S.A.C. Celebrates International Women’s Day: Bonnie Dobson

International Women's series - Bonnie Dobson
Photo by: Laurie Lewis

It took a chunk of her lifetime, but Bonnie Dobson is pleased to finally receive recognition for the brilliant song “Morning Dew” which she wrote, but failed to protect at the time. In 2017, she found her way to the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, The following year, she returned to Mariposa – the festival where she debuted the song in its inaugural run in 1961. By then, Dobson was a seasoned performer but still “new” to the world of publishing. She’d played multiple stints at Ash Grove, the legendary L.A. folk and blues spot. During one stay in L.A. she saw the film “On The Beach” which inspired here to write about life after a nuclear holocaust. “I had never written anything in my life,” she said in Jason Schneider’s book Whispering Pines.

Playing traditional folks songs was more exciting than returning to the University of Toronto, and Dobson slowly found her way to New York City. There, she recorded two albums of folk songs, a children’s record, and her third effort, a 1962 live album featuring her show stopper “Morning Dew,” recorded at Folk City in Manhattan. Dobson knew it was a great song, but had yet to publish the track.

Born November 13, 1940 in a union activist household, and an older sister immersed in the nascent Canadian folk revival inspired Bonnie to try her hand at performing.

Dobson recorded a self-titled album for Nimbus 9 in Toronto in 1969, featuring a re-recording of “Morning Dew,” before leaving for England, marriage and a career in post graduate academia.

After a few more records, including another self-titled effort, she walked away from music until 2013, when she returned to the stage.

“Morning Dew”’s merits were obvious to a few people who covered the song in a folk style, but Fred Neil’s version was the first to rock harder. Tim Rose covered the Fred Neil arrangement and connived his way into a co-writer’s credit for the song which was virtually in the public domain when he decided to record it.

“The worst part was when I came to England in 1969 and I gave my debut concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Everybody had thought that Tim Rose had written “Morning Dew,” because he had never mentioned me at any time, having anything to do with that song. I still get my royalty cheque, but I still consider it quite a grievous injury.” After a half century, Bonnie has been more widely appreciated for not only “Morning Dew” but her singing career overall. Her 2018 Mariposa return re-affirmed her spot in Canadian women songwriters.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

S.A.C. Celebrates International Women’s Day: Lorraine Segato

International Women's Day - Lorraine Segato
Photo by: Marko Shark

Lorraine Segato was born in Hamilton, on June 17, 1956, but made her home in Toronto’s Queen West neighbourhood. Home to some of the city’s longest standing live music venues (including The Rex, Horseshoe, and Cameron House) and long lost legends (the 360 and the Bamboo, for instance), the neighbourhood was developing a vigorous live music scene by the 1980’s.

Segato played with the all women self-proclaimed feminist rock & roll band Mama Quilla II along with Lauri Conger who would soon join her in The Parachute Club. In 1982, drummer Billy Bryans (who also did a stint as only male in the all female 7 piece group Mama Quilla II later formed the dub funk reggae group ‘V’ along with Segato as they’d been developing their musical interest in Caribbean and Latin musical flavours.

Working with the Rastafarian Mojah, already a denizen on the local scene with Truth and Rights, they built their original repertoire along with Rough Trade’s bassist Terry Wilkens.  ‘V’ were offered a gig opening the inaugural Festival of Festivals (later known now as TIFF) in 1982, and things snowballed from there when ‘V’ could not do the gig then Bryans and Segato formed a group for the show which later became known as The Parachute Club
Opting to record with Daniel Lanois, who had engineered the Mama Quilla II EP that Bryans had produced, the new band, featured Segato, Conger and Bryans, along with Margo Davidson, Julie Masi, Steve Webster and David Gray.

The Parachute Club’s popularity exploded with their first album and it’s anthemic hit “Rise Up.” In 1984, the song won the band’s first Juno Award, and their first of three top 40 hits.

The follow-up LP and it’s title track, “At The Feet of the Moon” from 1984, made the Top 10, but changes were coming. Steve Webster left to join Billy Idol’s touring band, and his replacement, Russ Boswell, stayed until he was hired to play with Corey Hart. Nonetheless, The Parachute Club won another Juno, for Group of the Year, in 1985. The band also scooped several CASBY awards, and a collection of remixed songs came out.

“Small Victories” was the third and final Parachute Club album of new material. It had the hit “Love Is Fire,” a duet with John Oates who also produced the record. The track garnered the band another Juno, this time for Video of the Year.

