The 29th SOCAN Awards Gala in Montréal will be held tonight, Oct. 2. We will,  of course, celebrate the success of our songwriter, composer, and music publisher members, but what exactly is their relationship with SOCAN like? What does SOCAN represent to them? We asked the winners those questions; here are some of their answers.

See the Winners List

See Facebook photos: Red Carpet, Onstage, Winners  

A who’s who of songwriters, screen composers, music publishers, and major players in the Québec music ecosystem gathered at Montréal’s La Tohu for the 29th edition of the SOCAN Montréal Awards, with more than 50 trophies presented during an evening celebrating Québec’s creative talent.

Hosted for the first time by Pierre-Yves Lord, this year’s SOCAN Montréal Awards was highlighted with an all-female complement of SOCAN Classic Song creators, including Laurence Jalbert, Francine Raymond, Marjo, Lara Fabian, Marie Carmen, and Hart Rouge, who, alongside their co-writers and publishers, received one or more of the awards.

Loud, Hubert Lenoir

Loud, Hubert Lenoir

SOCAN presented several Achievement Awards during the Gala, including the SOCAN Cultural Impact Award to Michel Rivard for “La complainte du phoque en Alaska,” written in 1973 and performed by his band Beau Dommage. Grand Dame of country music Renée Martel, was deeply moved to receive the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award for her 65-year career. Jim Corcoran received the SOCAN Special Achievement Award, saluting his work as an ambassador of Francophone music on the CBC Radio show À propos for more than 30 years. Tire le Coyote offered a great performance, interspersing two Corcoran songs were with excerpts from his brilliant show.

Patrice Michaud received the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award, and Jean-Olivier Bégin, the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award, while Arcade Fire and Latin American music prodigy Alex Castillo Vasquez shared the SOCAN International Award. Dare to Care won the SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award, recognizing the success of their roster and positive influence on the Québec music scene.

“The exceptional creative talent of SOCAN’s songwriter, composer, and publisher members is undisputed, and tonight we celebrate their diversity,” said SOCAN CEO, Eric Baptiste. “SOCAN is committed, every single day, to representing all of our members in a forward-thinking and relevant manner. We work to ensure that they are fairly and adequately compensated for their music.”

Magnificent Performances

Bobby Bazini

Bobby Bazini

This year’s gala was once again highlighted by performances that were as unique as they were touching. Among those, Mara Tremblay and Éric Goulet sang and played a delightfully ethereal version of “La complainte du phoque en Alaska”; Lydia Képinski and the duo Saratoga paid homage to Marjo’s two SOCAN Classics; fast-rising singer Aiza, gave an Afro-pop spin to Lara Fabian’s “Leila” and “Je t’aime”; and Ludovick Bourgeois surprised everyone with his renditions of Francine Raymond’s “Y’a les mots” and “Les années lumières.”

SOCAN Anglophone Popular Music Award winner Bobby Bazini (for his hit “C’est la vie”) offered attendees a personal take on Laurence Jalbert’s classic, “Corridor,” while Jeffrey Piton sang Marie Carmen’s “Entre l’ombre et la lumière.” Chances did the same for Hart Rouge’s “Inconditionnel,” while Annie Blanchard performed her tourmate’s classic, Laurence Jalbert’s “Encore et encore.”

To close the evening, the Breakthrough Award winner Loud tore the roof off the venue when he performed ’56k,’ the song that earned him the 2018 Francophone SOCAN Songwriting Prize, which he spruced up with snippets of his No. 1 hit, ‘Toutes les femmes savent danser.’

In the specialized music categories, jazz was honoured with the Hagood Hardy Award, going to Chet Doxas; the Jan V. Matejcek Award for new classical music was presented to James O’Callaghan; the Country Music Award went to veteran of the music scene Patrick Norman; international sensation Snails, won the Electronic Music Award; and Loud received two honours – the Urban Music Award and the Breakthrough Award, the latter of which he shared with the phenomenal Hubert Lenoir.

Most-Played Francophone Songs and Screen Compositions

Annie Blanchard

Annie Blanchard

Ten awards were presented throughout the evening for the most-played Francophone songs of 2017, including Patrice Michaud’s “Kamikaze,” Daniel Bélanger’s “Il y a tant à faire,” Andréanne A. Malette and Manuel Gasse’s “Fou,” Vincent Vallières’s “Badluck,” and “Du bonheur dans les étoiles,” co-written by Marc Dupré, Nelson Minville, and John Nathaniel.

The gala also saluted the exceptional contributions made by screen composers and music publishers to the music industry, and the economy at large, by. Among the evening’s winners were Montréal SOCAN Awards regulars, Anthony Rozankovic, and his publishers, Cinéflix Média Inc., as well as ole Media Management, which received the Music for Television (International) Award, as well as the Television Music Award, Fiction, for Mayday. Screen composers Jean-Phi Goncalves (Le tricheur), Scott Price (Gags), Sébastien Watty Langlois (Salmigondis), and Rudy Toussaint (How It’s Made) all left the gala with a trophy for the second straight year. Marc Ouellette, Luc St-Pierre, and Les Éditions de Musique JB collectively received the Film Music Award for Amber Alert/I Have Your Children.

