For Bleu Jeans Bleu, there’s a before and after for  their “Coton ouaté era – that began following the release of the mega-hit song –  and stretched over several months. So far, since its release on April 29, 2019, “Coton ouaté” has garnered more than 16 million views on YouTube alone. This unexpected success allowed them to become widely known, and sell out venues, throughout Québec. Because the band released two albums before Perfecto, from which “Coton Ouaté” is taken, the sudden-breakthrough popularity didn’t go to their heads. Their rich repertoire of pop melodies and rock energy has ensured that they’re not one-hit-wonders.

For Top Minou, Bleu Jeans Bleu’s fourth album, the band has stayed the course by offering 11 songs with eclectic themes, the inspiration for which is almost always drawn from the little things of everyday life – and which will doubtless put a smile on everyone’s face once again. In this video interview, Claude Cobra tells us about the creative context of the album, and the genesis of a few of its nuggets.

The SOCAN Foundation has announced the winners of the fifth annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters, sponsored by SiriusXM Canada. Five cash prizes of $5,000 were awarded to young creators from across the country, in recognition of their exceptional work and potential. For the first time, this year five additional songwriters are recognized in the honourable mention category, each receiving a $1,000 prize for their notable submissions.

“We’re pleased to be able to shine a light on the next generation of Canadian songwriters, and provide them with financial support at a critical time in their careers,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “For the fifth year in a row, the quality of the music we’ve received demonstrates just how much talent there is in the emerging Canadian music scene.”

The grand prize winners are:

Anna Johnson for “Boys on Bikes”
17-year-old Anna Johnson has been working on songwriting during the pandemic. Her most recent original songs have been described as haunting, and she continues to define her unique style as a songwriter. She’s performed as a guest vocalist with the Edmonton Pops Orchestra and at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Johnson was the Youth Grand Winner of the 2018 K-Days Talent Search; played at Crescendo with the John Cameron Changing Lives Foundation; and has performed in many stage musicals. She’s is working on a body of work for a future release.

AVIV for “Drowning in the Culture”
Music was always an inevitability for the young Toronto singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist AVIV, who pens D.I.Y. pop that feels universal – everyone can relate to it. She started learning piano at age six and guitar at age 12; after being gifted a keyboard for her 14th birthday, she taught herself how to write songs. When the pandemic hit, AVIV found herself trapped at home, bored, and quickly realized that her life-long love of music could become something more than a hobby.

Avril Jensen for “van gogh”
Initially trained on the violin, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter now sings and accompanies herself, switching between guitar, piano, and ukulele. Following an indie approach, the artist’s pop signature unfolds in French and English, and sits at the intersection of acoustic and trap music. Comfortable in the studio, and already autonomous behind the console, she sees her art as a playground that offers many narratives. Jensen loves to learn… about almost everything, and at all times. Often falling into the maze of the internet, as if into some sort of vortex, she draws much inspiration from her spontaneous research on many subjects. Passionate about astronomy, sci-fi, and an avid TV series fan, she also names Van Gogh’s paintings, and the  music of Billie Eilish, Tsar B, Dean, and Klô Pelgag as influences that fuel her songwriting. Every song of hers stands as a short story.

Danie for “Summer”
Danie is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter. She likes to think of her music as genre-less and boundless, with sprinkles of soul, color, and intimacy. Danie grew up in the Kennebecasis Valley, New Brunswick, and now calls Toronto home. You can hear Danie’s music on Season 4 of Kim’s Convenience, and see her in the original Netflix series Grand Army. She has many more works in the making, with an official YouTube Artist Channel coming soon. “Summer” is about the repetition of life, the inevitability of change, and the bittersweet feeling that comes with accepting that. She released “Summer” in March of 2022, and had the privilege of being interviewed by Larry McClain from Two Story Melody. This song holds a special place in her heart.

Velours Velours for “Tournesol”
Velours Velours is Raphaël Pépin-Tanguay’s artistic outlet. Active on the local live circuit since 2022, the project has quickly carved out a place for itself with music lovers in Québec. After performing with Étienne Coppée, Velours Velours recently released its first EP, co-produced with Philippe Brach. The project’s youthful, flavourful pop music offers a colourful and comforting universe, with infinite possibilities. The enchanting grooves tell tales of Pépin-Tanguay’s daily life, and contemplate his surroundings, from the backstreets of the city to the salt waters of the Gaspé Peninsula.

Congratulations to the honourable mention prize winners: DeeDee Austin for “Buried Truth,” Brighid Fry for “In the Grass,” Allegra Jordyn for “Technicolour,” Fin McDowell for “Losing Game,” and Mia Kelly for “Garden Through The War.”

For more information on SOCAN Foundation Award winners, please click here.

The registration deadlines for the 2023 SOCAN Foundation awards will be posted on the organization’s website in the early months of 2023.

