonin and François-Xavier Dupas discussed the stakes and challenges in the growing sector of scoring interactive and video games. Michel Corriveau, winner of last year’s SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Awards at the Montréal gala, generously shared his experience and advice in negotiating screen music contracts. And Julien Boumard Coallier, of The SOCAN Foundation, explained the organization’s various programs for screen composers.

The Vancouver meeting was held June 9, at the Canadian Music Centre. SOCAN’s Sara Pavilionis and James Leacock presented information on international royalties, internet royalties, and the online tools SOCAN has to offer to screen composers. Other SOCAN personnel in attendance were Gary Laranja and Coralie Hummel, and SOCAN members at the event included Craig Northey, Hal Beckett, Peter Allen, Dave Ramos, Robin Hughes, and Daniel Ross. Many of the attending members said that they were leaving the meeting armed with new information, which was our goal.

SOCAN Screen Composers Meeting, 2018, Vancouver

SOCAN’s Sara Pavilionis and James Leacock present information on international and internet royalties to our #ComposersWhoScore in Vancouver, on June 9, 2018. (Photo: Gary Laranja)

A series of quirky videos and social media savvy helped Josée Caron and Lucy Niles clinch the top spot in the 13th annual English SOCAN Songwriting Prize presented by YouTube Music. “Play The Field” was written by the Atlantic Canada natives and is performed by the band they co-front, Partner.

Variety and balance were evident in the 2018 competition, in which women dominated, several genres were represented and, for the first time, a country song landed in the Top 10. Music fans made their voices heard as they voted for their favourite songs among the finalists, and in the end, Partner would prevail – receiving the $10,000 cash prize, a  Yamaha PSR-S970 Keyboard, and a  $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.

“We are so thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize,” said Caron and Niles. “Songwriting is one of our all-time greatest joys, and to be recognized by fellow music lovers in this capacity is a dream come true.”

The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is one of few competitions in Canada that award excellence in songwriting. Ten outstanding songs created by emerging songwriters over the past year are nominated by a panel of 15 esteemed music industry experts. The general public is then invited to vote daily for their favourite to determine the winner. SOCAN plays no role in determining the nominees or winners outside of ensuring they are members of SOCAN. A mirroring competition for songs in French, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, is conducted separately.

“Congratulations to Josée Caron and Lucy Niles on winning the 2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize. In a competition that celebrates songwriting, there was no shortage of great songs this year, and winning was no easy feat,” said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN.  “The diversity in genres, gender, and cultural influences truly showcased the breadth of not only our talent but the unique stories that Canadian songwriters have to tell. ‘Play The Field’ is a force, and we wish Josée and Lucy continued success in the early days of what is sure to be a long and successful music career.”

Caron and Niles added, “‘Play the Field’ is one of our most personal songs, about an innocent time in a young person’s life. Writing it was an exciting experience. Josée made a funny demo and Lucy wrote her verse while working at Tim’s. We would like to thank all the music lovers and supporters for the huge opportunity and compliment. It is an honour to be nominated alongside so many talented songwriters.”

The winner of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN is “56k” written by Simon Trudeau Cliche, Jeff Martinez, Marc Vincent; performed by LOUD and published by Productions Silence D’Or.

The other nine songs nominated in the English category were:

  • “Dreams Tonite” – written by Alec O’Hanley, Molly Rankin; performed by Alvvays; published by Rough Trade Publishing Canada.
  • Money” – written by Leandra Earl, Eliza Enman-McDaniel, Jordan Miller, Kylie Miller, Garrett Lee; performed by The Beaches; published by Done with Dolls Inc., Besme, administered by Kobalt Music Group Ltd.
  • “Main Girl” – written by Charlotte Cardin; performed by Charlotte Cardin; published by Red Brick c/o Corico Arts.
  • “Cotton Candy” – written by Jessie Reyez; performed by Jessie Reyez; published by BMG Rights Management Canada.
  • “Chills” – written by James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood, Donovan Woods; performed by James Barker Band; published by Warner Chappell Music Canada, Ole Media Management LP II.
  • “Walkaway” – written by Jasmyn Burke, Morgan Waters; performed by Weaves.
  • “Magic”– written by Eoin Killeen, Timothy Law, Patrisha Sanna Campbell; performed by Birthday Boy and Trish.
  • “Healers” – written by Benjamin McCarthy, Iskwé, Ryan Somerville; performed by Iskwé.
  • “Lingua Franca” – written by Neil Bednis, Christopher Laurignano, Fraser McClean, Melanie St. Pierre; performed by Casper Skulls.

The 2017 winner of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize was PUP for “DVP” written by band members Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zachary Mykula, and Steven Sladkowski. Additional winners are available to view on the SOCAN Songwriting Prize website.