Percussionist Julie Masi left the group and was replaced by Rebecca Jenkins. Aaron Davis stepped in for departing keyboardist Lauri Conger after that.

By 1988, Parachute Club had six Junos, two Platinum and one Gold Record award. They released one more single, “Big Big World” and decided to suspend the band.

On their separate roads, Lorraine Segato pursued a solo career, releasing three albums, starting with “Phoenix” in 1990. “Luminous City” was released a few years later 1998, and in 2015 Segato issued “Invincible Decency.”

From 2005 to 2018 the band, with four original members, played the occasional shows. They were inducted into the Canadian Indies Hall of Fame in 2006.

A couple of members have sadly left us. In 2008, Margo Davidson, who left music to become a social housing activist, passed away at age 50. Billy Bryans, 63, died in 2012.

Segato was later married to Ilana Landsberg-Lewis and produced several large fundraising concerts for the Stephen Lewis Foundation featuring activists Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox & Angelique Kidjo. She has worked on music related documentaries in recent years. “Lowdown Tracks,” profiling the lives of homeless street performers on TVO. Previously, she wrote and directed “Queen Street West: The Rebel Zone.” Most recently, Segato has written an autobiographical stage show called Get Off My Dress that will be mounted in 2021.

In November, 2019, Segato performed with a host of others at a Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame show at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto. “Rise Up” was among the songs celebrated. After a quick speech about the coalescing of this progressive minded music scene on Queen West 40 years ago, Segato performed the song as well as a cover of “Magic Carpet Ride.”

She told interviewer Pamela Roz in late 2019 she would be touring her Wild Women (Don’t Get the Blues)

Show featuring established and emerging women artists showcasing songs written by Canadian Women Songwriters.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these Lorraine Segato songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/2Ip8f5r

Copy of Spotify Ep. 6

1. Rise Up
Performed by: Parachute Club
Written by: Parachute Club
Produced by: BMG Music/Columbia House
Album: Wild Zone – The Essential Parachute Club (1992)
Source: Discogs

2. Love is Fire
Performed by: Parachute Club
Written by: Parachute Club
Produced by: BMG Music/Columbia House
Album: Wild Zone – The Essential Parachute Club (1994)
Source: Discogs

3. Hole in the Wall
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

4. Only Human
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

5. We Gave the Night Away
Performed by: Lorraine Segato
Written by: Lorraine Segato
Produced by: Get Off My Dress Productions
Album: Invincible Decency (2013)
Source: Discogs

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

S.A.C. Black History Songwriters Series: Bullen Family

Bullen family - BLACK HISTORY SERIES (IG) 2020
Photo: www.eddiebullen.com

Eddie Bullen’s birthplace of Grenada is better known for The Mighty Sparrow and calypso grooves than jazz music. Arriving in Canada in 1980, Bullen has since worked to add jazz to the canon of music people associate with this island in particular and the Caribbean in general.

A 1985 single he worked on garnered him a Juno Award when Liberty Silver won for her R&B single “Somewhere Inside Your Love.”

Since then, Bullen has led several musical lives; in the 1990’s he was half the production duo The Ed-Ian Cartel, with Ian Wiltshire. They released a string of 12” singles straddling Caribbean and Canadian dance styles like soca, house, electronic, R&B and reggae.

Beyond production duties, Bullen has also written and played on records from soca artists and the occasional reggae star like Ninjaman.

He’s backed Byron Lee, Melba Moore, Deborah Cox and many other performers on stage. When he isn’t working on other artists’ songs, Bullen creates television music in Canada and abroad.

Bullen’s first solo disc, “Nocturnal Affair” came out in 1996 and in 1999, he released “Caribbean Dream,” an atmospheric c.d. with Dan Gibson. The meditative soundscape environment on here is unlike Bullen’s other releases.

Taking inspiration from popular jazz instrumentals of the 1980’s, the Toronto musician enjoyed radio success with “416,” a track from his 2004 “Make It Real” c.d. He has since released two more discs, “Spice Island” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Bullen has played with Toronto 70’s funk band Crack of Dawn at their reunion shows including the Beaches Jazz Festival over the last couple of summers. He has also worked with Crack of Dawn singer Glen Ricketts, along with his son Quincy.

While running Thunderdome Sounds, his record label, and QDB Music, his publishing company, Bullen continues to seek out young talent, to work with, and to mentor; he started a high school co-op program, back in 1986.

With a laid back groove to the smooth, Bullen performs with several of his own groups; The Eddie Bullen Band, The Caribbean Jazz Collective, and Father and Son; Dueling Pianos.

