The S.A.C. at Culture Days -with Rob Wells and Shiloh

Rob & Shiloh share their wisdom.

For those that were present on Sunday, September 26th and managed to avoid the Toronto marathon traffic, you witnessed a great session with hit songwriter, Rob Wells and young singer/songwriter Shiloh, who gave information on the art, craft and business of songwriting.

The free event had them discuss everything from song collaboration, their individual songwriting process, the tools they use to create as well as what inspires them. They even performed a few tunes that they have collaborated on together. The event was sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada and in conjunction with culture days, which had close to 400 events planned this year!

The day was a huge success with a cross-section of songwriters that included those that have been developing their craft for sometime and those who are just starting out.  With over 35 in attendance in this songwriting workshop, I was excited to see several familiar faces as well as many new faces at these types of seminars!  It is so great so see writers that are willing to share their expertise with aspiring and developing songwriters.

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. A national Steering Committee, together with provincial committees (known as Provincial Task Forces) are self-mobilizing at the grassroots level to implement concurrent annual province-wide public participation events each September beginning in 2010. The annual, concurrent Culture Days events across Canada will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers… in their community. For more information about Culture Days:

Adi Braun takes a leap of faith with singer/songwriter debut, “Canadian Scenes I”

Adi Braun CD Cover

Adi Braun has garnered a sizable list of accomplishments as a vocalist including releasing 3 critically acclaimed CDs, one of which was shortlisted for a Juno nomination.  She has toured the world and established a name for herself as a leading jazz vocalist.

Over the years, Adi has gained confidence as a songwriter and this week she releases her debut singer/songwriter album, “Canadian Scenes I.”  Adi shares with us the gems of experience and inspiration that have led her to this release, as well as some advice for fellow songwriters.  In the end Adi encourages us to “take a leap of faith.”

1.  Congratulations on the release of your 4th album.  What is the over arching theme or inspiration behind this new album? I have been singing songs by other Canadian songwriters as well as my own originals for several years now, but somehow I only now found the courage to capture them on record.

2.  This is your debut album as a singer/songwriter.  When did you begin writing songs, and what inspired you to branch out your creativity in this way? I actually began writing songs when I was about 16 years old and living in Germany.  Then when I moved back to Toronto two years later my life took a somewhat different turn as I began classical vocal studies (both of my parents were opera singers) and so this little dream of becoming a pop singer/songwriter “went to sleep” for many years.  I performed as a classical singer until I was in my mid-thirties and only then followed my true calling back to jazz, pop and cabaret music.  Over the past few years my fans, family and friends have repeatedly asked me to record my own songs and I have also been very encouraged by Canadian Singer/Songwriter legend Shirley Eikhard to put my song-writing foot forward.

3.  What unique challenges did you encounter approaching a singer/songwriter project that were different from your previous CDs? I honestly felt that it was more a revelation than a challenge that was truly unique in this project.  It is an indescribable feeling to be surrounded by such players as I was who appreciated and felt my music as deeply as they did and played with such heartfelt sincerity.  It was a deeply moving experience.

4.  How did you come up for the funding of this project? All of my CDs have been funded privately by myself.  It’s not been an easy road to travel on and has involved lots of hard work but the rewards have been beautiful.

5.  What are your marketing plans to support this release? To sell this CD at all of my other upcoming performing events and to continue to sell all of my CDs through different on-line stores as well as on i-Tunes.  Then there is radio-airplay which is always tremendously helpful.

6.  You have hired a PR company to help in promoting this project. Why did you make this decision and what criteria do you think is important in choosing a PR company? As an independent artist without a big agency representation you are often the only person who is responsible for all details of your work, so it is extremely helpful to have someone who is able to carry forward the artist’s intentions to the media.  My advice to anyone thinking of hiring a publicist is to carefully check them out and ask for references.  Make sure he/she is committed to your unique artistic voice.

7.  How long did it take to make this album? This album has been in the works for at least two years – in the heart and the mind, that is.  But the physical recording took place this May and by the end of June it was all completed.

Adi Braun

8.  If there was one piece of advice you could give to people embarking on recording a singer/songwriter CD, what would it be? Take the leap of faith and do it!  I have heard from others in the field (jazz, mostly) that recording an “all-original” CD might not be a good decision.  Instead – they suggested – to record only one or two of your own songs nestled among several standards.

While I find this an interesting choice and possibility I do feel that it might encourage artists to feel that they need another person’s work to “hide” behind.  I’d say – if you are not in a position to record an entire album of originals, record an EP (which is what I did).  The feeling of giving birth to something that can capture your own inner truth and authentic voice is unparalleled in my mind.

To find out more about Adi – click here.