SOCAN’s third annual Kenekt Song Camp creates a record 31 new songs

(Photo: Chad Richardson)
May 9, 2017

At SOCAN’s third annual Kenekt Song Camp, held April 23-29, 2017, in Nicaragua, 18 participating songwriters and producers produced a record 31 pop songs in five days of collaborative songwriting.

SOCAN was happy and excited to once again support our members by providing a unique, powerful opportunity to help them develop their songwriting skills, specifically in the area of co-writing. Another simultaneous goal of the Kenekt Song Camp is to strengthen the music ecosystem, and to help our publisher and songwriter members grow their business both in Canada and around the world. As the name implies, the camp is an opportunity to "connect" and build bridges for SOCAN members with each other, and also with writers from other performing rights organizations.

The 2017 edition of Kenekt – run by SOCAN General Manager, Los Angeles Division, Chad Richardson, and attended by SOCAN Director, A&R, Rodney Murphy – was a unique, productive initiative. It gathered together strong singer-songwriters, and artists in their own right, like Laurence Nerbonne and Charlotte Cardin; professional songwriters like Laurell sand Jenson Vaughan; and expert producers like Jayson Dezuzio and Lantz.

They all gathered at Maderas Village Studios, in the remote town of Maderas, Nicaragua. Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo and Icona Pop have all participated in previous song camps held at the resort, which was designed as a creative retreat. The Kenekt Song Camp was their seventh such event to date.

The facility had five studios set up for use by the 18 songwriters, who came from Los Angeles, Montréal, and across Canada. The participants included clients of such publishers as, Warner/Chappell Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Coyote Records, and Red Bull Music Publishing.

Left to right: Nathalia Marshall, Matthew Chaim, Lance Shipp, and Rachael Kennedy working on a song together. Marshall, Shipp and Kennedy are the production trio known as L I O N C H I L D. (Photo: Cheyenne Ellis Photography)

Each morning at 10:00 a.m., the participants received their group assignments – which changed daily – then spent the full day and evening in those small groups, writing the best songs they could together. Each night at 10;00 p.m., the entire camp would gather in the studio to listen to the playback of the songs created that day.

The writers co-wrote for almost all of those 12-hour workdays, in an isolated location, far from home, without any of their teams on hand, and no air conditioning, in the steaming hot jungle. Consequently, they quickly bonded in their mutual commitment to creating the best songs they could. By the end of the fifth day, they were exhausted but exhilarated.

Charlotte Cardin (left) and Jenson Vaughan (right) reviewing a lyric together. (Photo: Cheyenne Ellis Photography)

“The songwriters’ hard work, creativity and passion for the craft was off the charts at the 2017 Kenekt Song Camp,” said SOCAN’s Rodney Murphy. “The writers entered sweltering studios each day with mere ideas, and emerged 12 hours later with incredible songs to share with our group each night. My respect for the craft of songwriting is that much higher because of this experience.”

"This was one of the most productive camps I've been involved with,” said SOCAN’s Chad Richardson. “I think the key was how supportive the members of the group were with each other, from the very first listening session. It made all the difference for the writers to know they were in a safe, supportive place."

"Kenekt3 was more akin to a spiritual experience than a song camp,” said participating professional songwriter Jenson Vaughan. “The layers and walls quickly melted away in this very raw, jungle atmosphere, to produce some of my best work ever. In a word, magic."

Ameerah (left) and producer Jayson Dezuzio (right) working on a song together. (Photo: Cheyenne Ellis Photography)

The participants were:

Yaakov Gruzman (DVBBS, Shaun Frank)
Jayson Dezuzio (Imagine Dragons, Jason Derulo)
Lance Shipp (L I O N C H I L D, Britney Spears)
Nick Henriques (a.k.a. Galloway) (Jocelyn Alice remix)
Lantz (Jazz Cartier)

Charlotte Cardin (signed to Cult Nation, “Big Boy” 352K Soundcloud plays)
Matthew Chaim (Hotly tipped new artist from Montréal)
Tali Kouchir (New artist signed to Phrazed Differently in the U.K.)
Aaron Fontwell (Signed to Astralwerks)

Laurell (MTV The Real World, NBC The Biggest Loser)
Nathalia Marshall (L I O N C H I L D, Britney Spears)
Rachael Kennedy (L I O N C H I L D, Britney Spears)
Aaron Fontwell (“Crystal Coated” 400K-plus Spotify streams)
Jenson Vaughan (Trevor Guthrie, Kelly Rowland, Britney Spears, High Valley)
Baddluck (Cher Lloyd, Britney Spears)
Kate Morgan (a.k.a. Aria) (Carly Rae Jepsen, Ryan Stewart)
Ameerah (Dahilia, Sam Smith)
Michelle Buzz (Prince Fox, Unlike Pluto)
Laurence Nerbonne (2017 JUNO Award, Francophone Album of the Year)