Travelling to another city, especially a storied musical hotspot, to work on songs with different people, or record at a legendary studio, can be incredibly inspiring for an artist. Maybe something of the distinctive flavour of those places can even work its way into the music, giving it an indescribable quality that can only come from actually being there and breathing the air.

Unfortunately, staying in those storied locales can be ruinously expensive for an artist, especially with the costs of flights, equipment, production, and studio time. So the free accommodation SOCAN offers at its SOCAN Houses in Los Angeles and Nashville is a pretty sweet perk for its members. We talked to two who booked time in SOCAN Houses about the financial and other benefits they enjoyed.

The Washboard Union, a Vancouver-based country music group, booked the SOCAN House in Nashville in the Winter of 2019 to work on their award-winning album Everbound. “It’s a great little house in East Nashville,” says singer and banjo player Chris Duncombe. “Perfect for us. We rehearsed and finished the writing there, and it was our crash pad every night when we got home from the studio.”

Duncombe says free accommodation made a “huge difference” to the recording budget. “It’s expensive to travel and be in a place for awhile when you’re writing and recording and not playing shows. So it helped a lot. It gave us a place to call home while we were in the throes of recording the album.”

Since the band was there during the Country Radio Seminar, it also gave them an opportunity to perform in front of radio programmers from across the U.S., a huge bonus for a Canadian group.

The band, which also includes Aaron Grain and David Roberts, insisted that being in Nashville  had an impact. “I can’t help thinking that Nashville did affect the record somehow,” he says. “David and I are country music history buffs, and in the past we’ve recorded at RCA studio A and Waylon [Jennings]’s old studio Legends, and this time, to be at Sound Emporium, Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio, was incredible. You get to see and touch country music history there, and that’s important for us.”

Neon Dreams, the JUNO-winning alt-pop duo from Halifax, have visited the L.A. SOCAN House several times, including in December of 2019. “We used it for writing, recording and meeting with people,” says singer Frank Kadilllac, “and not having to pay thousands of dollars to stay there was great. I mean, we’re from the East Coast, so the flight alone is expensive. It’s a big investment to be there, so that helped a lot.”

For Kadillac and drummer Adrian Morris, networking and co-writing were crucial, and so having a place to meet and work was, too. “If we met someone who didn’t have a space, we could say we had a space to work in,” says Kadillac. “If we couldn’t book a bigger studio, we had a space to record, and if we wanted to write songs acoustically and go to the studio after, we could do that, too.

“It’s where we wrote ‘Sick of Feeling Useless,’ which [was] on the radio in America, and that’s pretty crazy. We’re new to America, so it was a great way to get our foot in the door. Without the House, it’d be a different situation for us.”

Kadillac says the L.A. vibe has had an impact: “There are so many talented artistic people there, and it kind of infects you. And when you go somewhere different, it can alter your reality. You might find something you never would have found in your hometown, that inspires you.”

To apply for a stay at the SOCAN House in Nashville or L.A., click here.

In an ideal world, Jay Scøtt would have carried on releasing songs on his YouTube channel and wouldn’t have thought about a first album just yet.

“Sadly, though, that’s not how the industry works. I couldn’t have gotten my foot in the door just with singles,” says the singer-songwriter, who’s responsible for two of the biggest current hits on commercial radio in Québec (“Broken” and “Copilote,” a duet with FouKi).

Jay ScottIn light of this unexpected success, the 32-year-old artist collected the best songs he’s recorded over the last two years on an album, Ses plus grands succès – which does indeed feel like a greatest hits compilation. Those folk-ish songs were recorded with the bare minimum of gear, sometimes with nothing other than a single mic in the middle of a room in his apartment in Terrebonne (a suburb Northeast of Montréal). He released them surreptitiously on the internet, without ever thinking they would one day land him on the radio. “I didn’t think of this as a bona fide album, but it’s still my first professionally released album. It truly was recorded with whatever was on hand,” he confides.

Coming from a guy who grew up in the hip-hop world, this first official release on a record label – 117 Records, the sister label of Disques 7 ième Ciel – is indeed quite surprising.

