SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown today sent a letter to all Members of Parliament in Canada urging them to reject an amendment to section 4.2 of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, that will not support Canadian songwriters and composers in a modern digital age. The bill has been passed in the Senate, but the House of  Commons has yet to ratify it and accept the new amendment.

Here’s the text of Jennifer Brown’s letter:

SOCAN welcomes the passing in the Senate of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, but urges the House of Commons to reject the amendment to clause 4.2.

Online streaming has had exponential growth over the last number of years, but Canadian songwriters and composers are not receiving their fair share of that growth. For every dollar in music licenses from Canadian TV and radio broadcasters, around 34 cents are distributed to Canadian songwriters and composers, but for every license dollar from online streaming, only 10 cents remain in Canada.

This inequity is due in large part to the fact that the foreign streaming services that have benefitted greatly from operating in Canada are not required to support or promote Canadian songs to Canadian audiences. Foreign streaming giants that benefit from unfettered access to Canadian audiences should be supporting our cultural community, and Canadian songwriters and composers. It is vital to the survival of our culture and cultural sovereignty.

Bill C-11 must remain broad so that it can adapt to future online services, whose models for delivering content are not yet known. A bill that is tailored only to services in operation today will not be flexible enough for the future of broadcasting online. The amendment to clause 4.2 jeopardizes this flexibility. We need Parliamentarians to reject this amendment.

SOCAN thanks the Minister of Canadian Heritage,  the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, for staying true to the promise of introducing this important Bill and look forward to all parties stepping up for what’s right for Canada’s culture and economy.

SOCAN has presented The Reklaws with a No. 1 Song Award for co-writing “Where’d You Learn How to Do That?,” performed by Dean Brody,  which reached the peak of the BDS Country Chart on Sept. 26, 2022.

“Where’d You Learn How to Do That?” was written by The Reklaws’ Jenna and Stuart Walker, along with Thomas “Tawgs” Salter and Blake Redferrin (BMI), and is published by Sony ATV Music Publishing and Canadiana Music.

SOCAN Director, Creative, Cameron Kennedy presented the award plaques to Jenna and Stuart Walker on  Jan. 27, 2023, backstage at the History club in downtown Toronto, before their sold-out performance there. Salter will receive his award at a later date.

Dean Brody, Reklaws, "Where'd You Learn How To Do That?"

Click on the image to play the lyric video for “Where’d You Learn How to Do That?”

The Reklaws have only started to give songs to other artists, like Brody, in the past two years. “But you have to be careful, because of the possibility of writer’s block,” says Stuart Walker. “We usually try to keep four or five songs in our back pocket, for ourselves.”

For “Where’d You Learn How to Do That?” it was Brody’s voice that made him the choice. “Jenna had the title in her cellphone,” says Stuart. “It was our first time writing with [Blake] Redferrin, and he sang it at first, with a real Southern drawl, and I tried singing it. But Dean [Brody] has a more country voice – he really had the voice for it – and our manager knew he was looking for songs. We grew up listening to Dean, practically memorized his first few albums, so it’s strange when he now actually texts us.”

“We co-write with Tawgs a lot,” says Jenna Walker. “When you leave a ‘write’ with him, the song is usually ready for radio.”

“He does this thing,” adds Stuart, “where in the middle of a writing session, he’ll stop and ask, ‘Is this good?’” If not, sometimes the session will end, and the songwriters might regroup for another try at a later date. “It can be devastating to stop after working for two or three hours” says Jenna. “But full-time songwriters are in sessions every day, and they might get only one song on the radio after who knows how long. So, sometimes we might be setting the bar too high.”

It definitely worked out for “Where’d You Learn How to Do That?” “I like that it’s the guy [singing the song] not knowing all this stuff that the girl [he’s singing to] does,” says Stuart. Jenna agrees: “I loved how the song is talking about the girl being better at things than him. You can learn a lot about a person by asking that question.”

Reklaws Record Achievements

  • They’ve earned three 2023 JUNO Award nominations, for Group or Duo of the Year (for the fourth consecutive year, a first for a country act), Country Album of the Year, and Fans’ Choice. “We had no idea, and thought the JUNOs wasn’t happening for us this year,” says Jenna.
  • They’re the first country act to sell out the 2,500-capacity History club in Toronto. “We really wanted to prove that we could,” says Stuart. Adds Jenna, “I was panicking for four months before that show.”
  • The Reklaws “What The Truck,” co-written and co-performed with Sacha, is the fastest Canadian country song to go Platinum in the streaming era, and earned a 2022 CCMA Award for Top Selling Canadian Single. “We wrote a verse and chorus, and put them up on TikTok, asking for someone to come up with a second verse,” says Jenna. “Sacha’s really stood out, and we recorded her part in one night.”

SOCAN member Tobias Jesso Jr. won the inaugural Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical, honour at the 2023 Grammy Awards, held in two gala ceremonies on Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. Jesso Jr., originally from Vancouver, earned the award for co-writing songs with Harry Styles, Adele, Diplo, Orville Peck, King Princess, FKA Twigs, and Omar Apollo. He also enjoyed the distinction of contributing to songs on the Album of the Year, Harry’s House, by Harry Styles.

SOCAN member Yannick Nézet-Séguin, of Montréal, won two Grammy Awards:  One for his conducting work on Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones, which won Best Opera Recording, and one as a pianist on Voice Of Nature – The Anthropocene, which earned the prize for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Drake won for Best Melodic Rap Performance, for his feature (along with Tems) on Future’s “Wait for U,” while Michael Bublé won in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, for Higher. Snarky Puppy (which includes SOCAN member Larnell Lewis) won Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, for Empire Central.

Although they didn’t win directly, many SOCAN members contributed as co-creators of Grammy-winning works.

Sevn Thomas and Boi-1da co-wrote and co-produced songs for Beyonce’s Renaissance, which won Best Dance/Electronic Album. Boi-1da also co-produced and co-wrote songs on Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which won Best Rap Album.

SOCAN members Joey and David Landreth, of the Bros. Landreth, co-wrote “Made Up Mind,” whose cover version by Bonnie Raitt won for Best Americana Performance. On receiving the honour, Raitt thanked them “for writing this kick-ass song.” SOCAN member John Capek also co-wrote a song on Raitt’s Just Like That album,  “Blame It on Me.”

Rachael Kennedy (of L I O N C H I L D) contributed to The Kalling, by Kabaka Pyramid, which won for Best Reggae Album.

On Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI, which won Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album, Adam “Ging” Feeney (formerly known as Frank Dukes) co-produced and co-wrote “Candy” and “La Fama,” and The Weeknd also co-produced and co-wrote the latter.

Demy & Clipz (aka Étienne Gagnon and Steve Martinez-Funes), contributed to “La Corriente,” by Bad Bunny, on his album Un Verano Sin Ti, which won Album Musica Urbana.

Ron Korb is featured on flute on Sakura by Masa Takumi, which won Best Global Music Album. Korb also played on Divine Tides by Stewart Copeland (of The Police) and Ricky Kej, which won for Best Immersive Audio Album.

On Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which won Best Rap Album, the song “Savior” contains samples of “Hypnotized,” written and performed by Tommy Paxton-Beesley (aka River Tiber).

SOCAN member Ryan Ofei is a featured performer on Kingdom Book One Deluxe, by Maverick City Music & Kirk Franklin, which won for Best Gospel Album.

SOCAN congratulates all of our winning members on these great achievements!