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.

Protect Your Music Online

low-angle-view-of-lighting-equipment-on-shelf-257904

Living in the Cyber Age surely has a lot of advantages. With the development of technologies our lives are much easier. Songwriters all across the globe use  new online technology in their day-to-day work flow.

At the same time, songwriters, like everyone else if not more, need to protect personal data, as well as their work from those, who want to steal it.

There are so many ways to keep musical work across emails and all your devices safe.  In this article are a few tips for protecting your music that will help keep your music and you safe online!

4 Simple Ways to Protect Your Music from Being Hacked

Keep your information safe!

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.