The latter features his two sons Tre Michael on percussion and elder son Quincy facing his dad, each armed with a grand piano. These performances have featured a mix of classic jazz instrumentals, classical, and jazz takes of popular songs. So Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” fits right in with Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” hit.

“We can spar with each other” at these shows, according to Quincy, a popular keyboard player in his own right. He plays all over the musical map, from classical tones to EDM tracks. He also performs with the funk band Kush.

Quincy’s debut release was with a teen jazz band called the Quintessential Boys. He’s since released several solo c.d.’s, starting with “On Q” in 2010. The follow up, Quantumplations, veered into R&B and dance music. More recently, he’s released “Poise Debris.”

“Poise Debris” heads into harder rock with cuts like “Work With That” and classic funk, a la Prince, with tight jams like “Groove On Adelaide.” Quincy has explained the piano was ground into him as a kid, but he had his dad’s blessing to try other instruments later. Quincy plays a bunch of instruments, but the keyboards keep calling him home. He described his intense practicing schedule growing up in his father’s musical house; “one hour before (school), one hour after. That was my life for years.” This got him into the Royal Conservatory, which took over Quincy’s musical education. The senior Bullen jokes that’s why he has Quincy play some classical sounds at their concerts together.

Somewhere on the way to his Toronto Jazz Festival debut at 18, he found time to act on DeGrassi- The Next Generation t.v. show. Tre Michael has also acted. The family jokes that the younger son got off easy, with a less stringent musical education. The three occasionally perform together, but keep busy with their respective projects.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these Bullen Family songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/31Qr3U2

Spotify Ep.5

1. Sunset Marquee
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

2. Kaleidoscope
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

3. Morpheus
Performed by: Eddie Bullen
Written by: Eddie Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Kaleidoscope (2020)
Source: eddiebullen.com

4. All Day Blues
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

5. Groove on Adelaide
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

6. Tomorrow
Performed by: Quincy Bullen
Written by: Quincy Bullen
Produced by: Thunder Dome Sounds
Album: Poise Debris (2018)
Source: quincybullen.com

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

S.A.C. Black History Songwriters Series: Bucky Adams

Bucky Adams - BHM

Born April 25, 1937 to a large family in Depression era Halifax, Charles “Bucky” Richmond Adams was fortunate to find himself in a musical household. Bucky Adams started teaching himself how to play instruments at a young age. By age 11, he entertained the Queen during a Royal visit to Halifax.

Adams played trumpet early on, until he literally blew his instrument to pieces mid-show. He replaced it with a saxophone he borrowed from his dad, after rushing home during the break.

Adams formed a band with several of his professors at Saint Francis Xavier University before playing in a series of Maritime bands. These included The Rockin Rebels, an early-integrated band in the 1960’s.

He played with Toronto émigré Joe Sealy and they gravitated to performing more jazz. Playing jazz found him sharing stages with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and other stalwarts of the genre. Singer Linda Carvery toured the Maritimes with Adams and Sealy before working with The Nova Scotia Mass Choir, some years later.

From The Lobster Trap with Louis Armstrong in the 1960’s, to The Middle Deck with B.B. King in 1974, Adams established himself in the Maritime music scene. In 1974, CBC released a 7” (45 rpm) record credited to Bucky Adams and The Musical Friends. The e.p. featured four covers, including one by fellow Maritimer Gene MacLellan.

The following he year he formed Basin Street, with whom he recorded his first full length album in 1976. The title “Bucky Adams and Basin Street at Privateers’ Warehouse” suggests a live recording, but was in fact recorded in a studio. Copies were presumably sold during their residency at the Halifax venue.

This time, covers including a funky instrumental of the hit “Ain’t No Sunshine” were mixed with originals, all of which, including “Bucky’s Blues,” were credited to the band collectively.

In addition to numerous television appearances, Adams was featured on Canada Express, a weekly music television program which won him a Gabriel Award from the United Nations, for excellence in broadcasting.

Generations was a 1980’s band Adams worked with, but his recorded output picked up in the c.d. age. In 1996 he released “In A Lovin’ Way” featuring songs inspired by his childhood such as “Africville Shuffle” and “Maynard Street.” “Live at the Thirsty Duck” followed, recorded with Adams’ son Corey in Halifax.

Adams joined forces with the Hungarian-Canadian Botos Brothers for his third release, and “Freedom” is Adams’ final disc.

