How to become a rock star at Canadian Music Week
By Ben Fisher
Paul Rodgers (left) on stage with Queen in 2005. (Image: Flickr; miquelsi)
For many people, Canadian Music Week is a chance to see some big-name bands — and some smaller ones, too. But there’s also a whole music industry pow-wow-cum-networking-fest going on that’ll interest Toronto’s up and coming bands. And this city has no shortage of bands who dream big, so there'll probably be no shortage of people lining up for the Songwriters' Summit on Saturday (March 24).
The price is a hefty $249, but it does give the opportunity for some face time with major players in the industry. If we had the cash (and some form of musical talent), here’s a few of the sessions we’d drop into.
Learn the secrets to writing a hit song
Get your notepad ready, because the men behind such hits as “The Gambler,” “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone),” “I Believe,” “Closing Time” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” will talk about the art of songwriting. Alan Frew (Glass Tiger) will provide Canadian representation on a panel that also includes Nashville icon Don Schlitz, Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson and former Whitney Houston songwriter George Merrill.
Kings of Songwriting: CMW Songwriters Circle, 12:30 p.m.
Get the skinny on becoming a rock star ... from a rock star
Rock legend and newly-minted Canadian Paul Rodgers will discuss his career, which has spanned 43 years and seen him front ’70s bands Bad Company and Free. He also collaborated with Queen in the mid-2000s. Rodgers will answer questions from rock journalist Jeff Woods about his career, getting into music and becoming a Canadian citizen last October.
All Right Now: Celebrity Interview with Paul Rodgers, 2.45 p.m.
Get yourself a brand
It doesn’t pack the on-stage star power of the above sessions, but this should be on the to-do list of any would-be rock god. CelebrityAccess senior editor Larry LeBlanc will lead a discussion on what it takes for an artist to make it big in the digital world (apparently, sending a scratchy demo tape to your local radio station just doesn’t cut it anymore). The line up of industry power players includes A&R Worldwide founder Sat Bisla, Universal senior director Mark Spicoluk, Glassnote president Daniel Glass, Bedlam Music manager Nathan Stein and Music Dealers vice-president Kavi Ohri.
How Artists Are Being Discovered: A&R in a New World, 4 p.m.
Songwriters’ Summit, Fairmont Royal York, March 24, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.