Rose Cousins earned the honours for both Album and Folk Recording of the Year, for her critically acclaimed Natural Conclusion, as well as Song of the Year for “Grace,” at the 2018 edition of the East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs), the gala ceremonies of which were held on Thursday, May 3, at the Scotiabank centre in Halifax.

ECMA SOCAN Song House 2018

Participants at the SOCAN Song House at East Coast Music Week 2018. Left to right. Charlie A’Court, Kayo, SOCAN’s Aidan D’Aoust and Melissa Cameron-Passley, Gee Clarke, Andrew Rodgers, Group Leader Ralph Murphy, Emile Landry, Matt Steele, Stephen Green, Hilary Ladd, Daniel Walker, Rachel Beck, and Jordan Musycyn.

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste presented Joel Plaskett with the award for Songwriter of the Year (Plaskett also won Studio of the Year for his New Scotland Yard), Andrew Staniland won Classical Composition of the Year for The River Within Us, and the Francophone Recording of the Year was Jacques Jacobus’ Le retour de Jacobus. Venue of the Year was The Carleton Music Bar & Grill in Halifax – proudly Licensed To Play by SOCAN – which has persisted against all odds, under the guidance of Mike Campbell.

Besides Plaskett, other double-winners were Atlantic Canadian veteran blues-rocker Matt Minglewood, who won the Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year, and whose Fly Like Desperados – his first studio album in more than 10 years – tied with Mike Biggar for Blues Recording of the Year. Opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, originally from Fredericton, earned both the Bucky Adams Memorial Award and Gospel Recording of the Year, for Songs of Freedom.

As part of the week leading up to the awards ceremony, renowned, veteran songwriter Ralph Murphy led the SOCAN Song House at East Coast Music Week 2018, May 2-3. Twelve songwriter participants from Atlantic Canada were selected to participate, gaining valuable insight into the craft of writing a hit song. Daniel Walker, Rachel Beck, Emilie Landry, Kayo, Gee Clark, Matt Steele, Jordyn Musycyn, Andrew Rodgers, Stephen Green, Hillary Ladd, Charlie A’Court, Andrew Waite.

Rachel Beck SOCAN No. 1 Song Award 2018

Rachel Beck enjoys receiving her SOCAN No. 1 Song Award for “Reckless Heart,” presented during the SOCAN “Friends & Family Bash” at the 2018 ECMAs. Left to right: Stan Meissner, President and Chair of the SOCAN Board of Directors; SOCAN’s Melissa Cameron-Passley and Michael McCarty; Rachel Beck; SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste; and SOCAN’s Rodney Murphy.

In addition to the workshop, the East Coast Music Awards, in partnership with the Atlantic Presenters Association, will present the second annual SOCAN Song House Tour –a “block booked” tour that features five of the SOCAN Song House workshop’s participants (one from each Atlantic region), and also features the new work developed during the Song House.

SOCAN presented a Songwriters’ Circle from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, in The Schooner Room at Casino Nova Scotia. Hosted by Alan Doyle, the session featured engaging songs and captivating stories from Doyle, Rose Cousins, Reeny Smith, Jenn Grant, Carleton Stone (of Port Cities), and Lennie Gallant.

SOCAN also hosted a “Friends & Family Bash” on Friday, May 4, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Murphy’s Restaurant, gathering together our East Coast members and local industry friends. The event included a SOCAN No. 1 Song Award presentation for Song House participant Rachel Beck, whose “Reckless Heart” reaching the top of the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 Chart, on March 8, 2018.


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The Music Managers Forum (MMF) presented Daniel Caesar and his managers/producers/co-writers Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans with the Banner Year Award – sponsored by The SOCAN Foundation – at the 2018 MMF Honour Roll dinner on May 8, at the Bymark Restaurant in downtown Toronto. Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the Foundation, attended the celebratory dinner, held during Canadian Music Week, where the MMF presented the honour to Caesar and Burnett, though Evans was unable to attend.

The award recognizes the meteoric rise of the JUNO-winning, Grammy-nominated R&B and soul singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar this year. Caesar released his critically acclaimed debut album Freudian in 2017. Co-managers Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans also co-produced the album, and co-wrote several of its songs.  Freudian featured the No. 1 Urban AC hit “Get You,” became the No. 1  iTunes R&B/Soul album, and earned national television performances for Caesar in the U.S., on The Late Late Show with James CordenLate Night with Seth Myers, and one with Chance the Rapper on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Two songs, “Get You,” and “First World Problems” even made it onto former U.S. President Barack Obama’s year-end list for 2017. Caesar’s debut world tour is selling out everywhere, including a five-night run at The Danforth Music Hall, in his hometown of Toronto.

Others recognized at the 2018 MMF event were manager Susan de Cartier, of Starfish Entertainment, who received the Honour Roll Award, and Live Nation Canada chair Riley O’Connor, who garnered the Brian Chater Pioneer Award.

SOCAN congratulates its members Daniel Caesar, Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans on their latest success!


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Rarely has there been such an eclectic final round at the annual Francouvertes competition. Besdie Lou-Adriane Cassidy’s delicate rock sensibility (2nd place), and the dislocated experimental punk of CRABE (3rd place), it was the contagious energy of rap combo LaF that stood out and won the final round of the 2018 Francouvertes contest, which took place at Montréal’s Club Soda on May 7, 2018. And thanks to the combined votes of the professional jury, the general public, and various event partners, LaF also won several additional prizes. Lou-Adriane Cassidy and CRABE also didn’t leave empty-handed, having each won a few rewards.

Lou-Adriane Cassidy, LaF, CRABE

All three 2018 Francouvertes finalists (L to R: Lou-Adriane Cassidy, LaF and CRABE) gave everything they had during the finals. (Photo: Eric Parazelli)

The night opened with the last of the “J’aime mes ex” performances, a SOCAN presentation, featuring event spokespersons Klô Pelgag and Tire le coyote, who performed a few songs as a duo prior to the finalists’ performances.

SOCAN member Lou-Adriane Cassidy and her collaborators Stéphanie Boulay and Philémon Cimon won the Paroles & Musique Award – including a $1,000 cash prize and a stay at the Paris SOCAN House offered by SOCAN – in recognition of the excellent writing of the songs performed by Cassidy during the semifinals.

For a complete list of the 2018 finalists’ awards, visit the Francouvertes website. You can listen to the entire finals show on May 9, at 7:00 p.m., during the Influence Franco show on SiriusXM 174.

SOCAN congratulates LaF for the major victory in their budding career!


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