Classical composer/conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has earned five nominations, and producer/songwriter Boi-1da and Drake have earned four each – the most among all SOCAN members this year – for the 65th Grammy Awards, to be hosted by Trevor Noah and broadcast Feb. 5, 2023, on CBS.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin was nominated twice as a conductor, in the Best Opera Recording category, for Aucoin: Eurydice and Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones. He was also given the nod as a conductor in the Best Choral Performance category, for Verdi: Requiem – The Met Remembers 9/11. He garnered his fourth nomination as a pianist, for soloist Renée Fleming, on Voice Of Nature – The Anthropocene, tipped for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. And his fifth was in the Best Classical Compendium category, for his for his role as a conductor on A Concert For Ukraine.

Boi-1da (aka Matthew Samuels) was nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; earned two nods for his songwriting and producing contributions to both Beyoncé’s Renaissance and Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, both nominated for Album of the Year; and was recognized for his production work on “Churchill Downs” by Jack Harlow featuring Drake, which was nominated for Best Rap Song.

Drake earned four nominations as well: two for Best Rap Song, for his features on “Churchill Downs” by Jack Harlow, and “Wait for U” by Future (which also featured Tems); one for Best Melodic Rap Performance, also on “Wait for U”; and one for his songwriting on Beyoncé’s Renaissance, nominated for Album of the Year.

Professional songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. is a triple nominee, honoured in the brand new category of Songwriter of the Year, and as a co-writer who contributed to songs on Adele’s 30, and Harry’s House by Harry Styles, both nominated for Album of the Year.

SOCAN member Akeel Henry is a double nominee, as a contributor to Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous, in the running for Album of the Year, and a co-writer of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Hurt Me So Good,” tipped for Best R&B Song. SOCAN member Michael Holmes is also a co-writer of “Hurt Me So Good.”

SOCAN members with single nominations include Alisson Russell, in the Best American Roots Song category, for “Prodigal Daughter”; producer/songwriter/DJ Kaytranada in the Best Dance/Electronic Recording field, for “Intimidated,” a duet with H.E.R.; Bryan Adams, up for Best Rock Performance, for “So Happy It Hurts”; Michael Bublé, recognized in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, for Higher; Snarky Puppy (which includes SOCAN member Larnell Lewis), in the running for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, for Empire Central; the late Glenn Gould, posthumously nominated for Best Historic Album, for The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased 1981 Studio Sessions; and Arcade Fire, for Best Alternative Music Album, for WE.

Producer/songwriter Sevn Thomas is included among the contributors to Album of the Year contender Renaissance, by Beyoncé. He also co-produced “Good Day,” a song included on Sean Paul’s Schorcha, nominated for Best Reggae Album. Schorcha, also includes co-production of “Wine Up” by Jordon Manswell, and of multiple songs by Banx & Ranx.

SOCAN members Joey and David Landreth, of the Bros. Landreth, co-wrote “Made Up Mind,” whose cover version by Bonnie Raitt was nominated for Best Americana Performance. The Bonnie Raitt full-length recording on which the song appears, Just Like That, was nominated for Best Americana Album.

In the Best Rap Album category, Ozan “OZ” Yildirim contributed to Jack Harlow’s nominated album Come Home The Kids Miss You, and DRTWRK contributed to DJ Khaled’s nominated album God Did. In the same category, Future’s nominated album I Never Liked You includes the feature from Drake (and Tems) on “Wait for U”; Jack Harlow’s nominated album Come Home The Kids Miss You also includes the feature from Drake on “Churchill Downs”; and Kendrick Lamar’s nominated album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers includes production and songwriting from Boi-1da.

Chiiild (Yonatan Ayal and Pierre-Luc Rioux) contributed to the song “Compassion,” which appears on Lucky Daye’s Candydrip, a nominee for Best R&B Album. Ryan Bakalarcyzk and Ace G contributed to Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs,” nominated for Best Rap Song. And Demy & Clipz (aka Étienne Gagnon and Steve Martinez-Funes), are contributors to “La Corriente,” by Bad Bunny, on his album Un Verano Sin Ti, nominated for both Album Musica Urbana  and Album of the Year.

Ron Korb is featured on flute on Sakura by Masa Takumi, nominated for Best Global Music Album. Korb also played on Divine Tides by Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Ricky Kej, nominated for Best Immersive Audio Album. Yonatan Watts co-produced on Chris Brown’s Breezy, nominated for Best R&B Album. Andrew T contributed to “Churchill Downs,” the Jack Harlow effort nominated for Best Rap Song. Charlie Houston sang on ODESZA’s The Last Goodbye, nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album. Aaron Paris and Drake contributed to the song “No Secret” by DJ Khaled, included on his LP God Did, nominated for Rap Album of the Year. CVRE has writing and production credits on “Defend” by Koffee, a song included on Gifted, which is nominated for Best Reggae Album. Ali Milner (aka WILLA) co-wrote on “Slow Song” by The Knocks and Dragonette (also SOCAN members), which is nominated for Best Remixed Recording.

Please note that SOCAN is currently reviewing the entire, extensive list of 2023 Grammy nominations to determine any other member nominees, and may update this article accordingly.

SOCAN congratulates our Grammy-nominated members on this huge achievement!