SOCAN has appointed Michael Asante to the role of A&R Representative, Rap and R&B, a new position to address this rapidly growing part of the company’s membership base. His appointment is the culmination of a four-month search that saw more than 500 applicants vie for the role.

As A&R Representative, Rap and R&B, Asante will:

  • Actively recruit Canadian music creators by scouting for emerging artists/songwriters, producers, and screen composers who are, or have the potential to be, relevant in rap, R&B, pop, electronic/dance, rock, and screen composer genres.
  • Identify emerging Canadian music creators and trends.
  • Build relationships with emerging music creators and their business teams by meeting with them, listening to their music, attending their shows, and discussing their career aspirations and needs from a creative and business perspective.
  • Provide support to SOCAN’s music publishing and screen composer member communities.
  • Strategically analyze member earnings and trends to prepare financial reports to maximize members’ SOCAN experience.
  • Create career opportunities for members by introducing songwriters and composers to applicable creative and industry members to further their careers (i.e., music publishers, managers, agents, and record labels.
  • Facilitate creative opportunities, such as planning and executing songwriting camps and workshops, songwriting collaborations, master production classes, and business seminars.

Asante’s career before SOCAN included roles as Digital & E-mail Marketing Manager with Canopy Growth; founder of A&R Report Inc., a consultancy that scouts and researches new songwriters, producers, artists, and engineers; Marketing Automation Specialist with G Adventures; and Marketing Manager with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Koerner Hall) in Toronto.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Michael Asante to the SOCAN team,” said Interim-CEO Jennifer Brown. “He brings expertise and dedication to the vital and rapidly expanding Rap and R&B part of our total membership of nearly 170,000 music creators and publishers.”

“It’s with great pleasure that I join an amazing organization and team over at SOCAN,” said Asante. “Over the years, I’ve prided myself on building with, and serving, artists in the music community. Please feel free to utilize me as a vessel when it comes to building and growing your musical careers. I look forward to working with each and every member in the SOCAN family.”

Just as it has, every year for the past 15 years, Fondation SPACQ (Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec) has presented its annual awards. A total of 16 grants of $10,000 each, totalling $160,000, have been awarded to 16 winners.

“Year after year, it’s with renewed pleasure always that Fondation SPACQ celebrates the accomplishments of songwriters while gathering not only those creators, but businesspeople, broadcasters, and other major players in our musical ecosystem,” said Diane Juster, the president of Fondation SPACQ. “The major changes our industry is undergoing are getting deeper and deeper, and have a major impact on the condition of music creators. It’s vital that we keep defending their interests, and stop the erosion of their rights. Thanks to our partners’ continued commitment, Fondation SPACQ is able to shine a light on, and recognize, the tremendous talent of our creators.”

Starting today, and until Dec. 8, 2020, short videos of the winners, produced by Les Productions Déferlantes, will air on TVA. These clips will then be available on the Fondation SPACQ website.

SOCAN congratulates the 2020 winners:

PRIX ANDRÉ « DÉDÉ » FORTIN—Presented by Stingray Music
Emerging artist—Les Louanges

PRIX ANDRÉ GAGNON—Presented by Québecor
Instrumental music—Yannick Rieu

Social involvement—Chloé Ste-Marie

PRIX EDDY-MARNAY—Presented by Productions Feeling
Outstanding imagination—Les Trois Accords

PRIX ÉDITH BUTLER—Presented by Bell Média
Canadian Francophonie—Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire

PRIX ÉVAL MADIGAT—Presented by the Evenko Foundation
Musical diversity—Fouki

Songwriting—Marc Dupré

PRIX GILLES VIGNEAULT—Presented by the National Bank|
On-going career—Charlotte Cardin

PRIX LUC PLAMONDON—Presented by ICI Musique
Lyricist—Laurence Jalbert

PRIX LUCILLE-DUMONT—Presented by Industrielle Alliance
Singer—Marie-Denise Pelletier

PRIX RICHARD GRÉGOIRE – Presented by Hydro-Québec
On-Screen Music – Gabriel Thibaudeau

PRIX SYLVAIN-LELIÈVRE – Presented by Fiera Capital
Songwriting Career – Jacques Michel

PRIX BEAU DOMMAGE – Presented by RNC Média
Creative Collaboration – Bon Débarras

Non-Singing Songwriter – Steve Marin

PRIX ROBERT CHARLEBOIS – Presented by Power Corporation
International Reach – Cœur de Pirate

PRIX PAUL DARAÎCHE – Presented by Arsenal Médias
Country  Music – Cindy Bédard

SOCAN members Drake and Kaytranada have each earned three nominations for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, to be held Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, and broadcast live on CBS.

Drake earned all three 2021 Grammy nods for singles he released this year. “Laugh Now, Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, is nominated for Best Melodic Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, while Future’s video for the song “Life is Good,” featuring Drake, and co-written by SOCAN member OZ, is up for Best Music Video.

Kaytranada, who won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize, earned his first-ever Grammy nominations in three categories: Best New Artist; Best Dance Recording, for “10%,” featuring Kali Uchis; and Best Dance/Electronic Album, for his 2020 Polaris-short-listed album, Bubba, which includes contributions from SOCAN member Charlotte Day Wilson.

Other SOCAN member nominations include:

  • Lido Pimienta, Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album, for Miss Colombia
  • deadmau5, Best Remixed Recording, for “Imaginary Friends (Morgan Page Remix)”
  • The late Leonard Cohen, Best Folk Album, for Thanks for the Dance
  • Jayda G, Best Dance Recording, for “Both of Us”
  • JP Saxe, Song of the Year, for co-writing Julia Michaels’ “If the World was Ending”
  • Sam Ellis, Best Country Song, for co-writing Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine”

While star producer Frank Dukes wasn’t directly nominated, his work with Post Malone was associated with two nominations for the American rapper: Record of the Year for “Circles,” and Album of the Year for Hollywood’s Bleeding. Similarly, SOCAN member Kaan Güneşberk co-wrote “Circles,” which also appeared on Hollywood’s Bleeding, while BadBadNotGood’s Matthew Tavares and Seth Nyquist, aka MorMor, also contributed to the album.

Justin Bieber (ASCAP) was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, for Changes, which includes  songwriting and/or production contributions from SOCAN members Boi-1da, Nasri Atweh (of MAGIC!), Cvre, Nineteen85 and Daniel Daley (aka the duo DVSN), Maneesh, and Majid Al Maskati (of Majid Jordan). Atweh also a co-writer of R&B Song of the Year nominee “Slow Down,” by Skip Marley & H.E.R.. Similarly, Toronto-based expert violinist Drew Jurecka was one of the engineer/mixers on Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” which was nominated for Record of the Year.

Star producer Stephen “Koz” Kozmeniuk is credited for Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, up for Album and Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year. Sevn Thomas produced the Giveon EP Take Time, up for R&B Album of the Year. Drummer/composer Larnell Lewis, of Snarky Puppy, is up Contemporary Instrumental Album of the Year, for the band’s Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Please note that SOCAN is currently reviewing the entire, extensive list of 2021 Grammy nominations to determine any other member nominees, and may update this article accordingly.

SOCAN congratulates our Grammy-nominated members on this huge achievement!