To mark International Women’s Day 2021, SOCAN and SOCAN Foundation have released a video that features conversations about gender equality issues that women continue to face in the music community, and emerging and potential solutions to close the gender gap.

It presents the experiences of female-identifying creators and industry professionals, including SOCAN’s Interim CEO Jennifer Brown; SOCAN member singer-songwriters Desirée Dawson and La Bronze; and Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director, SOCAN Foundation.

International Women’s Day can be traced back to the early 1900s. The event is now recognized annually on March 8th, and has been celebrated in recent years with thousands of rallies and events worldwide.

Words & Music is pleased to extend its helpful “how-to” series for our members, “The Breakdown,” into the realm of short, question-and-answer videos.

In this episode, SOCAN Editor in Chief Howard Druckman talks with grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin), who won the 2019 SOCAN Songwriting Prize for co-writing (and performing) “Blood//Water.” The song, whose hard rock and social comment is typical of grandson’s approach, was also certified Gold in the U.K., and Platinum in the U.S. and Canada. His single “Apologize” reached the Top Five on the Billboard Canadian Rock Chart , while “Dirty” was Top 10, and also reached No. 11 on the Billboard U.S. Alternative Chart. He’s toured with Smashing Pumpkins; worked with his early heroes Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine; and performed on Late Night with Seth Myers.

Our question for him this time is about standing out by finding your unique voice.

Classified leads the pack for the 2021 East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) with eight nominations, while Rose Cousins follows closely with six, and Beòlach, Catherine MacLellan, David Myles, Neon Dreams, and Rich Aucoin have each earned four.

The nominees include:

Songwriter of the Year
Catherine MacLellan
David Myles
Joel Plaskett
Rose Cousins

Song of the Year
Classified – “Good News” featuring Breagh Isabel
Like A Motorcycle – “Wide Awake”
Neon Dreams – “Sick of Feeling Useless”
Rachel Beck – “Warrior”
Rich Aucoin – “Walls”

Classical Composition of the Year
Andrew Staniland – Peter Quince at the Clavier
Bekah Simms – Granitic
Derek Charke – Tree Rings
Dinuk Wijeratne – The Spirit and the Dust
Emily Doolittle – Doolittle: Minute Études Excerpts (Live)
Peter-Anthony Togni – Sea Dreams

Francophone Recording of the Year
Émilie Landry – Arroser les Fleurs
Joey Robin Haché – TRENTE
Les Hay Babies – Boîte aux lettres
Matt Boudreau – Armageddon
Menoncle Jason – La grosse piastre

This year’s awards lineup features a new category – African Canadian Artist of the Year – with Joe Bowden, Keonte Beals, Miokal, Owen O’Sound Lee, Shelley Hamilton, and Zamani all vying for the honour.

The 2021 East Coast Music Awards will take place May 5-9 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, though what that festival and show will look like is still being determined by COVID-19 restrictions. Last year’s show migrated online, and was postponed from May to July 11, with pre-recorded performances and no audience.