Later in his six-decade career, Bucky Adams volunteered at the seniors’ home where he would eventually live. For over twenty years, the Northwood Centre in Halifax enjoyed weekly performances by Adams. He called it his “Wednesday night music therapy.” Corey described watching one such performance; people entered the room using canes and holding each other’s shoulders. Later, when they heard a song they recognized, they’d find the strength to get up, dance, and move to the music. CBC did a profile on Adams’ for his 70th birthday.

Charles “Bucky” Richmond Adams passed away at age 75 on July 13, 2012. He is survived by his partner Glenda, his wife Clara, five children and many grand children and great grand children. Several years later, the East Coast Music Awards announced the African Canadian Recording of the Year Award would be replaced by the Bucky Adams Memorial Award. It debuted at the 2016 ECMAs.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these videos about Bucky Adams:

1.Charles “Bucky” Adams: A Celebration of Life Tribute in Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK89IoN0Id4

2.Bucky Adams – Basin Street – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMsNLu_bjlI

Performed by: Bucky Adams
Written by: Edwin H. Morris, Spencer Williams
Produced by: Russ Brannon
Album: Bucky Adams And Basin Street At Privateers’ Warehouse
Source: Discogs

3.Bucky Adams & Basin Street – Afro Minor (Canada 1976) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQk2YEPpa6E

Performed by: Bucky Adams
Written by: Basin Street
Produced by: Russ Brannon
Album: Bucky Adams And Basin Street At Privateers’ Warehouse
Source: Discogs

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

S.A.C. Black History Songwriters Series: Joe Sealy

Joe Sealy - BHM

Joe Sealy’s role as a fixture on the Canadian jazz scene started in his hometown of Montreal, but his status grew after heading east. Instead of heading for Toronto or the U.S., Sealy relocated to Halifax in January of 1967 and got busy on local stages, radio and T.V. shows.

Born August 16, 1939, Joseph Arthur Sealy grew up in Longueuil, Quebec. Sealy’s paternal grandfather James Arthur Sealy emigrated to Africville from Barbados where his father Joseph Maurice Sealy was born in 1910. When Sealy’s father was 9 years of age, his grandfather moved the family to Montreal where his father grew up, later married and bought land in Longueil where Joe Sealy was brought up from the age of 9.

By this time, young Joe Sealy had lessons from the popular local music teacher and sister of Oscar’s, Daisy Peterson. Once in Longueuil, Sealy practised on his own and later returned to Montreal to work with local band leaders and tour Quebec. Enlisting in the navy and attending Sir George Williams (now Concordia) University were shoehorned in with music. Sealy’s practical father warned his son he should have a practical skill to rely on, should the younger Sealy find himself unable to earn a living making music.

In January 1967, Peterson headed east to Halifax, where he had steady work lined up with CBC television. This expanded immediately. “As soon as I got to Halifax, in the first week, I was working seven nights a week and also recording every Sunday, plus a radio show every week, and video taping every other Saturday.”

There is footage of the 1967 season finale of Maritime music show Frank’s Bandstand, featuring Joe Sealy playing organ, which can be seen here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx0I3ZfDVq4.

Somehow, Sealy found time to play in a series of local rock and soul bands. He played with Bucky Adams in The Unusuals. “We actually ended up opening our own after-hours club,” Joe explained. Named after the band, Club Unusual opened from midnight to four in the morning out of a Coca Cola warehouse. Macleans mentions the club and band in a 1970 profile of Halifax.

Sealy had planned to stay only for the T.V. season, but after finding a lot of work, he stayed for more T.V.; Roundabout, Student Showcase, and the better known Music Hop all featured Sealy’s musical touch.

Off-screen, Sealy got to perform with the likes of Milt Jackson and Sonny Stitt among other revered jazz figures before recording his first LP in 1976.

The album was a mix of covers and originals, with a few funky moments mixed in with moodier meditations like “Blue Jade.”

“Sailin Home” was released in 1976, somewhat ironically as Sealy was about to sail on, as it were, and relocate to a new city; Toronto. He arrived to a busy city with a still-thriving live jazz scene. Extended residencies were still the norm, and Sealy held several. One such establishment, Errol’s, yielded a live album.

There was also stage work which found Sealy directing and acting, in addition to performing music. In 1982, Sealy cut his third album, the Juno-nominated Clear Vision, in one day. When asked about whether the immediacy of a live date fueled the speed with which this album was recorded, Sealy observed “There’s nothing like a live experience. This is what we do.”

