From the “backstage” virtual media rooms at the 50th annual JUNO Awards in 2021, SOCAN brings you comments from winners, performers, and presenters, about how the past 15 months of physical isolation, and social and political upheaval, may have influenced their songwriting process and subject matter.

The SOCAN members answering the question are:

  • Savannah Ré
  • Ali Gatie
  • Louis-Jean Cormier
  • William Prince
  • Serena Ryder
  • Robbie Baker of The Tragically Hip
  • Kaytranada
  • Leslie Feist
  • Arkells
  • July Talk
  • Leela Gilday
  • WondaGurl
  • TOBi
  • Tenille Townes

From the virtual backstage of the 50th JUNO Awards in 2021, SOCAN spoke with Kaytranada, winner of Dance Recording of the Year, for his album Bubba. After two Grammys a few months ago, and a SOCAN Electronic Music Award in December 2020, we asked him if he was disappointed to receive these prestigious awards virtually rather than in person. We also discussed the impact of the pandemic on his songwriting, as well as his past declarations concerning the lack of openness and recognition of the Québec media towards R&B music, of which he is one of the most illustrious ambassadors around the world.

On June 2, the one-year anniversary of #BlackOutTuesday – the viral global action to protest anti-Black racism – BDRB (Breaking Down Racial Barriers) with CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association) and ADVANCE (Canada’s Black Music Business Collective) will host a virtual declaration signing event for music industry leaders to make public their commitment to anti-Black racism.

The event will include speakers Andrew Cash (President, CIMA), Keziah Myers (Executive Director, ADVANCE), Ian Andre Espinet (Co-Founder, BDRB), David “Click” Cox (Co-Founder, BDRB), Shauna de Cartier (President, Six Shooter Records), Steve Kane (President, Warner Music), Erin Benjamin (President/CEO, Canadian Live Music Association), and performances by Jully Black and Shantel May.

The Declaration builds on the findings of last year’s unprecedented “Breaking Down Racial Barriers” roundtable, which featured more than 60 working Black music professionals discussing anti-Black racism throughout the Canadian music and entertainment industry. The 10-part series featured candid, at times uncomfortable, conversations on anti-Black racism and its impact on artists, live event producers, music creatives, economics, media, and the succession and retention of Black music professionals, including executives, throughout the music ecosystem.

“The BDRB Declaration to End Anti-Black Racism in the Canadian Music Industry” commits signatories to measurable actions. Music industry leaders and practitioners will be expected to make an active, conscious, and ongoing effort to work against racism; to create mechanisms to dismantle systems that perpetuate racism; and to create actionable solutions with measurable outcomes. The Declaration acts as a precursor to the CIMA-commissioned BDRB Report on anti-Black racism in the Canadian music industry, which will arrive in the coming weeks.

Full event registration details here.
View the BDRB Declaration here.
Sign the BDRB Declaration (organizations and corporations) here.