SOCAN member John Nathaniel, along with Ryan Tedder and Brent Kutzle of the band OneRepublic, has co-written and co-produced the group’s song “Better Days,” which will help out musicians and artists during these tough times by raising funds in partnership with Spotify.

OneRepublic are donating a portion of the proceeds from the Spotify streaming of “Better Days,” through September 2020, to benefit MusiCares, which has established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help those in the music community affected by the ongoing global health crisis.

Nathaniel has worked closely with OneRepublic in recent years, on the singles “Didn’t I” – which the band performed on The Tonight Show: At Home Edition on March 30;  “Rescue Me,” which is certified Gold in the U.S.; and “Wanted.” He also co-produced and mixed the band’s “Somebody To Love,” which was featured on the hit NBC show Songland.

Nathaniel has earned the 2017 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award (Montréal), as well as six SOCAN No. 1 Song Awards, co-writing, producing, and mixing all of the winning songs, for artists such as Marc Dupré, Alexe Gaudreault, and Brandon Mig. He’s had more than 25 songs reach the Top 10 in the Top 100 radio charts, and more than 70 songs in the Top 100 in the past few years.

SOCAN announced today that it is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance to struggling members as a result of the COVID-19 crisis by allocating up to a total of $2-million for emergency royalty advances.

The program is based on information gained from discussions with numerous SOCAN members. It’s primarily aimed at SOCAN’s songwriters and screen composers whose ability to sustain their income has been compromised by the impact of the crisis on the music industry, especially on those whose concerts have been cancelled, or whose television and movie productions have been suspended. The interest-free advances will be considered based on each member’s most recent earnings history, urgency, and need.

“SOCAN has our members’ backs,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “Getting funds to struggling members as soon as possible is of the utmost importance, and we will do whatever we can to help. We have a long history of supporting our members in time of need.”

Each individual application will be considered on its own. SOCAN already provides royalty advances to thousands of deserving creator and publisher members every year as part of its commitment to nurturing the careers of Canada’s music creators. Domestic music publisher members are able to access support as well.

Members who’ve been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and wish to apply for the program  should contact SOCAN’s Membership team at 1-866-307-6226, or by email at

Priority will be given to SOCAN members who are faced with a loss in live performance royalties, or screen composers whose productions have been suspended.

The interest-free advance program will be followed by additional support initiatives, to be announced in due course as needs are better identified.

As one of the leaders in the Canadian music ecosystem, SOCAN is in pro-active contact with all relevant levels of government to draw their attention to the need of music people and businesses to benefit from all general economic relief programs and to consider specific programs for music, as one of the highly impacted sectors. While SOCAN and others will do their parts, the crisis is on a scale that only governments can mitigate.

SOCAN collects license payments from businesses that use recorded and live music. It then identifies the music that was used to those who hold the rights to it and distributes what they have earned in regular royalty payments.

SOCAN will announce additional programs designed to assist its members through the crisis as they are determined.

Through his foundation, Shawn Mendes has made a donation of $175,000 to the SickKids Foundation this week, with the money earmarked to buy equipment and supplies for coronavirus preparedness at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Spotify will match up to $10 million in donations to organizations supporting artists in need, rolling out new initiatives today (March 25) to help artists struggling from the situation.

Words & Music regular contributor Melody Lau, via CBC Music, has written a guide for musicians, about how to successfully host a live music event from home.

The Canada Council for The Arts is processing grant payments as usual, and is working with the federal government on practical and immediate ways to help the arts sector face the challenges of COVID-19. The most important updates are:

  • New measures for unemployed workers will be extended to freelancers, whose numbers are particularly high in the arts and culture sectors.
  • The suspension period for new grants, for activities that include travelling and public performances, is extended to July 31.
  • Artists can use grants they’ve already received for a specific project towards digital-based projects.
  • Other measures will be announced as soon as the government has made certain decisions regarding the combination of universal measures and those for the arts sector.

Burton Cummings is playing a spate of Facebook performances to cheer us up, the first of which – an impromptu solo performance of “I Will Play a Rhapsody” – has earned two million views so far.

Facebook Canada and the National Arts Centre’s online performances series continues, with upcoming sets by Jenn Grant, Catherine McLellan, Alex Cuba, Jully Black, Rayannah, and Jeremy Fisher Junior.

Silverstein has released a COVID-19-themed T-shirt telling fans to “Stay the f__k home,” with profits going to the band’s crew, now idle because their planned tour was postponed.

The Alliance of Performing Arts Conferences, on Friday, March 27, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., hosts a free webinar: Ask an Expert: Contracts, Insurance, Visas, Employment, and legislation in the COVID-19 Era.

Stay safe!