For two days at the 2019 BreakOut West festival and conference in Whitehorse, Yukon, the SOCAN Song House provided 12 member participants the opportunity to develop the craft of writing songs. The session was led by hit songwriter/producer Stephen “Koz” Kozmeniuk — the Grammy-winning Canadian producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who’s worked with Kendrick Lamar, Madonna, DVSN, PartNextDoor, and Dua Lipa — and organized on-site by SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante, and held at the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel & Conference Center.
The participating songwriters, all from Western Canada, were Ava Wild, Madison Olds, Tessa Mouzourakis, Biawanna, Csaba Laszlo, Alexandria Maillot, Sebastian Gaskin, Amelie Patterson, Mariya Soetaert, Elmutasim Fadl El Mola, Calla Kinglit, and Rayannah (Rayannah Kroeker).
The first day of the workshop they presented half-written songs and were given individualized feedback and critique by Koz. They re-worked these songs and re-presented them to the group. On the second day, they were partnered up, and co-wrote with each other to come up with new songs that fused their styles and strengths together.
All 12 SOCAN songwriters came away with new co-write connections, new songs for their repertoire, and a more comprehensive understanding of what it takes to write a hit song.
Madison Olds left the Song House saying, “The SOCAN Song House was simply amazing, and allowed an indie artist such as myself to connect and network with an incredible songwriter, who I now see as someone I can trust in the industry… maybe even an ally. There were moments of being pushed that forced me to grow out of my comfort zone.”
Tessa Mouzourakis said, “This year’s SOCAN Song House was an amazing opportunity for me to meet new writers and musicians, and learn through the process of collaboration… This has been an adventure I’ll never forget!”
“The SOCAN Song House was a great way to connect, and gain insight on my own music, and the music of other incredibly talented artists,” says Csaba Laszlo (a.k.a. NVY). “I personally valued the opportunity to meet future collaborators the most, as well as the opportunity to gain industry knowledge from Koz.”