In our Top Secrets video series, songwriters who’ve earned a No. 1 spot on a major chart, one that was celebrated by a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award, tell us all about the secrets behind the creation of their hit.

Internationally-renowned production duo Banx & Ranx celebrated the release of their new single “Headphones,” featuring Rêve, as well as the signing of a major contract with Universal Music Canada, on Mar. 24, 2022, in their home base of Montréal. SOCAN Creative and Partnerships Executive Sara Dendane presented them with a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for the song “1 + 1,” performed by international pop star Sia, featuring Amir. Soké and KNY Factory (Banx & Ranx) produced a re-mix that propelled the song to the top of the ADISQ BDS chart on Sept. 6, 2021.

“1 + 1,” which spent six weeks at the top of the chart, was co-written by Sia Furler, Amir Haddad, Jessy Shatkin, Nazim Khaled, Yannick Rastogi, and Zacharie Raymond and is published by Sony Music Publishing.

In our Top Secrets video, Banx & Ranx reveal how this prestigious collaboration came about, and the process that led them to produce three different re-mixes, including the one with singer Amir that earned them the No. 1 Award.

Iconic singer-songwriter and SOCAN member Joni Mitchell won – and accepted, in person – a Grammy Award during the non-televised portion of the ceremonies, in the Best Historical Album category, for Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), on the afternoon of April 3, 2022. Mitchell, who was earlier honoured as Grammy’s MusiCares Person of the Year, also co-introduced (along with Bonnie Raitt) a performance from her friend, singer-songwriter Brandi Carlisle, during the televised broadcast awards that night.

Although he’s already earned several Latin Grammy Awards, British Columbia-based Alex Cuba won his first Grammy, in the Best Latin Pop Album field, for Mendó. The Weeknd – who’s abandoned the Grammies since his world-conquering Blinding Lights album received no nominations last year – nonetheless earned a trophy for his feature (along with Lil Baby) on Kanye West’s “Hurricane,” which won Best Melodic Rap Performance. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin won his first Grammy, in the Best Orchestral Performance category, for Florence Price, Symphonies No. 1 in C Minor & No. 3 in E Minor, recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Montrealer had been nominated in three classical categories.

All of these awards were presented during the non-televised portion of the show, where three-time-nominee Allison Russell performed a stellar version of her nominated song, “The Nightflyer.” On the televised broadcast, Daniel Caesar joined Justin Bieber and Giveon for a performance of their thrice-nominated song “Peaches,” while Avril Lavigne presented the award for Best Pop Duo Performance.

While not directly nominated, several other SOCAN members were involved with Grammy-winning projects. Michael “DZL” Holmes was one of the co-writers of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Pick Up Your Feelings,” which won for Best R&B Performance (in a tie with Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open”), and was included on Sullivan’s Heaux Tales, which earned Best R&B Album. DZL also co-wrote “Dream,” by Lucky Daye featuring Naija, which appeared on Daye’s Table for Two, winner of the Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album. Nathalie Bonin contributed to three songs on the album Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, which won for Best Classical Compendium. Ryan Ofei appeared as a guest singer on a live recording by U.S. gospel group Maverick City Music, whose Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition, won for Best Gospel Album. Ron Korb played flute and served as associate producer on Divine Tides by former The Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Ricky Kej, which won for Best New Age Album.

Jenna Andrews, SOCAN, No. 1 Song

L to R: Lucas Keller, Jenna Andrews, Ron Perry, Jenna’s mom Deborah, SOCAN’s Vanessa Thomas. Photo: Gaby Duong

At the SOCAN Grammy party, held the evening before the show, Jenna Andrews received a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for co-writing BTS’ nominated song “Butter,” which reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on June 5, 2021., and many other charts around the world as well. The song was co-written with Rob Grimaldi, Stephen Kirk, Ron Perry, Kim Nam-Joon (RM of BTS), Pdogg, Alex Bilowitz, and Sebastian Garcia, and is published by Sony Music Publishing and Andrews’ own company, Twentyseven Music.

Attendees at the party included “Butter” co-writers Stephen Kirk , Alex Bilowitz, and Ron Perry (also the CEO of Columbia Records); SOCAN member singer-songwriters Michael “DZL” Holmes, Laura Roy, Boslen, and Sammy and Bobby Kuya; composer Nathalie Bonin; TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio; TikTok representatives Erin Ashley, Kat Kernaghan, Vanessa Adora (all from Toronto) and Marisa Jeffries (from Los Angeles); artist representatives Frank Gironda (Joni Mitchell), Lucas Keller (Jenna Andrews), and Kari Zalik (Alex Cuba); and five representatives from the Canadian Consulate. SOCAN attendees at the party, and Grammy weekend, were Vanessa Thomas, Vice President, Member & Industry Relations; Steve Ambers, Vice President, Corporate Development; Kathryn Hamilton, Director, Creative Operations & Programming; and Racquel Villagante, Creative Executive, Los Angeles.

SOCAN congratulates all of our Grammy and Grammy-connected winners in 2022!

Despite the challenges of 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in its history SOCAN’s total annual collections for licensed music are expected to exceed $416-million,[1] a 3% increase over the previous record of $405.6-million set in the financial year 2019.

When compared with 2020 collections of $391-million, the company attributed most of the $25 million year-over-year growth to $135 million collected for the use of music on digital platforms – an increase of $32 million over 2020. This more than offset the pandemic-driven downward pressure on General Licensing (primarily background music used in public spaces) and Concerts (music performed live), having decreased 70% from pre-pandemic levels.

Despite the continuing positive growth in digital music licensing, and the popularity of online streaming services, a SOCAN writer member who earned royalties in 2021 earned an average of only $67.14 from domestic digital sources for the entire year.

Revenue from international sources continued to show strength at the historically high mark of $106.1-million, demonstrating again that Canadian music creators and publishers continue to out-perform on a global level.

International music license collections were fostered by the increased popularity of digital music platforms and the strength of SOCAN members abroad.

“Given the challenges of the pandemic, at the end of 2020 we prepared for a financially austere 2021,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “Thanks to a combination of more music being consumed in Canada and worldwide, and the diligence and commitment of our nearly 280 employees – working tirelessly to uncover and collect domestic and international music licenses – we were able to bring in more than ever for our nearly 180,000 members, for their incredible and invaluable work.”

Unofficial 2021 SOCAN financial highlights:

  • Total collections: $416 million (6% increase over 2020).
  • Domestic collections: $310million (+6% year-over-year).
  • Total collections from internet use of music: $135 million.
  • Strong Reproduction Rights results with digital audio-visual more than doubling, synchronization up 37%, and international revenue +32% over 2020.
  • International collections: 6% increase to $106-million.
  • Gross expenses: less than 1% increase over 2020.
  • SOCAN welcomed 6,743 new members in 2021.
  • A total of 273,646 songs and compositions registered with SOCAN last year.

SOCAN remains cautiously optimistic for 2022 for the return of in-person events and concerts as Canada and the rest of the world emerge from the two-year COVID-19 crisis.

Along with the continuing popularity of music delivered digitally, SOCAN’s steady growth in Reproduction Rights, striking various agreements with several major platforms; the addition of the Audio-Visual Broadcast Mechanical right; plus the prospect of the passage of the federal government’s Online Streaming Act to help safeguard the future of Canadian music, all bode well for a continuation of positive results for Canada’s music creators, publishers, and visual artists.

[1] Estimates. Final figures will be released in concert with SOCAN’s online annual general meeting in June 2022.