SOCAN is taking the next step in delivering more for our members with the announcement of our new, strategic partnership with technology provider Spanish Point Technologies. This relationship will significantly improve our processes, our data quality, and how we work together to serve our members. The arrangement aims to provide more efficient, timely, and accurate music rights and royalty services to our more than 185,000 songwriter, composer, and publisher members.

After much research, SOCAN selected Spanish Point Technologies for its extensive knowledge and experience in the music industry. Having developed software that uses many common industry standards, their team has a thorough understanding of our business, and what’s needed to achieve even better results for our members.

Spanish Point’s Matching Engine technology will allow SOCAN to tackle several current operational challenges. It will help us standardize and streamline various aspects of our operations, including multi-rights repertoire management, usage ingestion and matching, and distribution processing. It will create a more seamless flow of data and information between processes, and with our members. And it will allow for more flexible royalty distribution schedules, and provide our members with an even more user-friendly portal.

Spanish Point technology will replace existing repertoire management, distribution processing, and member portal functionality.  It’s going to allow us to spend more time supporting our members, and less time supporting our technology systems.

A number of leading collective management organizations around the world are already working with, or currently on-boarding, with Spanish Point in various capacities, to standardize their back-office processes, including data management. By using the same system as other music rights organizations, we’ll benefit from collaboration on best practices, and evolve as an industry to build better systems together, with a company committed to delivering improvements specifically for collective management organizations.

A full team of dedicated staff at SOCAN will support the transition to Spanish Point. The work being done by the team, like data clean-up, is aligned with and supports progress in current processes as well. During the implementation of Spanish Point technology, SOCAN will continue to work on the issues that are important to our members. The implementation of Spanish Point’s Matching Engine product will take place between now and July of 2025.

Members will receive regular updates via e-mail, and interested members can join us for drop-in meetings every four months with key executive staff, to receive project updates, understand next steps, and provide feedback on the decisions that will directly impact them.

Spanish Point’s technological expertise, combined with SOCAN’s member-centric strategy, aims to set new standards for excellence, as we work to revolutionize our service to members, endeavour to deliver royalties more efficiently, and change the way we work together. We’re poised to deliver a new era of efficiency, accountability, and member satisfaction.

SOCAN members Drake and Allison Russell have earned four nominations each – the most among all SOCAN members this year – for the 66th Grammy Awards, to be broadcast Feb. 4, 2024, on CBS and Paramount+, live from the Arena in Los Angeles.

The Drake and 21 Savage song “Rich Flex” is nominated for Best Rap Performance, Best Melodic Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song, while their LP Her Loss is nominated for Best Rap Album.

Allison Russell earned four nominations as well: two for her song “The Returner,” in the categories of Best Americana Performance and Best American Roots Song; one for “Eve Was Black,” in the field of Best American Roots Performance; and one in the Best Americana Album cohort, for The Returner.

Joni Mitchell earned a Best Folk Album nod for Joni Mitchell At Newport [Live], as did Rufus Wainwright for Folkocracy, while Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society garnered recognition in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album field, for Dynamic Maximum Tension­. Alvvays’s song “Belinda Says” was nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance. In the Best Remixed Recording category, BADBADNOTGOOD were nominated for “Alien Love Call.”

Spiritbox was nominated in the Best Metal Performance category, for the song “Jaded.” DJ duo Kx5, which features deadmau5, earned a nomination for their self-titled LP, in the field of Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. Afro-Cuban jazz artist Hilario Duran’s “I Remember Mingus” was nominated for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. MIDO (Mohamed Elkhalifa) and CVRE (Chris Kim) are both co-writers on Lecrae’s Churches Clothes 4, nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. Yannick Nézet-Séguin earned two nominations, both of them as a conductor, in the categories of Best Orchestral Performance, for Price: Symphony No. 4; Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony, and Best Opera Recording, for Blanchard: Champion.

Aaron Paris is a co-writer on the songs “Wunna Dem” (with Quin) and “B4L,” both of which appear on the Best Progressive R&B Album nominee Since I Have a Lover, by 6LACK. Paris is also a co-producer on “B4L,” which was co-written and co-produced by SOCAN members FORTHENIGHT and Adriano Allaverdi. On the same album, London Cyr was a co-writer and co-producer on “Spirited Away,” while Kevin Ekofo co-wrote “Decatur.” Similarly, Nik D and Ozan “OZ” Yildirim co-wrote and co-produced “Preach.”