The early 1990’s saw a rapid decline in not just extended runs in clubs and lounges, but fewer bookings altogether for jazz musicians. Sealy then found long-time collaborator Paul Novotny. They were nominated for a Juno in 1995 and, in 1997 Sealy received a Juno win for Africville Suite. Inspired by the Nova Scotian community bulldozed into history through the late 1960’s, Africville Suite yielded several tours through Canada, Norway, Denmark and the U.S.

Most of Sealy’s records were released on the Sea-Jam label. Up until 2019, Sealy served as the president of Triplet Records, a local jazz label. In 2010, he received the high honour award of the Order of Canada.

In Toronto, Sealy hosts a weekly radio show on Monday nights, at Jazz 91 FM. He still performs, and is quoted in this article from a post-show interview at the 2019 Kensington Market Jazz Festival.

In February 2020, Sealy performed music and stories from Africville with Jackie Richardson. The Joe Sealy Quartet has a regular spot at the Jazz Bistro, where they next play on April 3, 2020.

Written by: Erik Twight

Erik Twight is, at present, a Freelance Writer, maintaining a web presence specializing in current affairs, history, photography, and music. He produces a weekly podcast/radio show arranged thematically and with commentary.

Don’t forget to check out these Joe Sealy songs as part of our new Spotify playlist episode  – https://spoti.fi/31Qr3U2

Spotify Ep.5

1. Africville
Performed by: Joe Sealy
Written by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Produced by: Paul Novotny
Album: Africville Suite
Source: Discogs

2. Duke’s In Town
Performed by: Joe Sealy
Written by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Produced by: Paul Novotny
Album: Africville Suite
Source: Discogs

3. We Three Kings
Performed by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Written by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Produced by: Paul Novotny
Album: The Man In The Red Suit
Source: Discogs

4. The Dunes
Performed by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Written by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Produced by: Paul Novotny
Album: The Man In The Red Suit
Source: Discogs

5. The Snowman
Performed by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Written by: Joe Sealy, Paul Novotny
Produced by: Paul Novotny
Album: The Man In The Red Suit
Source: Discogs

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

Nick Fowler (FWLR)

FWLR_INTRO

While maintaining a successful career in music for TV and Film, Nick Fowler needed an outlet that was solely focused on him. In 2013 FWLR was born. Born free to pursue art. Free to take risks and free from concerns of judgement.The goal was to be authentic and earn respect as a true artist rather than as a product; a slow genuine burn as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan short-lived success. Stylistically he is fluid. Flowing from one genre to the next he connects the dots with his signature production and sound. Drawing influence from artists such as The Aphex Twin, Noisia, and BT, his music could be described as sexy, complex, dark and intelligent. An education in Electronics Engineering gave him the understanding to create his own unique brand of electronica and while continuing to grow and learn, FWLR is leaving his mark on modern music.

  • Do you have a process to songwriting or when creating music?

My process usually begins with me experimenting with sounds. I am a massive synth and sound design nerd at heart so a lot of my time is spent messing around trying to discover new sonic possibilities. I tend to separate sound design from writing, but usually when I stumble across a noise that catches my ear it inspires me to write. I like to write small sketches and stock pile them for opportunities like songwriters camps or Television spots. This has really come in handy over the years as both songwriters camps and TV are extremely time-sensitive situations. Having these sketches started really fast-tracks the creative process.

  • Do you ever compose for film/tv/video games? What’s it like?

I have made my living writing for TV shows since 2012 when I stepped away from my full-time job to focus solely on music. I never intended on getting into the world of sync and licensing but playing in a band and securing our first couple sync deals back in 2010 really opened my eyes. As I focused more on the television side of the music industry I started to gain a huge respect for all the work that went into those productions. I have since written the theme songs for The Social on CTV, Daily Planet on Discovery, and all the shows on BNN as well as hundreds of library tracks for shows such as etalk, Canada AM, CTV News, Marilyn Denis and many more. I’ve had sync placements with shows such as Letterkenny, Degrassi, Rookie Blue, The Next Step, and Lost and Found. I’ve also dabbled in ads (McDonald’s, ViewSonic, Maybelline) and have had some of my songs used in games such as Rocket League, Xenon Racer and more. Hearing your music being used to reinforce a visual narrative is a really incredible feeling as the result is greater than the sum of the music or the visual on their own.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming songwriters and creators who are looking to break further into the creative scene?

Be yourself and don’t take shortcuts. Everyone is able to see it when someone isn’t being genuine. Art is supposed to be a creative expression of who you are and what you believe in. When people try to create art with ulterior motives (such as to become successful or make money) the audience picks up on that. It takes time to grow an organic fan-base of people who truly connect with you. Don’t rush that. Create good art and the success will come.

