Meet the MusicWorks Panelists - Hook, Line, and Singer: Song Listening Session

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Get to know a more about Julian Tuck from CBC Radio 2, Secret City Records' Justin West, Steven Himmelfarb from The Billions Corporation, and peermusic's Neville Quinlan who will be on hand for our 'Hook, Line, and Singer: Song Listening Session' workshop Saturday, February 2.

Julian Tuck, CBC Radio 2

In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Julian Tuck has done a little bit of everything…from booking bands in high school to hauling skids of albums around a warehouse, working in a record store, hosting and writing radio shows, promoting Canadian and International bands for major and indie record labels, and programming industry panels for Canadian Music Week . He is currently a producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, programming music for CBC’s Radio 2 and CBC Music.

Justin West, Secret City Records

Justin is the founder and president of both Secret City Records and Secret City Publishing and, since their inception in 2006, has used both his business skills and previous music industry experiences to build, both in Canada and internationally, the label and its artists. The roster includes, among others, such Canadian artists as Patrick Watson, Basia Bulat, Plants and Animals, The Barr Brothers, and Diamond Rings, and has earned 3 gold record certifications in Canada, a Polaris Music Prize (plus 3 additional nominations), and 7 JUNO award nominations. Secret City Publishing publishes the vast majority of the compositions recorded by its artists. The publishing company has built a global network to administer and exploit its catalogue in all countries around the world, resulting in hundreds of synchronization licenses, including major USA television shows Grey’s Anatomy and the Walking Dead, as well as advertisements with Tropicana, Veri Water, Bulgari, and others. Justin has been immersed in music all of his life. He spent many of his summers as teenager working for his father, Jim West (founder and president of Justin Time Records), and learning the business along the way. He also played guitar in the Montreal band Dogs Playing Poker. In 2004, after studying business for the previous 4 years and working for accounting firm Ernst & Young for part of that period, Justin graduated from McGill University with high honours, only to quench his thirst for music and entrepreneurship with Secret City shortly after. On top of running Secret City, Justin is on the board of directors of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA).

Neville Quinlan, peermusic

Neville is the General Manager of Peermusic Canada Inc. Neville has the pleasure of working with many artists, including The Tragically Hip, Tom Waits, Matthew Barber, The Stampeders, and ZZ Top among many others; as well as many song writers, including David Foster, Greg Johnston, Robbie Patterson, and Shelly Peiken. He has travelled around the world to attend many conferences and festivals, and has spoken on many panels as a Music Publisher, and (in a previous incarnation) as a Booking Agent.

For over eighty years after establishing its first copyright, peermusic can still proudly claim to be a major independent music publisher. From its founding under the keen vision of legendary music producer Ralph S. Peer, peermusic has consistently and relentlessly broken new ground by becoming home to some of the best and brightest talent in music. It might come as a surprise that a company modestly established by one man can now boast a diverse repertoire ranging from pop to Latin to country to classical and employees working in 32 offices in 28 countries around the world.

Steven Himmelfarb, The Billions Corporation

Steven Himmelfarb is a booking agent at the Billions Corporation. He’s based in Toronto and works with: Tokyo Police Club, Beirut, Owen Pallett, the Great Lake Swimmers and more. He’s nervous about the weather in Winnipeg. Go Leafs.

About the workshop 

This workshop will offer insight into the inner workings of a music company listening meeting. Participants will listen to new music alongside the experts, learn what they listen for when hearing new demos, and be part of the discussion about what works and why. This song listening session is a chance to get personal feedback on your music from a distinguished panel that includes a publisher, agent, radio programmer, and label representative, while discussing songwriting and production with fellow songwriters.

Music of all genres and songwriters of all levels are welcome. It is not necessary to bring a song to attend and hear what the panelists have to say. A section of each song will be played for the entire group, followed by comments from the panel from both a craft and business point of view.

If you wish to have your music played for the panel, please submit an mp3 with a bit rate no higher than 128 kbps and lyrics to

Click here to register

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