Licensed to Play Award

The contribution of SOCAN’s businesses that use licensed music in Québec was celebrated with the SOCAN Licensed to Play Award, going this year to the City of Longueuil. The city was rewarded for its recognition of the role of music in its community, and for its commitment to fairly and legally compensate the music creators and publishers.

SOCAN congratulates all of our winners!

SOCAN is proud to welcome our newest member to our A&R team. In the newly-created role of Senior A&R Executive, Erica Grayson will be based out of our brand-new Los Angeles office, in Culver City.

Grayson is a Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles-based, music-industry veteran, having worked or consulted with companies like Sony, Interscope, A&M, OVO, Motown, Atlantic, and others in and outside of the U.S. With a passion for diversity and multi-culturalism, she’s lent her time and voice to curating events and speaking engagements around the imperative of inclusion in music and creator communities. Grayson has served on the L.A. Chapter Board of NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the Grammy Awards), and has been recognized by ASCAP Women in Music. She has held Vice-Presidential positions in A&R, Publishing, and Film & TV. Through her entrepreneurship for the last several years, Erica has gained unique insight into how the business has evolved – and most importantly, the value of businesses engaging with culture in authentic ways as their key to success.

As the Senior A&R Executive at SOCAN, Grayson will be working with the rest of our A&R team in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal, and play an integral role in driving SOCAN’s A&R strategy. She’ll be supporting SOCAN members living in L.A., and the many more who travel there. Considering herself an “intrapreneur,” she hopes to use her experience and strong relationships to build various creative programs and platforms to better service Canadian songwriters, screen composers, and music publishers – and as a result, to increase SOCAN’s profile in the U.S. market.

To introduce Erica to you, we decided to ask her a few questions.

Until now, what was your favourite job in the music industry, and why?
I’ve had so many enriching experiences in this business. I love artist development and A&R, but building a management and consulting business was probably my favourite, because I was able to use all of my experience in one place to support music creators.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of, so far?
I’d have to say that I’m most proud of not being afraid to seek out business mentors throughout my career. No matter how successful I’ve been, or what positon I’ve held, I always want to be better, and learn what I can, so I’m not afraid to ask for help or advice.

Why did you decide to come to SOCAN, and why now?
I’ve come to learn that SOCAN offers a rare and unique home for creatives to grow, in a safe place. Mike McCarty and Rodney Murphy created this role for me, to put to use all of my A&R experience and skills to amplify what SOCAN is already doing for songwriters, screen composers, and their publishers.  Canadian artists and screen composers are achieving unprecedented global success these days, and I’m excited to play a role in helping support those SOCAN members, and to nurture the next generation of members, so that this current success is not an anomaly. This is a huge opportunity for me.

What impact are you hoping to make in your new role at SOCAN?
One specific area that I want to focus on is utilizing my relationships to build a better bridge with the film & TV community here in L.A. SOCAN has a tremendous roster of screen composers who live in and travel to L.A., and I want to add as much value to their business as possible. I want to create greater access to the creative community here in the States that will hopefully create more business opportunities for them. And I intend to build some programming to help service SOCAN membership in this market.

Why is it important for SOCAN to have U.S. representation?
SOCAN is an incredible organization, one that’s growing rapidly. I think it’s obvious and wise to have representation here in L.A., because for many SOCAN members, “All roads lead to Los Angeles.” We have more than 900 members living here already, with hundreds more visiting to further their craft development and business over the course of the year. Our L.A. House, and new office in Culver City – which includes a “writing room” – are here to support this.

Where do you see the future of Canadian music creators going in the next five years?
It doesn’t take Nostradamus to see that the future is bright for Canadian music creators. Look at how they’ve dominated the global market and charts in recent years. This is a trend that’s not going away, in my opinion.

Where does your passion for artist discovery and development come from?
It’s the purest part of the process. I think I will always be that kid that wants to know everything about something that I love so much. And what a huge honour it is to also have any part in their journey… Really doesn’t get any better than that for me.

If you had to choose, who’s your favourite songwriter, and why?
Ha, that’s a trick! I would never choose. I love hip-hop, R&B, pop, afrobeat, Latin music.  I love songs, and beats, and compositions, and lyrics that make you feel things.

At Interscope, you worked directly with superstar producer and Apple head honcho Jimmy Iovine. What’s the best Jimmy story that you’re able to share?
Working with Jimmy was a real gift. I don’t know about sharing stories, I’m no snitch, LOL! Seriously, I think for me, what I appreciated most about working with him was that Jimmy valued winning. So you always knew where you stood with him. It wasn’t about who he liked better or didn’t, it wasn’t about the politics. You were either delivering, or you weren’t. As the only woman on the A&R team at that time, it leveled the playing field for me.