Over the past several years, SOCAN has organized and hosted its annual Kenekt Song Camps in British Columbia, Québec, and Nicaragua. Now, SOCAN is pleased and proud to report that some of the songs created at those camps are seeing the light of day with commercial releases, assisting the co-writers and performers, and their record companies and music publishers, in furthering their careers.
Begonia’s brand-new seasonal song, “It Won’t be Christmas (Till You’re Here)” – co-written with Wes Marksell and Jason Crouse of Darcys – was created at the 2017 SOCAN Kenekt Song Camp on Pender Island, BC, inspired by community – and the cold.
“Wes and Jason’s production room was in this beautiful cabin overlooking the ocean,” says Begonia (a.k.a. Alexa Dirks), “BUT IT HAD NO HEAT! We were drawing a blank on where to start that day, but we were freezing cold, so we let that inspire us and decided to write a Christmas song! We basically used every holiday-related word we could think of: mistletoe, snow, fire, gifts, reindeer, stockings… and CHRISTMAS, FIVE MILLION TIMES! We finished the song and showed the [full] songwriting group at the end of the day. A few people laughed, while others said that it was kind of annoying and that they couldn’t get the chorus out of their heads… I think this song reflects both our experience at the retreat, and the spirit of the holidays!”
Inspired more by the thought of a hot climate than the experience of a cold one, Samito, Rymz, and (with later contributions from Realmind and Connor Seidel) co-wrote “Sunny Day,” which became a hit for Rymz (feat. Samito) at the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Quebec Song Camp, in Rabaska Lodge, on the shores of the Baskatong Lake, in the Laurentians. The song is published by Maisonnette and Joyride.
“It was the last day at the camp,” says Samito. “After breakfast, I bumped into Rymz while heading to the recording studio. Neither of us had a very clear plan for the day. Rymz said, ‘Yo! Let’s do a song… I feel like doing something tropical.’ We decided to go see Neo who, in just a few minutes, cooked us up a beat with an amazing vibe. Fifteen minutes later, Rymz had written and recorded an intro and a verse. I then jumped on the mic and recorded a chorus and a verse… The vibe in Neo’s studio was so amazing that we were done in an hour.”
Says Rymz, “Personally, I love getting out of big-city stress and working on music all day, from dawn ‘til dusk. I also appreciated the fact that everyone at the camp was a seasoned professional.”
Rymz was also a co-writer – along with Stephanie Boulay and Ingrid St-Pierre – of Boulay’s single “Sorbet Collant,” also created at the SOCAN Kenekt Québec Song Camp, produced by Connor Seidel, and published by dare to Care and Joyride. In fact, Boulay was so inspired and touched by her experience there, that she released an official video for another song, “Des histoires qui ne seront jamais finies,” entirely composed of footage she shot at the camp by Boulay and Xavier Martel (of Forum).
Ria Mae’s last two songs uploaded to YouTube, the acoustic “It’s Not Me It’s You” (co-written with Lowell, Nathan Ferraro, and Scott Effman [ASCAP], published by Concord Music, Hyvetown Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing and Nettwerk Music Group Publishing) and the single “Hold Me” (co-written with Lowell, John Nathaniel, and Frank Kadillac of Neon Dreams, published by Hyvetown Music Publishing) were both created at the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Song Camp, in the remote town of Maderas, Nicaragua.
L I O N C H I L D – the songwriting/production team of Lance Shipp, Nathalia Marshall, and Rachael Kennedy – and Laurell co-wrote “Lil’ Touch” at the 2017 SOCAN Kenekt Song Camp in Nicaragua. It has since become a single for Girls Generation, the first Asian girl group to achieve five music videos with more than 100 million views each on YouTube. The song is published by Universal Music Publishing.
Similarly, Cassie Dasilva’s single “Welcome to my Castle” was co-written with Fintan O’Brien and Ian Smith, and published by CYMBA Music Publishing, at the 2016 SOCAN Song Camp in the town of Gibson, on BC’s Sunshine Coast. “likefck” (sic), the debut single for laye, a Quebec-based singer-songwriter signed to Sony Music Canada, was co-written at the 2018 Kenekt song camp in BC, by Kevvy Maher and Joel Stouffer, published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada. A SOCAN Kenekt Song Camp was also the creation location for Delhi 2 Dublin’s “Get Loud,” co-written by band members Tarun Nayar and Sanjay Seran, with Kevvy Maher, and performed by Delhi 2 Dublin (featuring Navv Inder). Phrased Differently publishes the song.
The same goes for “Piece by Piece,” co-written and performed by Heartstreets’ Gab Godon and Emma Beko, with Ariane Brunet, produced by Realmind, and performed by Heartstreets (feauturing L.i.s.l.e.). Two other songs created at the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Québec camp wiulkl be featured on the group’s next album, due in 2019: “Lost,” which Godon and Beko co-wrote with Pilou, and “Good Things,” which they penned together with A-SHO and Connor Seidel.
“The song camp experience is unlike any other,” says SOCAN’s Melissa Cameron-Passley, who often organizes and oversees the Kenekt events. “Watching the writers grow from day one to five, and connecting them with new co-writers to create songs together, in such nurturing environments and inspiring locations, is a beautiful experience. It’s a great way of adding value to our members’ creative efforts. Some of the working relationships established in the camps continue on, and some of the songs created there have reached a wide audience. A huge shout out to all of our publisher members, labels, managers, and taste-makers who submit their stellar songwriters for the opportunity.”
Participating songwriters and producers thrive on the experience. Here’s what a few of them had to say…
From the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Song camp in Nicaragua:
- “Still on a high from what was one of the BEST WEEKS EVER,” say Jayli and Hayden Wolf, “bringing all these beautiful and inspiring people together in the jungle. It was pure magic.”
- “An unbelievable songwriting camp,” says Lowell. “Probably one of the best times I’ve ever had, in regards to writing.”
From the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Song camp on Pender Island in BC:
- “I’m leaving this camp a better writer, and with some amazing memories and friendships,” says Matthew V.
- “Each day of writing was filled with such great moments, and memories that’ll live forever in the songs we created,” said Kayo. “It was a life-changing experience.”
And from the 2018 SOCAN Kenekt Québec Song camp:
- Ingrid St-Pierre: “I’m still surfing that wave. The wave made up of complicit glances, giggles, grandiose micro-doses of happiness, profound talks, night-time friendships, sparkling thunderstorms, games of statues, beautiful humans expressing themselves, bacon grilled-cheese sandwiches, warm afternoon soup, teary eyes, campfires, immense smiles, new-born but already legendary, true, and magnificent friendships.”