AHI, FMO 2023

Photo: Daniel Motta/FMO

Folk Music Ontario (FMO) and SOCAN presented a songwriting masterclass with AHI on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, during the FMO Conference, at the Doubletree by Hilton in London, Ontario.

From charting on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, to delivering captivating performances on CBS This Morning & NPR Tiny Desk Concerts (both in the U.S.) and touring internationally with Mandy Moore and Milow for his latest album Prospect, AHI has amassed more than 80 million streams worldwide in a few short years.

AHI offered stories from his life, and insights into the art and craft of his songwriting, in a conversation with SOCAN Creative Executive Houtan Hodania. He discussed what inspired him to become a songwriter; growing up in a multi-cultural environment like Brampton, and how it influenced his songwriting; his tour with Mandy Moore; how to navigate specific songwriting communities, like Nashville; his songwriting process, and how he approaches songwriting from scratch; and what he believes makes a song truly stand out and connect with listeners on a deep level.

Among the SOCAN members officially showcasing at the 2023 edition were Kaia Kater, Ammoye, Tara McLean, Aleksi Campagne, Barbra Lica, Adrian Sutherland, Onion Honey, Rory Taillon, Meredith Moon, The Bombadils, Lonesome Ace, Quote The Raven, Brooke Blackburn, The Pairs, The Barrel Boys, Twin Flames, David Laronde, Steph Larochelle, Pressgang Mutiny, and Sarah Jane Scouten.

Bands and singer-songwriters from Canada’s French-speaking and Indigenous communities have until 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2023, to submit their applications on the Francouvertes website in the hope of being one of the 21 contestants in the upcoming cohort.

The competition runs from March 11 to May 15, 2024, at Lion d’Or, Club Soda, and online. The artists will perform their original compositions in front of a live audience. The spokespersons for this 28th edition are Lou-Adriane Cassidy (a previous finalist) and Thierry Larose (a previous semi-finalist).

 Whatever their musical style, Francouvertes participants benefit from a prime showcase, presenting their songs to new audiences, the media, and various industry representatives. For the first time this year, thanks to the contribution of SiriusXM, a one-time amount of $500 in production assistance will be awarded to each participating act. Also new, changes to the rules relating to entries have recently been made to make the competition more accessible to artists who haven’t widely marketed their songs. Finally, an important new feature concerning the event’s online broadcast will be announced during the inaugural evening, and it promises greater visibility for artists, and wider availability to the public.

By participating in the Francouvertes, artists will have the chance to partake of an experience that’s rich in artistic and professional meetings. In addition, there are opportunities for cash prizes – including the $15,000 SiriusXM cash prize – studio time, promotional and professional support, paid performances in major venues, and performances at major events.

Francouvertes is a competition that takes place in three stages: the preliminaries, the semi-finals, and the finals, totalling more than 11 nights, with three artists presented per night. To find out more, access www.francouvertes.com.

SOCAN is sponsoring several panel discussions in the Canadian Music Week ”Virtual Voices” online series, in order to provide useful information that can help put more money in our members’ pockets.

On Oct. 3, 2023, the “Metadata = Money” session – whose participants included SOCAN Director, Royalty Operations, Leslie Chan – explained how complete metadata is essential to maximize the value of our members’ music. Thorough, correct metadata attached to music positively impacts royalties, ensures accurate credits, and expands the ability to be discovered by current and future fans. If you’re interested, you can access a recording of the metadata panel.

Next up in the series, on Oct. 17, 2023, was “Monetizing Music in Film & TV.” The audio-visual market is growing, and new opportunities are popping up every day to earn money for the use of music. From traditional broadcast to digital and UGC platforms, this session covered the different royalty streams, and how to protect one’s rights. Attendees heard from experts working in the field, got tips on pitching their music, and left with a better understanding of the screen music ecosystem.

The panel was moderated by screen composer and SOCAN Creative Executive, Film/TV and Visual Media, Gagan Singh. Participants are Martin Lavallée, SOCAN’s Head of Reproduction Rights; Jennifer Beavis, Canadian Director, Synchronization & Publishing Administration, BMG Rights Management (Canada); Michael Perlmutter, Music Supervisor, Instinct Entertainment; and John Rowley, screen composer and music supervisor.