 

#ThePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

 

Victoria Banks

Victoria Banks - social Media

Victoria Banks has been nominated for 11 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2010. She has been labeled “one of the best songwriters in the business” by Nashville’s MusicRow magazine.

In addition to releasing three albums and touring with artists from Reba to Wynonna, Banks – who hails from Muskoka, Ontario – has written ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA and Covenant-award-winning songs for more than 50 artists.

Her cuts include Jessica Simpson’s Billboard record- breaking single “Come On Over,” Sara Evans’ solo-written hit “Saints & Angels” and duet “Can’t Stop Loving You” (featuring Isaac Slade of The Fray), Lauren Alaina’s “Queen of Hearts,” Johnny Reid’s CCMA Song of the Year “Dance With Me”, Doc Walker’s chart-topping “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”, One More Girl’s BCCMA Song of the Year “When it Ain’t Raining”, and many more. In 2016, Banks performed with the Nashville Ballet as part of their Attitude program, for which several of her songs were choreographed including the program’s title song, “City of Dreams.”

“This is an artist you absolutely need to pay attention to. Recommended without reservation.” – Robert Oermann, MusicRow
“A powerful singer…a very impressive songwriter…definitely a name to look out for.” – Maverick Magazine (UK)

 

  • How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?

I’ve been a staff songwriter based in Nashville for over twenty years now. I moved south in 1997 after finishing a degree in Zoology at University of Toronto, and after performing at a ton of writers nights around town, was connected with my ASCAP rep, Ralph Murphy. Ralph set me up with some publisher meetings, and from those I was offered my first deal writing for Rick Hall at Fame Music’s Nashville office (affiliated with Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals). Since then I’ve signed with several other companies and have always maintained a writing deal over the years, even when I was touring heavily to support my Canadian record deals.

  • How did you learn your craft – was it a “formal” or “informal” music education?

I studied classical voice and piano until I graduated high school, but pursued science in university. As a teenager I picked up a guitar and taught myself how to play and write contemporary music, but I never had any formal training in songwriting. I just read books on the subject, listened to a zillion songs, and tried to figure out how the writers crafted them to affect the listener the way they do.

  • Have you faced any major economic, social or political hurdles as a music creator?

I feel a bit like a survivor who is holding on somehow despite the odds. When I signed my first deal in 1998, royalty streams were alive and well. I have seen the decline of record sales and the rise of streaming basically obliterate all other income streams except radio play for commercial songwriters. There are now only 400 people doing what I do professionally in Nashville when there were 4000 twenty years ago. I’ve also had to deal with the lack of radio play for female artists in the country genre. Even though I naturally gravitate toward writing from a female perspective, I have had to learn to focus primarily on writing with and for male artists in order to stay marketable.

 

#ThePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

KARLI

KARLI INTRO

It’s with her magnetic voice that singer, songwriter KARLI captures the attention of everyone around her. The 24 year old Hamiltonian who grew up surrounded by many musical influences, began to show an interest in writing and performing very early on. “Writing songs for me, is like my personal form of therapy” she explains. In the fall of 2017, KARLI released her very first feature with DJ Miss Shelton titled “When the Lights go Out” which made it straight to Canadian radio and onto Stingray Music. Close behind was her duet with TOITO, produced by East Coast’s Famba, “Space” generating over 2M streams collectively. KARLI debuted her very first single, “Needy” in August of 2018, followed by “Enough” with Los Angeles producer Oscar Olivo in May of this year. She has since been writing and collaborating with a number of artists and producers including Montreal’s Midsplit in their latest release “I Do”. KARLI has been working on the development of her E.P. and looks forward to release her next single in the fall of 2019.

  • Do you have a process to songwriting or when creating music?

Not really. And I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to the songwriting process. Sometimes you can start with a hook or lyrics or maybe just an idea, but then it goes from there. I think it has a lot to do with feeling and what feels right. What show off your emotions the best. I just love songwriting and i’ve been writing since i was 16 but it was hard to get my music out there.

One new approach to the songwriting process that i took recently was going to SAC’s songwriter workshops. It was a huge challenge for me because i was in a room with people that i didn’t know and i had to co-write with them. Although, being put out of my comfort zone co-writing witth these amazing songwriters and professionals really
helped me find out my true capabilities and being surrounded by these professionals who you can bounce ideas off of and who really understand you, where you're coming from and the process was very valuable. It was the best experience i’ve ever had and I would recommend it to any songwriter.

