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.”

(A Facebook photo album of our Grammy party is found here.)

SOCAN was pleased and proud to celebrate its members at a series of events in Los Angeles, held before the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Luca Mauti, Mike "DZL" Holmes, SOCAN No Song Award, Grammy

No. 1 Award at the SOCAN Grammy Party. Left to right: Luca Mauti, Mike “DZL” Holmes

At the SOCAN Grammy party, held Thursday, Feb 2, at the IIO Lounge atop the Godfrey Hotel in Hollywood, Michael “DZL” Homes and Luca Mauti  received a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for co-writing/co-producing Jazmine Sullivan’s “Hurt Me So Good.” The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult R&B Airplay Chart on Dec. 10, 2022, and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. SOCAN also held a celebratory lunch at Zinqué in West Hollywood, honouring Akeel Henry – a producer on “Hurt Me So Good” – with a No. 1 Song Award.

There were more than 100 attendees at the SOCAN Grammy party, including nominees Yonatan Watts, Ryan Bakalarcyzk, Jun “CVRE” Kim, Aaron Paris, Andrew “Andrew T” Thompson, Ron Korb, Pierre-Luc Rioux (of Chiiild), and Rachael Kennedy (of L I O N C H I L D) – who contributed to The Kalling, by Kabaka Pyramid, which won for Best Reggae Album.

SOCAN also entertained some special guests from the music ecosystem:  Wallace Joseph (of hmwrk) who represents Mike “DZL” Holmes (who won a Grammy in 2022 and was nominated in 2023); Henry-Francois Gelot of 31 east, and Ivan Evidente of Universal Music Canada, attending on behalf of their Grammy-nominated duo Banx & Ranx; Kilometre Music’s Rodney Murphy and Michael McCarty, representing their Grammy-nominated SOCAN member Aaron Paris; Global A&R for Def Jam, Kardinall Offishall; Max Espinosa, Kelci “Koko” Smith, and Hilary Storm of salxco, which represents The Weeknd; Hallwood Media’s Danny Bersco; Tim Jones from Pipe & Hat (which handles newly JUNO-nominated SOCAN member Faouzia); and Canadian Consulate representatives Arwen Widmer Bobyk and Andre Galuban.

SOCAN attendees at the party, and throughout Grammy weekend, were CEO Jennifer Brown; President of the Board of Directors Marc Ouellette; Chief Membership Officer Jean-Christian Céré; Cameron Kennedy, Director, Creative; Racquel Villagante, Creative Executive, West Coast; Gagan Singh,  Creative Executive, Film/TV and Visual Media; Houtan Hodania, Creative Executive, East Coast; and Alex Golden, Manager, Creative Operations & Programming.

SOCAN Screen Composers Dinner, 2023, Grammy

SOCAN Screen Composers Dinner

Gagan Singh and Marc Ouellette hosted about 20 people at another, more intimate event, the SOCAN Screen Composers Dinner, celebrating all that our film, television, and visual media scoring members accomplished in 2022, especially their great worldwide successes. Attending the dinner, held Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the A.O.C. Wine Bar in West Hollywood, were Academy Award winner Mychael Danna; established screen composers Lesley Barber, Jeff Danna, Matthew Tishler, and Jeff Toyne; their new-generation colleagues Shaun Chasin, Dillon Baldassaro, Conan Karpinski, and Aaron Paris; and veteran screen executives Robert Kraft, of 20th Century Fox, and Tony Scudellari, of Sony Pictures.

margø, Olivia Lunny, LU KALA, Level Up Party, 2023, Grammy

At the Level Up Party. Left to right: margø, Olivia Lunny, LU KALA

Also, SOCAN partnered for the first time with the Level Up organization for their pre-Grammy networking event, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, which hosted more than 250 female industry professionals, including SOCAN members Rachael Kennedy, LU KALA, Jessia, Olivia Lunny, Liz Lokre, margø, Alicia Creti, and music publisher Kim Temple (of High Priestess Publishing and  Music Publishers Canada). Racquel Villagante and Alex Golden attended the gathering on SOCAN’s behalf.

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.