SOCAN was hot on the scene at Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2018 in Toronto, as we presented a “Cookin’ Beats” session with multi-platinum hip-hop and R&B producer FrancisGotHeat; presented a Licensed to Play Award to The Cameron House, of Toronto; co-judged the CMW Startup Launch Pad, providing half of the cash prize to the winner; served on a panel discussion about the effect of music blogs; and hosted a booth at the exhibition hall.
The room was packed for the “Cookin’ Beats” session, on May 12 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel (which hosted the conference portion of CMW), as SOCAN A&R Representative Aidan D’Aoust talked with FrancisGotHeat – who’s created beats and co-produced songs for Drake, Big Sean, Cadence Weapon, and Roy Woods, among others. Using his laptop to illustrate and break down his work on Drake’s “4422 (featuring Sampha)” and Anders’ “Diamonds,” FrancisGotHeat said that he prefers to build songs from scratch rather than adding to an existing track, and that he likes to work in the studio with an act, face-to-face, rather than via e-mail, “so I can feel their vibe.” And he offered this succinct advice to young beat-makers, which earned a laugh: “If you want something to knock more, turn it up.”
Earlier in the week, on May 9, D’Aoust participated in the panel discussion “Digital Content Disruptors – Beyond the Blogs,” talking about the impact of the blogosphere as the main distributor for new music and artists around the world.
On May 11, at the third annual edition of the Live Music Industry Awards at the Sheraton, SOCAN Vice President, Licensing, Leslie Craig presented the SOCAN Licensed to Play Award to Cosmo Ferraro of The Cameron House in Toronto. Craig called The Cameron “a thriving cultural landmark on Queen Street West, and an important hub that’s been bringing live music to the local community since the early ‘80s.”Said Ferraro: “Thank you to SOCAN for helping me to keep the doors open.” Other award winners Licensed to Play by SOCAN included the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Field Trip Music & Arts Festival in Toronto, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
On May 9, SOCAN Chief Membership & Business Development Officer Michael McCarty was one of six judges in the CMW Startup Launch Pad, a “pitch” competition for new Canadian businesses that are based in or connected to the music industry. The Switchboard app won this year’s prize, which consisted of $5,000 cash from SOCAN and $5,000 cash from LyricFind, legal services, strategic consulting services, one-on-one meetings with each of the judges, a 15-minute presentation to the industry during the Global Creators Summit, and a post-conference e-mail blast from CMW after the conference.
From May 8-12, throughout the conferenece, we also hosted the SOCAN booth at the The Sheraton, where several songwriters joined the organization, and various members dropped by to connect, and to grab some sugary candy for fuel.