  • How has your music evolved since you first became a recording/performing artists?

My music has definitely evolved a lot since i started. I come from a very musical family as my dads in a rock band and my mom is a singer. So, growing up, i used to be very poppy and a lot more girly. As i mentioned, i was like 16 and writing songs about boys, you know? Even my first single was pretty poppy. But now, I really want to use my music as an outlet to say things that can help people by giving them something to relate to.

For example, I wrote my song Vicious Circle about a close friend of mine who was in an abusive relationship. Abuse of any kind is not okay and that’s what that song talks about.
Songs like that touch a lot of people and it doesn’t have to be that exact situation they are experience but there is a connection mentally and physically and I want to bring that to the forefront of my music.

Also, i wanna try to explore more genres moving forward. I’m definitely opening up to co-writing with different artist who bring a different vibe and contribute to the song in that case.

  • Do you have any advice for upcoming songwriters and creators who are looking to break further into the creative scene?

Definitely make connections. social media is such a huge part of our lives now and huge amongst the music world so defiantly using that to your advantage. Reach out to those people that you admire or are interested in because even though you may think they will never reach back, they usually do and the result is amazing. I worked with a producer from LA for my last single, someone i never physically met btw, and that lead to me having a billboard on times square.

You never really know what can happen and its important to take a chance.
I mean also yes, have your guard up to a point but theres a lot of people out there that are great and are on the same page as you and if you can find those people – the reward is magical. Try to self-manage yourself too if you can. When i started taking things into my own hands, it was the best thing for my career.

AND JOIN SAC! Seriously! I’m a huge advocate of what you guys do. I think Greg Johnston is absolutely great and the team that’s been put together and the vision behind the organisation means a lot – especially as a songwriter. I would recommend it to any up and coming songwriter to join SAC and truly take advantage of all the services and
events you put on.

#ThePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

Odreii

Odreii

Born and raised in Montreal, French Canadian/Jamaican singer-songwriter, Odreii grew up in a very musical environment. With a father being the lead singer of a roots and reggae band, an aunt and uncle who played in a French Heavy metal band, and a mother who played the best of Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, and Bob Marley day in day out throughout her childhood, Odreii got all the inspiration she needed to create her own world. Odreii grew up speaking French, English and Spanish, but quickly developed a passion for learning languages like Russian, Chinese, Italian and German. In 2015 she won 5th place at the Eason Live singing contest for singing in Chinese (Mandarin), a song from one of China’s greatest artist Eason Chan. 

While living in the UK with her father, Odreii taught herself to play guitar so she could perform her original compositions in pubs around London. The first song she recorded was “Keep Smiling”, which yielded her a music scholarship at Tech Music School (BIMM) in 2011 after winning 1st Place at the prestigious The Stage UK vocal competition. 

In 2013, she won 1st Place at the AppleBeam songwriting competition and received a nomination for Best UKSC Pop Written Song with “Wondering”. 

In 2014, Odreii won 1st Place at the EDA UKSC songwriting competition and, the following year, wrote “Tell Me You Love Me” under Elle Ray which reached #1 on Soundcloud’s Hot and New chart, played on 95.7 Hits FM, was selected for Victoria Secret’s Spotify playlists, and played on MTV in the USA. 

In 2016, while working on new music, Odreii supported Naadei around Canada as a backup vocalist and guitarist. Some of those performances included Osheaga Presents, MURAL Festival, House of Paint festival in Ottawa, and Festival des Mongolfieres, where they both opened for Wyclef Jean. 

In 2017, her acoustic song “Always Been You” received a nomination for New PLAY VRAK Discovery and was aired live on TVA during a MATV series. The saga continued in 2018, where she performed at SXSW with Naadei. 

She released her first acoustic single entitled Gold for Water alongside an upbeat version of the song produced by the Montreal production duo Neowide. The song got support from Justin Timberlake’s dancer Codie Wiggins and female dancecrew C4 known as the 2017 Champions for World Hip Hop Dance Adult Division. 

Odreii released her first EP ”Runs In Me Blood” on May 3, 2019 distributed by Higher Reign Music Group / Sony Music Canada. The project, funded by FACTOR and the government of Canada, offers a mixture of Caribbean and urban sounds while introducing us to a well versed singer songwriter. 