OZ and Paris each contributed, in the same capacities, to the song “Tough Love” (featuring Swae Lee), which appeared on Diddy’s LP The Love Album: Off the Grid, also in the running for Best Progressive R&B Album. On the same album, SOCAN member Andreena Mill was one of the engineers, and Benjamin Singh-Reynolds (aka King Bnjmn) co-wrote and co-produced “Pick Up” (with Jacquees featuring Fabolous).

Tobias Jesso Jr. co-wrote the song “Thousand Miles,” by  Miley Cyrus (featuring Brandi Carlile), nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and included on Cyrus’s LP Endless Summer Vacation, nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. In the same category, Kelly Clarkson earned a nod for Chemistry, which includes the song “Favorite Kind of High,” co-written by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Nasri Atweh co-wrote Chris Brown’s “Summer Too Hot,” nominated for Best R&B Performance. In the Best R&B Album category, Coco Jones’s What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe) includes the song “Fallin,” co-written by Sara Diamond, while Victoria Monét’s JAGUAR II includes “Party Girls” (featuring Buju Banton), co-written by Yonatan Ayal (of Chiild).

On the Best Global Music Album nominee I Told Them… by Burna Boy, the aforementioned Kevin Ekofo and Harper Gordon co-wrote “I Told Them” (featuring GZA), while Adrian Eccleston co-wrote “Tested, Approved & Trusted.”

Athough she isn’t directly nominated, the recording engineers of Feist‘s Multitudes were nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Songs performed by SOCAN members figured in a few nominations. The Weeknd (along with 21 Savage) was featured in “Creepin’,” one of the songs included in Metro Boomin’s nomination for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical. Similarly, TALK‘s “A Little Bit Happy,” was one of the songs that earned Justin Tranter a nod for Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical.

Please note that SOCAN is currently reviewing the entire, extensive list of 2024 Grammy nominations to determine any other member nominees, and may update this article accordingly.

Access the full list of all nominees.

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

The news everyone dreaded finally arrived late on Nov. 15, 2023: Karl Tremblay, the frontman of one of Québec’s – and France’s – most revered bands, Les Cowboys Fringants, passed away at the age of 47, after a long battle with prostate cancer. “With an indescribable sadness, we announce the passing of Karl. He was an exemplary warrior in the face of illness, and a role model for us all. We wish to thank everyone who’s shown us love over the past years; your support has made us stronger,” wrote Marie-Annick Lépine, his life partner and fellow bandmember, alongside Jean-François Pauzé and Jérôme Dupras, on their social networks.

Born on Oct. 28, 1976, Karl Tremblay met his Cowboys Fringants sidekick and the band’s main songwriter, Jean-François Pauzé, at the age of 18. Their creative partnership gelled rapidly between 1995 and 2000, while they wrote songs and performed in bars and brasseries in and around the Montréal suburb of Repentigny, and independently recorded three albums: 12 grandes chansons, Sur mon canapé and Motel Capri.

It was the start of an exceptional career in the Québec music world, but also the beginning of an unprecedented love affair between the band and their audience. Their fan base was loyal, passionate, and inspired, thanks to the band’s heartfelt portraits of everyday characters – that the audience identified with as much as the more political and social protest songs they wrote. That reputation became undeniable with the release of their album Break Syndical (2002) that included the song “En berne,” which immediately became the anthem for a whole generation of disillusioned youth. They followed with a string of successes over some 15 albums, while the group’s popularity was on a meteoric rise, both at home and in France –  where the Cowboys, until very recently, were stadium fillers.

The news of Tremblay’s health issues in July of 2022 was devastating to the group’s fans. Despite it all, Tremblay and his bandmates weren’t going to give up that easily. Despite multiple cancellations and postponements of concerts due to his medical treatments, they were able to make one last round of dates that lasted just over a year, culminating with their performance at the Festival d’été de Québec on July 17, 2023, in front of 90,000 listeners. The audience enjoyed every moment of the highly emotional show, which served as the farewell to a man who forever marked the history of popular music in Québec.

The whole SOCAN family extends its most sincere condolences to the members of the Cowboys Fringants, to Karl Tremblay’s family, to the entire team at La Tribu, the Cowboys’ record label and booking agency, and to all those who had the honour of meeting, even briefly, this true giant of Québec’s musical ecosystem.

Mais au bout du ch’min, dis-moi c’qui va rester
De la p’tite école et d’la cour de récré
Quand les avions en papier ne partent plus au vent
On se dit que l’bon temps passe finalement
Comme une étoile filante

— “Les Étoiles filantes,” Les Cowboys Fringants

[freely translated]
But at the end of the road, tell me what will be left
Of grade school and its playground
When paper planes don’t catch the wind anymore
And we tell ourselves that good times, in the end
Are as fleeting as a shooting star