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SongWorks Edmonton: Classic country meets euro-dance

December 20, 2013
SongWorks Edmonton 2013 Participants.  Clockwise from Top Left:  Cecil Frena, Bryan Finlay, Rachel Woznow, Olivia Wik, Sophie Serafino, Jimmy Whiffen, Ari Rhodes,Dan Davidson, Rob Wells

SongWorks Edmonton 2013 Participants. Clockwise from Top Left: Cecil Frena, Bryan Finlay, Rachel Woznow, Olivia Wik, Sophie Serafino, Jimmy Whiffen, Ari Rhodes,Dan Davidson, Rob Wells

Seasoned country singer/songwriter Jimmy Whiffen found himself in a brand new songwriting situation when he landed in the recent SongWorks Edmonton, his first ever songwriting camp experience.  Although the first moments of meeting with co-writers he’d never worked with before were somewhat challenging, he overcame any awkwardness and found new synergy beyond his usual writing styles.

Whiffen believes SongWorks is an important part of the creative landscape of Canadian songwriting because it brings songwriters together and the resulting collaborations makes everyone a better writer, while also improving the chances of writing a hit song.  While others may dismiss writing a hit as a goal, Whiffen acknowledges that “getting a hit would be very cool.”

We asked Whiffen to share his SongWorks experience with us in a mini-journal entry.  Here is what he shared.

In Jimmy Whiffen’s Words…

Jimmy Whiffen jamming out a song at SongWorks Edmonton.

Jimmy Whiffen jamming out a song at SongWorks Edmonton.

The writing experiences all three days totally stretched my imagination as a writer. The group of writers varying in styles and genres that were invited to this camp made it very exciting for me and opened my mind to further possibilities as a writer.

Day 1, I wrote with Dan Davidson, lead singer from Tupelo Honey, an Edmonton based rock band and a concert violinist named Sophie Seraphino. We wrote what I believe to be a modern day, radio ready, pop rock song, with a powerful melody and great lyric.  This song screams and I can’t get the hook out of my head. Dan’s great vocals and an added touch of class from Sophie really brought it home.

Day 2, Things started to warm up for me as I got to be the lyric guy with Rob Wells a very established hit songwriter with an impressive resume and a 17 year old artist/ songwriter from Edmonton with a powerful vocal range named Rachel Woznow.  We wrote a very melodically and lyrically catchy pop song. I love this song!  Rob was very quick bringing this piece together; making it sound like I could be listening to this on the radio as we speak and Rachel nailed the vocal on the demo. Very Cool!

Day 3, As mostly a country writer I didn’t know what to expect going in to write with Ari Rhodes who writes all forms of dance and electronica. Although my friend and co-writer Olivia Wik was on this session, also an Edmonton country singer song writer, I felt this was going to be an experience and it certainly was. What a blast!!!  It was like classic country meets euro-dance. Yippie!!  I think we got a hit, at least for me anyway.

This whole experience was a hit!
I would do this again anytime.

I was so happy to be invited to participate in the Edmonton song writing camp hosted by the Songwriters Association of Canada. Thank you Vince Degiorgio for hosting a great camp, it was top-notch!

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