Wanderlust combined with constant curiosity. Tokyo to Toronto, with plenty of whistle stops in between. Forty years on, songwriter-producer Vince Degiorgio still follows the song. Today the music industry veteran is in Japan. The following week he’s set to co-write songs in Asia with artists that he’s never met before. He’s just spent a fortnight in Europe meeting several international writers on the roster of his Chapter 2 Productions publishing company.
“As a pop writer, I’ve always been an explorer,” says Degiorgio. “I didn’t have the patience earlier in my career to try to crack the flood of self-contained acts and singer-songwriters in Canada, so I hit the road.”
Now, after 14 trips around the globe, he’s a musical trailblazer. From the fringes to the mainstream, there’s little he hasn’t seen. The road began in clubs, as an underage DJ making $40 an hour to support his record-buying habit. Later he took a turn as an A&R man for RCA, signing ‘N Sync to their first major-label deal for North America. Degiorgio’s journey is as diverse as the artists with whom he’s co-written songs; he penned his first lyrics as a teen.
“I knew I had a talent,” he recalls, “it just depended on when I could use it. Once I started my own record label, I decided I was going to be a writer, someway, somehow, and make a life from it.”
“I decided I was going to be a writer, someway, somehow, and make a life from it.”
Making a life from the music business is an understatement. Degiorgio has had chart-topping hits in six different countries. His works have been recorded in 11 different languages. Sales of his songs have exceeded 30 million units. Despite international success, he remains humble, knowing some of life’s most overwhelming gifts are only temporary.
“I write as if I’m broke,” Degiorgio says. “Every day is a new challenge. If I didn’t take the risks I have [taken], I wouldn’t have a career. I lead with my heart and I just put it out there.”
When Degiorgio puts pen to paper, success is usually not far behind. The hardest part of writing songs, he says, is finding new ways to express age-old ideas. “I laugh with my writers when I tell them that, in life, there are limitless ways to fall in love, but there are only a few ways to get people to fall in love with your songs, and that’s by telling the story each time with your signature twist,” says Degiorgio.
“My favourite songwriting quote comes from my father – a non-writer – who once said, ‘Don’t write a song, write a standard.’ In my mind, I never have. For me, The Holy Grail as a writer, despite all my success, remains waiting in the distance.”
- “A Night Like This,” Degiorgio’s co-write with Dutch-based international artist Caro Emerald, is the longest-running No. 1 record in The Netherlands.
- Degiorgio co-wrote all the songs on Emerald’s debut album, which recently achieved platinum status in Europe for sales of more than one million.
- Chapter 2 Productions has provided music for more than 150 television shows, including America’s Next Top Model, Degrassi and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.FYIPublisher: Chapter 2 ProductionsSelected Discography: Tapps’ My Forbidden Lover (1983); Carol Emerald’s Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor (2010) and The Shocking Miss Emerald (2013).FYI
Publisher: Chapter 2 Productions
Selected Discography: Tapps’ My Forbidden Lover (1983); Carol Emerald’s Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor (2010) and The Shocking Miss Emerald (2013).
SOCAN member since 1984