Latest Songwriting projects: 

– Criminal by Odreii (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, 2019) 

– 332 Miles by Raayon (Universal Music Canada, 2018) 

– What we started by MBP (TONSPIEL, 2018) 

– SOS by Raphael Di Raddo feat. Spity & Elle Ray (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, 2018) 

– EP Runs In Me Blood by Odreii (HRMG, Sony Music Canada, Tropical Koala, 2019)

#ThePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

 

Storry

STORRY

STORRY is a seasoned artist trained in classical music who performs Mozart arias with as much confidence as hip hop, R&B, and gospel. Fierce and multifaceted, she writes and produces all her music. STORRY’s voice quality is second to none, and she uses and enhances her incredible sonorous gifts with prophecies witty, raw, and life-changing.

She preaches from experience. Lots of it. Her songs offer an honest portrait of life as a woman: it’s an image everybody can recognize, even if they don’t want to. Her poetic and musical creativity is unapologetic and fearless. In releasing her first single, STORRY is leaving the shadows and showing us the result of decades of artistic work.

  • What inspires you to create music?

I think music and art in general, is a way to impact the world and culture. And so, I create music to be impactful. To make people feel, to make people think, to make people leave changed. I really do believe that art is not only a reflection of our world but can also push culture forward and change the world.

  • Have you faced any major economic, social, or political hurdle(s) as a music creator?

Economically, I would say, music is an industry where there isn’t a lot of funding behind it. It’s quite expensive. Although these days it has gotten a little bit better, you know, by being able to record at home and such. But to get a real platform for your music to be heard is quite hard when you don’t have a marketing budget, or a team, or a label behind you. So, economically it can be hard for people that don’t have a lot of money.

And on a political/social level, I would say that being a woman, is a difficult part I think of being in any industry, but particularly in the entertainment industry. I’ve often been the only woman in a lot of studio settings, in a room full of men. More often than not, women are not seen as equally valuable… I’m usually mansplained a lot. I kind of have to bite my tongue, because there’s this kind of hierarchy that exists. So, its a very interesting landscape to try and navigate, and my feeling is that we really need to empower women; To be producers, play instruments, and be given equal opportunity to do those things in these environments.

  • Do you see any change in today’s music industry?

I have been seeing a shift – it’s slowly changing, but I think its been more surface-level than I would like. There’s been a lot of hashtags, like the #MeToo movement (which has been very important). But I think that this has allowed people to – especially men in the industry, who are misogynistic, or whatever – to hide under that guise of being ‘feminist’. ‘I follow this movement’ or ‘I stand behind strong women’, but they don’t actually act on those ideals. It’s a pretence – it’s trendy. And then it has a gaslighting effect on women. A lot of talk, and very little integrity or follow-through behind those words. So, I very much appreciate being here writing at the SAC ProSongWorks because it’s been a very balanced and respectful environment to create. 

  • How did you learn your craft – was it ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ music education?

I initially started teaching myself how to sing and write from childhood. I taught myself how to play a bit of piano and guitar as well. I later ended up going to school for a couple years in classical voice and studied opera. It was a very interesting way to utilize my voice in a different way and I really enjoyed that. I didn’t finish university but it was a very fun experience for me. So having both sides of the spectrum – knowing how to jam and also knowing the theory and technique behind it, and knowing how to combine the two worlds.

  • Would you recommend this to other artists – to have a bit more background/education about the music?

I would. I think it’s important to have both. Some things in music cannot be taught theoretically. They’re internal vibrations and emotions. But knowing how to utilize your instrument(s) so you have multiple tools and options in your back pocket just adds to what you can accomplish when you’re in the right vibrations with the right collaborators. Then you can really finesse and polish the work to be exactly what you hear in your head. If, for example, if you’re vocal range is smaller, then often that will change what melodies you might come up with because there are certain limitations or boundaries you must work inside of. Studying or perfecting your craft or instrument can remove a lot of these limitations. 

  • If the music community could do one thing better what would it be?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this actually.. ’cause I think there’s a lot of things that could be better. For one, me being an artist trying to release music on my own, I find it very difficult to navigate all the bits and pieces of the industry. Everything is scattered and there’s no blueprint. It’s like, if I were to open up a restaurant, there are certain things that need to be in place; you need to get certain permits, safety, understand the space’s capacity, there’s a framework.. but there’s no framework for the music industry per se. It’s kind of the wild west, and because of that, there’s no real regulations. With no real regulations, there can be a lot of corruption happening. So I think there needs to be some sort of way to regulate, to allow people to feel safe in these working spaces – to know that there is an entity holding people accountable if something goes wrong.

#ThePROSofSAC #CreatorsCount #MusicCreatorsUnite

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.