In an exclusive interview with SOCAN, screen composers Brian Pickett and Graeme Cornies, co-founding members of the hugely successful, multiple-award-winning screen composing company Voodoo Highway, discuss how they first started writing music for animated childrens’ programs; the runaway, worldwide successes of two shows they’ve scored, and for which they’ve written songs, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood – based on the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – and Paw Patrol; and one of their shows winning a 2019 Emmy Award. The business is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and is rebranding as the Voodoo Highway Music Group.
The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is partnering once again with Canadian Music Week (CMW), to celebrate the induction of guitarist, songwriter, broadcaster, and rock legend Kim Mitchell to the Hall of Fame. Mitchell’s friend and fellow singer-songwriter Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies will join him to perform onstage, during CMW’s 2020 Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner on May 21, at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto.
“Kim Mitchell is an originator,” says Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of CSHF. “Onstage, there’s no one who sounds like him, or can emulate the energy and live performance he gives to his audience; and offstage, he is just as prolific as a songwriter, and as an outspoken radio personality. We’re incredibly excited to honour Kim among the class of 2020 Inductees to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
Mitchell has achieved critical acclaim and multi-platinum commercial success over a storied career spanning five decades, and is among Canada’s most respected singers, songwriters, and guitar players. In addition to being the frontman, guitarist, and lead songwriter – with his writing partner Pye Dubois – of the influential, eclectic band Max Webster, he rose from there to prominence and massive Canadian success as an award-winning solo artist.
He is credited with penning (in partnership with Dubois) and recording numerous classic hits including “Go For Soda.” “Rock N Roll Duty,” “Patio Lanterns,” “I am a Wild Party,” All We Are,” and “Easy To Tame” – all which have become part of the Canadian musical landscape. Mitchell has received three JUNO Awards, and been recognized with numerous SOCAN Awards. With hMax Webster, he released five albums, which generated many Canadian top 100 hits including “Let Go the Line,” “A Million Vacations,” and “Paradise Skies.”
In the early 2000’s, while maintaining a busy touring schedule, Mitchell was invited to join the on-air staff at Q107 in Toronto. He left the radio station in 2014, after becoming one of Canada’s most popular and most listened-to afternoon-drive DJs.
Mitchell went back to the recording studio in 2018 to mark his first solo recording in half a dozen years. He got together with his friends Barenaked Ladies to re-record his song, the Max Webster hit “Diamonds Diamonds.” Mitchell has just finished his 15th studio recording, The Big Fantasize, to be released soon, and he continues to tour the country, selling out theatres, casinos, and festivals, coast-to-coast.
After CMW, , the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame will recognize his songwriting accomplishments in the National Music Centre, located at Studio Bell, in Calgary. As the physical home of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the National Music Centre honours new inductees through on-site exhibitions, featuring stories, photos, artifacts, and memorabilia.
SOCAN members in the entire Canadian Francophonie, take note: you can register now for the 52nd edition of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby (FICG), which will be held Aug. 10-29, 2020. Once again this year, SOCAN will be a partner of this major event.
The main competitive segment, the Grand Concours Hydro-Québec, is a key platform for emerging performers and singer-songwriters. Not only will the 24 selected participants share more than $100,000 in prizes, they’ll also benefit from intensive training sessions hosted by seasoned music-industry professionals.
Among those, SOCAN will present a training workshop on repertoire, vocal techniques, interpretation, lyric writing, stage presence, and arrangements. The trainers will work with each participant to help them fine-tune their material. Information workshops on the various aspects of the art and craft of songwriting will be offered to the semi-finalists.
The FICG music showcases have become must-see arena for industry professionals, and provide ideal venues for Francophone artists from all over Canada to really shine. More than 200 music-business professionals from around the world, including several dozens of European programmers, attend the event – which means that it offers exceptional visibility for our attending members.
For the first time this year, SOCAN will award one of the showcase participants a creative stay at the Paris SOCAN House, where they can work on their material, and make new contacts in France.
The registration period is open until April 1, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Details are available at www.ficg.qc.ca.