Canadian and Nordic artists to build key creative partnerships over three-day
song writing camp in Toronto
Music Publishers Canada has formed a partnership with IMPF to host an in-person co-writing camp promoting publisher and songwriter collaboration between Canada and the Nordic territories.
Titled CREATE Nordic Bridges, the song writing camp will take place at Noble Street Studios in Toronto,
Canada from October 27 – October 29, 2022.
It will bring together a total of 12 songwriters, producers and artists from Canada, Estonia, Finland, and
Sweden to co-write over the three-day period, producing original songs and building key creative
partnerships in the process. See below for biographies.
The attendees are represented by a number of well-known independent publishers including Faar Music, Elements Music, RoastingHouse, Editions Bjorlund, Hyvetown Music Inc., Red Brick Songs, Sound of Pop Publishing, Daytripper Songs, Third Side Music, and Cymba Music.
IMPF President Annette Barrett said: “IMPF is a global network of independent publishers and it’s great to be able to provide these cross-border channels to promote publisher networking and emerging artist creativity. It is a pleasure to work with Music Publishers Canada in what we hope will be the first of many such exchanges over the coming years.”
Margaret McGuffin, CEO of Music Publishers Canada said: “Building creative and business relationships is an important part of what makes Canadian music publishing a global success story. We’re delighted to partner with IMPF to welcome Nordic writers, producers, and publishers to Toronto. The partnership will allow us to continue playing a role in forging relationships all over the world and showcase Canadian talent.”
Create Nordic Bridges is generously supported by FACTOR and the Government of Canada and co-funded by the European Union.
Publisher: Faar Music
Karl Killing, a mere 20 years old, has immensely proven himself over the past few years in the Estonian music scene. He is actively working with many loved Estonian hip-hop and rap artists such as 5MIINUST, säm, Pluuto, nublu and villemdrillem.
This year Karl participated in the Eesti Laul contest (Estonia’s national selection for the Eurovision Song
Contest) where he placed 7th with his song “Kiss Me”. His solo project kick-started in 2020 when he released his debut single “High Heels”, which came out with Canadian record label found/red. This year was massive for Karl as he signed to Warner Music Baltics, released a video single “powerless” with them, and intends to release his first album in 2022. While his solo project is on the softer, pop side, for his producing he definitely has a weakness for hip-hop.
Publisher: Elements Music
Gevin has worked with pretty much every significant and chart-topping Estonian artist there is, and he is a go-to producer for the top artists signed to majors in Estonia and Finland. Countless local No. 1s. He has recently been working on exciting international material for UK and US artists. Recent co-writes include: Philip Strand (Tungevaag, Icona Pop, Cheat Codes), Coucheron, Sara Ryan (Glockenbach, Malou Prytz, Anis don Demina), MOLI (Topic, A7S, Lost Frequencies) and artists like Hastings (signed to Elektra US), Maryon (US), Katie Kittermaster (UK), Klara Hammarström (SWE), Tungevaag (NO), and Keelan Donovan (US).
Jay Birch (Johan Björk)
Publisher: RoastingHouse SE
Johan Björk works out of RoastingHouse Studio 7 and has many international cuts under his belt. “I am a self-taught musician, songwriter, producer and remixer based in Malmö, Sweden. My main instrument is piano which I started playing at around age 7, and then I have also added guitar and bass to my arsenal. Although my main genre has always been soul, funk and R’n’B, the style of music doesn’t really matter to me. It just has to have some kind of groove or vibe. To evoke some kind of emotion in the listener, whether that is just to make you feel good and wanna dance or to feel something deeper. ” – Johan
Publisher: Elements Music
Sara is a super versatile and creative writer and she has a lot of experience from being successful with
mainstream pop, K-pop, Eurovision, working with DJs, metal bands, and she already has a couple of cool hits on her CV with artists like Anis Don Demina and with her own project SaRaha. Sara also has a couple of upcoming major K-Pop releases on their way.
Recently she has been working with some of Europe’s most successful writers for different projects in various genres and songs written by her always get a lot of attention from people around the world. Recent projects Sara has written for: Glockenbach, Hayden James, Robert Gillies, Yei Gonzalez, Andreas Johnson, Theoz, John Lundvik, Malou Prytz, Cyan Kicks, Tiesto, and Kiara Nelson.
Publisher: RoastingHouse SE
I am a 22-year-old Spanish / Swedish artist from Eslöv. Born in Gran Canaria, I started singing before I could talk, because I wanted to hang out with my dad when he played guitar and sang. The love for music did not stop there so when we moved to Sweden started taking choir and dance lessons, and then also music lessons. I got into everything that was called music and realized how much I loved to perform.
After school I always went home singing songs I had come up with, and started playing the piano and writing them down when I was twelve. Inspired by pop stars like Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Julia Michaels and their way of making you feel, and at the same time wanting to dance, pop music has become my focus.
Now I work as a songwriter for RoastingHouse Music as a topliner, at the same time as I write and produce for myself for future releases.
SANNE (Sanne Österberg)
Publisher: Editions Bjorlund SE
Sanne is the artist, who is the former singer in the band Sun & The Rain Men. Sun & The Rain Men was
nominated for Denniz Pop Awards a couple of years ago. In the jury for the award we have names as Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson.
Now, she is planning to start up two solo projects, one in Swedish and one in English. Both the projects will have a touch of R’n’B & pop.
Publisher: Hyvetown Music Inc.
Lucas Marston is a pop music & media composer and producer based in Toronto, Canada. He is a published songwriter and producer who creates full-scale pop productions for Asian markets. Lucas composes and produces music for the advertising industry on behalf of a variety of music houses around the globe providing custom productions for some of the world’s largest brands. Marston has a background in jazz guitar, composition, orchestration, pop and R&B production and mixing. His aspirations are to write and produce for bigger artists, produce great works for TV/film/advertising, to develop new artists and carve out a place for them in popular culture.