After bursting on the scene almost a decade ago under the alias PL3, Jay Scøtt also made an impression on college radio, alongside his partner in crime, Smitty Bacalley, as a member of satirical (in other words, vulgar) rap combo Les Drogues Fortes. “It’s funny, ‘cause I used to use Auto-Tune a lot, but when I noticed everyone [in Québec] was using it, I decided to stop – and that’s when my career took off!” he says, laughing.

And the fact that the guitar and the piano have taken the place of Auto-Tune and sequencers doesn’t mean that Ses plus grands succès shuns Jay Scøtt’s rap roots. Inspired as much by the hardcore emo wave of the 2000s as he is by Québec rap in the wake of Alaclair Ensemble’s 4.99 – an album that changed his way of seeing music – the singer, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist has kept his nasal, lightning-fast, melodious flow, while multiplying punchlines, multi-syllabic rhymes, and references to popular culture – the three pillars of rap writing.

“I consider what I write as rap, on a technical level. Nothing has changed when it comes to my writing technique,” says the artist, who references Limp Bizkit, Nirvana, and Sans Pression in his lyrics; three bands emblematic of his generation. “People identify to references like those. It allows them to connect with my music,” he says.

The album’s stripped-down aesthetic also allows for a greater connection with his lyrics, and renders listeners witnesses, like never before, to the depth of his vulnerability. The profound disarray of a broken heart is one of the central themes of the album, but so is a latent resilience that occasionally takes centre stage, notably on “42 Long.” The inspiration for these short stories doesn’t necessarily come from his own experience: “When I started writing these songs, I’d just started a new job where I worked nights in a mental health crisis centre. A lot of my deeper songs were inspired by stories I heard there. Stories of breakups, domestic violence… I’d get home and find myself inspired by all that.”

Another topic Scøtt touches on in his songs is his disdain for routine, and his desire for freedom. For those songs, he didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. “That’s 100% me,” he says. “Every time I got up to go to work, I couldn’t believe it… I couldn’t believe that I had to work 50 hours a week for someone else, just to get a few days off. And during that time off, you have to clean up the house, prepare meals… In other words, you never have time for yourself!” says the man who’s held a myriad of menial jobs while caressing his dream of making it in the music world. “Nowadays, my life has completely switched,” he says. “I’m my own boss. And I’ll have no one else to blame if business isn’t good.”

At the moment, Scøtt is living some of the greatest moments of his life so far, but he’s well aware that he  shouldn’t take anything for granted. “There’s no point in stressing out with that,” he says. “I don’t want to calculate my next moves. What I like is creating songs and recording them at home. The rest isn’t much fun to me,” he admits. “Over time, I’ve learned to accept that once I release a song, it doesn’t belong to me anymore. I’m not the one who decides whether it’s a hit or not. Putting that kind of pressure on yourself can only lead to disappointment.”

Each year, SOCAN issues tax slips to its members, whether T5 (for Canadian residents), Relevé 3 (for Québec residents), or NR4 (for non-residents of Canada). The tax slips for 2021 will be issued to members, and remitted to the appropriate tax authorities, by Feb. 28, 2022.

It’s important that you let us know about any life changes that have taken place over the past year. Did you change your name, create a business, or decide to re-locate? Keep in mind it’s the member’s responsibility to ensure that their tax information is accurate and up-to-date In SOCAN’s database.

If you’re a SOCAN member, and there are changes in your life or company that affect your tax status, please contact member services to ensure that those changes are accurately reflected, going forward.

If a payment has been received in error, these amounts will be reported on your 2021 tax slip, unless the earnings in error are returned to SOCAN before Dec. 1, 2021. In this case, please contact Member Services, at, or 1-866-307-6226.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec (RQ) maintain strict rules decreeing that tax slips cannot be re-issued, and as such, SOCAN is unable to re-issue them. Any changes that will impact your tax slip must be completed before Dec. 1, 2021, in order to have them accurately reflected in your 2021 SOCAN tax slips.

So please let us know if things have changed, to avoid any tax season blunders!