SOCAN partnered with The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) to present the inaugural CCMA Song Camp, from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, 2019, at The Beachcomber resort at Las Canas, in The Dominican Republic. The week-long camp gathered 15 country music songwriters and producers, aiming to create a collection of radio-ready songs.
Once again, SOCAN helped to provide a unique, powerful opportunity to help our members develop their co-writing skills, and grow their business worldwide. The isolated location allowed participants to break free from their day-to-day routines and distractions, and offered them access to unique collaborative experiences they might not otherwise have. Participants ranged from longtime country stars like Patricia Conroy, to professional songwriters like Kelly Archer and Tebey, to fast-rising talents like Lindsay Ell, to producers like Karen Kosowski and Colin Munroe.
Each morning at 10:00 a.m., the participants received their group assignments – which changed daily – then spent the full day and evening writing songs in those groups. Each night at 10;00 p.m., the entire camp would gather to listen to the playback of the songs created that day. The writers quickly bonded, as they co-wrote in 12-hour workdays.
“What an incredible week,” said participating singer-songwriter Meghan Patrick. “Amazing songs were written, creative comfort zones were pushed… Thank you to the CCMA and SOCAN for putting together such an great week… I definitely foresee future hits coming from this.”
“You guys did an amazing job,” said participating singer-songwriter Dan Davidson. “Thanks for all the hard work setting this up, and all the effort making it fun and easy for everyone – it didn’t go unnoticed! Thank you so much for including me this week. I felt I got some really great co-writes, strengthened some contacts, and made some new buds. Feeling pretty lucky to be involved! It’s nice to know we have people like you guys on our side.”
“The song camp experience is totally unique,” said SOCAN Director, A&R, Rodney Murphy. “Watching the writers grow from the first day to the last, and connecting them with new co-writers to create songs together, is a tremendously satisfying experience. We’re thrilled to have worked with the CCMA on their first Country Music Song Camp, and enjoy our mutual passion to foster music creators’ growth.”
We presented three SOCAN No. 1 Song Awards to four writers attending the camp, after the final listening session, as follows:
- To Lindsay Ell, for “Criminal”, performed by Ell, reaching No. 1 on the Nielsen BDS Country Airplay Chart, on April 9, 2018. The song is co-written by Chris Stevens (BMI) and Fred Wilhelm (BMI), and sub-published by Universal Music Publishing Canada, and BMG Rights Management Canada via Magic Mustang (BMI) and Lindsay Ell Music (BMI).
- To Tebey, for “Who’s Gonna Love You”, performed by Tebey, reaching No. 1 on the same chart, on Nov. 19, 2018. The song is co-written by Ryan Lafferty (BMI), and published by BMG Rights Management Canada.
- To both Meghan Patrick and Kelly Archer, for co-writing “Walls Come Down,” performed by Patrick, reaching No. 1 on the same chart, on Dec. 17, 2018. The song is also co-written by Mike Weaver, and co-published by Downtown Music Canada, Warner Chappell Music Canada Ltd., and ole Media Management .
Lindsay Ell is the first Canadian female artist to top both the Nielsen BDS and Mediabase Country airplay charts in 11 years. Ell and Meghan Patrick both scaling the peak of the Nielson chart marks the first time in 20 years that two Canadian female artists have accomplished that feat.
The CCMA Song Camp, facilitated by representatives from the CCMA and SOCAN, boasted a roster of some of Canada’s top country talent. Those attending were:
Ben Stennis (BMI)
Blake Bollinger (ASCAP)
Dave “Dwave” Thomson
Tracy Martin – CCMA President
Alannah Cruickshank – CCMA Head of Live Events + Artist Relations
Rodney Murphy – SOCAN Senior Director, A&R
Melissa Cameron-Passley – SOCAN A&R Representative
SOCAN is very pleased with the inspired creativity, fresh songs, and new working relationships that were developed at the CCMA Song Camp.