Edwin Raphael (Edwin Babu)
Publisher: Red Brick Songs
How do you anchor yourself when occupying multiple geographic identities at once? For Edwin Raphael, the Dubai-born, Montreal-based songwriter, it requires an intentional and intensive form of world-building. By developing an unmistakable style of folk that merges Eastern scales with the Western pop canon, Raphael reimagines his music as an exploratory tool that allows him to construct an interior and sacred home to retreat into.
Growing up in Dubai, Raphael studied classical guitar before deciding on the keys. As he developed an affinity for John Mayer and Ben Howard, he felt at odds with Dubai’s distinct sense of “placelessness” — and the bewildering feeling of being immersed in a culture where everyone claimed an alternate homeland. It wasn’t until he moved to Montreal to pursue a business degree that he felt a sense of stability, and became deeply entangled with the city’s indie bedroom pop scene.
Where his past projects found inspiration in the metaphorical potential of water, his forthcoming album Warm Terracotta walks deeper into the island after standing on the shore. On Edwin Raphael’s most intimate and ambitious project to date, he grapples with the realization of being a foreigner everywhere; of longing to know your ancestral roots, while also honouring the home you’ve built for yourself.
qwinn (Brittany McQuinn)
Publisher: Sound of Pop Publishing
Britt McQuinn (qwinn) is an award-winning Canadian east coast singer/songwriter. Her early musical
influences of film and video game soundtracks have shaped the synth-pop sound that audiences know today.
Britt identifies as queer and a mental health advocate. She captivates crowds with magnetic, warm, and
engaging stage presence.
She’s opened for K.D. Lang during her 25th anniversary ingénue tour, Milk & Bone, Neon Dreams, and Ria Mae, between her solo act and her dark pop duo, Bleum. qwinn has songs on several Spotify editorial playlists, including It’s a Bop, Fresh Finds Pop, New Music Friday Canada, and Bangers. qwinn has label releases on Circus Records and Monstercat.
Publisher: Daytripper Songs
Toronto’s Laurent Bourque is an artist and songwriter whose distinct pop sensibility is best showcased on his latest single “EASY” and his recent Canadian chart-topping hit “Matador.”
CBC’s “Q” said it best: “Very few artists can marry sounds from the past and the present and make you feel like you’ve come to a familiar place.”
This was the goal of Laurent’s 2020 album, Blue Hour: To create a timeless pop sound using a blend of natural and non-acoustic instruments, influenced by the spirituality of perennial prose all while exhibiting the best emotional performances possible.
As a co-writer Laurent has recently found success abroad, penning songs with Japanese artist Harumi (Sony Music Japan). Harumi’s mix of pop and R’n’B vocals proved to be a perfect match for Laurent’s snappy pop melodies and lyrical manner.
With a true love of collaborating, Laurent’s main focus is to bring the song to the highest level it can possibly be while making sure the artist’s story is told. That is what matters most.
Publisher: Les éditions Bonsound
Laurence-Anne is a self-taught singer and guitarist who was a teenager when she wrote her first songs. The young woman was inspired by Feist and at first was really drawn towards a minimalist indie folk sound. Once she arrived in Montreal, she started leaning towards a more rock sound. She traded her acoustic guitar for an electric one, and in 2017 landed herself in the Francouvertes finals. Two years later, her first album Première apparition was longlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize, and reached the top of CISM’s year-end best-of chart for French albums. The new darling of critics and college radios performed at all of Quebec’s big festivals (Noce, FME, Frimat, FEQ, Festif) and even tested the waters in France (MaMA, Aurores Montréal) before returning home to record Accident, an EP with a touch of punk, indie-pop and tropical vibes. A fertile and astonishing sonic exploration then led her to the road of Musivision, a second effort with dream pop, art rock, cosmic funk and synthwave tints. Co-produced by Félix Petit (Les Louanges, Hubert Lenoir), the album marks a turning point in Laurence-Anne’s young career.
Oleyada (Samantha Lavignasse)
Publisher: Cymba Music
Oleyada is an indie-pop artist releasing music from her bedroom in Toronto, Canada. Oleyada released her first independent single “Pick Up the Phone”, a bright and poppy diss track to your worst best-friends, in the summer of 2020. Her single “Pick Up the Phone” was a semi-finalist in Unsigned Only and earned her a spot in the 2020 Canadian Songwriter Challenge and the RBC Launchpad Music Entrepreneurship program. Oleyada then released “SO DONE!”, her first song featuring Spanish language lyrics exclusively on SoundCloud, Bandcamp and Audiomack. She was also featured on and co-wrote several songs that have been released recently with The Free Label, including “Antifreeze” (April 7), “Up In Flames” (April 22) and “Toys” (Oct 7).
Since joining Cymba Music Publishing, Oleyada has already placed songs in the Canadian TV show Strays, and landed a feature placement in Workin’ Moms with “Catch Me”. Her most recent collaboration with the Italian production teams Axtrom and Te Pai landed “Late Nights” on Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada playlist.
Oleyada’s first EP is currently in the works, and she is represented worldwide exclusively by Cymba.
IMPF (Independent Music Publishers International Forum) is the global trade and advocacy body for
independent music publishers, representing our interests internationally, sharing experiences and best
practices, exchanging information on copyright and legal frameworks in different territories and jurisdictions, and helping to stimulate a more favourable business environment for artistic, cultural, and commercial diversity for songwriters, composers, and music publishers everywhere. www.impforum.org