SOCAN panel, Gemeaux, 2023SOCAN presented a panel, La musique à l’image pour la télé : créer en solo ou en tandem?, as part of the Salon des membres of the Prix Gémeaux of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, on Sept. 12, 2023, at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal. SOCAN invited Martin Roy, Luc Sicard, and Kim Gaboury, the screen composers with the most nominations in the two musical categories at the Gémeaux, to speak in front of a packed audience of television professionals. The discussion was moderated by Eric Parazelli, Editor of SOCAN’s online magazine Paroles & Musique, and manager of Francophone communications at SOCAN.

The screen-composing duo of Martin Roy and Luc Sicard (nominated in the Best Original Score: Fiction or Documentary category for La Faille and Larry, and in the Best Musical Theme: All Categories for Larry) discussed the advantages of working together with their colleague Kim Gaboury (nominated in the Best Original Score: Fiction or Documentary category for Classé Secret, and in the Best Musical Theme: All Categories for both Classé Secret and Les Histoires bizarres du professeur Zarbi), who works mainly as a solo composer, but has experimented working as a duo with his mentor, Michel Cusson.

SOCAN panel, Gemeaux, 2023

Select the image to play the French-only YouTube video of the SOCAN panel at the 2023 Gémeaux Awards. An English-subtitled version will be posted shortly.

The fascinating discussion focused on the creative aspects of their respective nominated productions, as well as the increased efficiency of working in tandem, and the relative freedom of solo composition. All three SOCAN members also discussed the main reasons why composers work in teams, which is often out of obligation, lack of time, to share the pressure, and because of the increasingly restricted budgets affecting Québec television productions – often to the detriment of the working conditions of screen composers.

These are a few of the topics covered in the video excerpt of the panel, on the right.

SOCAN extends its warmest thanks to the panelists, the organizers of the Salon des membres des prix Gémeaux of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the many members of the audience who were able to interact with the participants during the Q&A period that followed the discussion.

SOCAN member Debby Friday won the 2023 edition of the $50,000 Polaris Prize for the best album in Canada, in a gala presentation held on Sept. 19, 2023, at Massey Hall (for the first time) in downtown Toronto.

Friday’s’ winning album Good Luck is a 33-minute adrenalin rush of modern music fusion, with influences including rave, rap, industrial, alternative, R&B, and hyperpop, to name just a few. The result is a work on which the 11-person Polaris Grand Jury ultimately agreed. If you’d like to read what Friday had to say to SOCAN about their winning album when it first came out, you can access the story here.

Graciously and gratefully accepting the 18th edition of the award onstage from last year’s winner, Pierre Kwenders, Friday thanked everyone who’s supported her on her journey.

“I’m in shock!,” said a truly surprised Friday after receiving her award. “This is something that I didn’t realize was even a possibility. I was born in Nigeria, in a small village, but l’m here today, and it just feels like a miracle… I’ve always been a little bit strange, a little bit different from other people, and it’s only in retrospect that I’m able to see that this has been a super-power all along. I just want to say that I think it’s very important to protect your strangeness, protect the things that make you different, because these are gifts.”

The Gala featured brief but intense performances from all of the nominees except ALVVAYS, Daniel Caesar, and Feist, all of whom were on tour elsewhere that night.

Gayance opened the show with a magnetic performance of high-energy funk and rock. The Sadies, playing under a banner depicting their late singer Dallas Good, showed off their psychedelicized indie rock ‘n’ roll. Friday, backed by violin, cello, a DJ, and electric guitar, turned old gender tropes inside-out with “What a Man,” and followed with her poppiest song, “So Hard to Tell.” Aysanabee played with the Arkells horn section and two backup singers, for a richer, more soulful rendition of his music.

After a brief intermission, Begonia earned a mid-song ovation with the power and beauty of her unique voice. Dan Mangan worked the very lip of the stage, singing powerful, moving songs about trying to live sanely through our currently apocalyptic times. And Snotty Nose Rez Kids introduced their set in a satirical talk-show format, leading into explosive versions of “I’m Good” and “Damn Right.”

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year, based on artistic merit, without regard to genre, sales history, or label affiliation. Each of the 2023 short-list nominees received a $3,000 prize.

The 2023 Polaris Short List is:
ALVVAYS – Blue Rev
Aysanabee – Watin
Begonia – Powder Blue
Daniel Caesar – Never Enough
Feist – Multitudes
Debby Friday – Good Luck
Gayance – Masquerade
Dan Mangan – Being Somewhere
The Sadies – Colder Streams
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – I’m Good, HBU?

SOCAN congratulates Debby Friday, and all of the 2023 short-list nominees, on these great career achievements!

SOCAN presented NIIVA (aka Gabriela Geneva) with a No. 1 Song Award for co-writing “Black Mamba” –  a worldwide pop smash K-Pop hit recorded as the debut single by the South Korean girl group aespa – which reached the top of the pop charts in 16 countries, and  K-Pop charts in 28 countries, worldwide, according to SoundCharts.

“Black Mamba” was released on aespa’s Girls album in July of 2022, which went to No.1 on the Billboard World Album Chart, Top Album Sales Chart, and Top Current Album Sales Chart on July 23, 2022. It reached No.3 on the Billboard 200 Chart as well.

“Black Mamba” also reached 10 million views on YouTube in 9 hours, and smashed a YouTube record for a K-Pop debut, with 21.4 million views in the first 24 hours. It also garnered 50 million views more than five million streams on Spotify in less than a week. The music video for the song is currently sitting at a staggering 253 million views.

The song is published by VLVT TREE Publishing / Warner Chappell and peermusic, and co-written by Scott Chesak and Danielle Draizin (both BMI); Michael Fonseca (aka Omega), Shaun Lopez, and Jordan Reyes (aka Jeordi) (all three ASCAP); and Yoo Young-jin (N/A).

SOCAN Creative Executive Houtan Hodania presented the award to NIIVA (and her manager, Tommy K.W. Lam) on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, during her interview with eTalk at the CTV studios in downtown Toronto.

SOCAN congratulates NIIVA on this great achievement!

NIIVA, Black Mamba, aespa
Select the image to play the YouTube video of the aespa song “Black Mamba,” co-written by NIIVA