Canadian Music Week Review Part 2 with Esma, Tamara Maddalen, Encore

Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Podcast Episode 015

Canadian Music Week review part 2 with guests Esma, Tamara Maddalen and Donald Plant from Encore who report on their CMW experiences and what they learned from the various workshops.


Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Episode 015

Canadian Music Week Review Part 2 with ESMA, Tamara Maddalen and Encore.

Welcome to Sing Dance Act Thrive, featuring conversations with performing artists and industry influencers on what it takes to succeed in the arts. I am your host Diane Foy and I believe that you really can make a living from your creative talents. As a publicist, podcaster and coach. My mission is to educate, motivate and empower you to thrive with authenticity, creativity, and purpose.

Diane Foy 0:41

Hello, and welcome to episode number 15 of Sing Dance Act Thrive. This week is part two of Canadian Music Week, and I have a few artists for you. First up is singer rapper, producer, songwriter Esma. She’s been around the industry for a while plugging away. She’s going to let us know some of the panels that she went to and her takeaways. Then we have Tamara Maddalen. She’s going to talk about her first time playing at Canadian Music Week and some other artists that she enjoyed. And then we’re going to finish up with Encore. They’re a young band from Winnipeg. They were really great at going to the panels taking notes. And so there’s a great report from all the different panels and what he’s learned and it’s good to have some of the same panels but it’s good to get different artists perspective. They’ve all talked about Linda Perry, but they all kind of came out of it with something different. I won’t do a wrap up at the end. So for additional notes and links visit

Esma 1:47

My name is Esma. I’m a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer based out of Toronto.

Diane Foy 1:53

So how was your CMW and maybe tell us a little bit about some of the panels that you went to.

Esma 1:58

I mean, I go for a obviously to learn but I’ve been in the industry quite a bit now I seem to I do know the business you know it’s ever changing, you do have to keep up, mostly go more for like networking. So more people get to know me as an artist and also to hear people’s journey because that’s what I like, I need to hear that for myself personally to be inspired. A lot of the times you see especially artists, you just see them pop out of nowhere, but you don’t realize that nowhere was like 10 years of them working, you know, in the background. Like the public doesn’t realize that even with it’s mostly executives that are speaking. I find that CMW versus artists so it’s the same thing with his executives like I want I went in to Tuma Basa speak and he said that when he first started he like I think made 800 cold calls to like, get an internship, that’s what I need to hear. Because I’ve been like working and hustling and you don’t see, when you’re in the thick of it, you don’t see like the result until way later. So it’s nice to be like reminded of that and to hear stories of like, really hard work and just to relate to them.

Diane Foy 3:23

Yeah, yeah, it’s the never give up motivation that you need. Sometimes when you’re, you feel like you’re working, working, working and not getting anywhere or everything just takes a lot longer than you hope to get long, longer, for sure.

Esma 3:36

That’s for sure. Another story that was really inspiring to me was Ghazi Shami. And he’s out of San Francisco and he started a distribution company started Empire. And they’re also a label now. And again, I think he said, like 10 years to get things going, and now they’re working with like huge artists like Snoop Dogg and a gazillion of bunch of other artists and the reason I was so inspired by him is because he is number one thing was like he’s like I based my business on like ethics and what’s best for the artists. And not just the other businesses don’t do that. But it’s not just the music industry, but a lot of industries. The number one thing is making money and it doesn’t matter how you get there, even if it’s shady, or it’s at the expense of like, ethics. And I just thought that that was really great to hear, especially in the music industry. Those are two that really stuck out I went and saw like Linda Perry because I’m a huge fan of hers, obviously her songwriting, and I watched Jermaine Dupri speak these stories. These ones are like more obvious and out because they’re such huge. I find executives don’t get as much you don’t know as much about their story as like artists or like really successful songwriters because it’s just not in the public. I like to hear things that they don’t know about but obviously we know with Linda Perry her journey and her success and Jermaine Dupri as well and I liked how Jermaine he was interviewed by Dalton Higgins and he is he was really great at, you know, asking him really important questions like I find that as a as a female rapper and producer like, there’s not enough of us and it’s finally coming out now that there’s only 7% of 7% of producers are women. And most of the songwriters behind the scenes are men writing for women writing women’s stories, like why are men writing stories for women to saying it’s just bizarre like, obviously there can be men writing amazing songs for women, but the fact that there’s only 7% behind the scenes is really crazy. Jermaine Dupri doubt and asked him about, you know, female MCs and he brought up something that’s really important that now We don’t have, like they did in the 90’s. Like a bunch of different women. They seem to just have like one signature one, you know, at a time when there’s like, hundreds of rappers, like male rappers. And there’s like one woman that kind of got.

Diane Foy 6:17

We already have one.

Esma 6:18

Yeah, exactly. And it’s bizarre to me like, why can’t you have a bunch just like you have a bunch of really great male rappers? Why can’t you have a bunch of really great female rappers that represent different women? So that was really cool to hear him say that.

Diane Foy 6:32

Did he have any advice on how to change that?

Esma 6:36

It wasn’t so much advice as he said, it’s going to change like it has to. And it’s just like the way the world works, right? Like you even see like in politics like things you think that you’re moving forward and then you take like, so many steps back until you can move even further forward. And I think it’s the same in history and politics and in music.

Esma 7:00

He said it’s bound to change. I mean, his advice, really talented female rappers to be he said nowadays because it’s I think so easy to make music. Even Linda Perry said it’s like this, the standards have gone down regards to what people are digesting. I don’t know if I agree with the standards going down I think. I don’t know if I agree with that. I just think that it’s really healthy to have, if you have a fan base, and you’re doing it, I think that’s awesome. I don’t like look down upon any other artists or any other kind of rap or any. I just think that there should be more representation of different kinds of female rappers and different kinds of artists. That should be given more of a spotlight. That’s what I think.

Tamara Maddalen 8:01

I’m Tamara Maddalen and I’m a Burlington based singer songwriter, who is currently wrapping up my third independent full length album, it’s going to be called “Mint Green Mercury”. And I’m happy to announce that on March 28, I released my first single from the album called “Fade Away”, complete with a video that’s now on YouTube. And I’m looking forward to my second single release called “Rear View”, which is slotted out early June of this year.

Diane Foy 8:28

Cool. So how was your CMW?

Tamara Maddalen 8:33

It was wonderful. It was the first time that I had been invited to perform showcase and actually the first time I attended Canadian Music Week, so I was very pleasantly surprised with panels that were available to independent artists, and also the showcase event.

Diane Foy 8:52

Great. So how did your showcase go?

Tamara Maddalen 8:54

Wonderful. At first, I thought the 12 o’clock time slot that I was given was a little late. Typically, I perform a little earlier in the evening, but it ended up being the perfect time. If it was a full house. There was a great vibe that was going on. And I took full advantage of that.

Diane Foy 9:14

Yeah and you got to play the special showcase with private party kind of thing at Kensington Sound, AM to FM promotions and Niagara Falls Craft Distillers. Any of the other artists stand out for you that you saw?

Tamara Maddalen 9:29

Mike Walker, and his band name is MT Walker. So I got to see them play and they didn’t disappoint. They put on a wonderful, full 30 minute showcase that I really enjoyed and their style of music is right in my wheelhouse. It’s got that wonderful Americana kind of sound that I thought was really fantastic as well was Handsome Eli but they were all great even Kelly Fraser. She’s got a very unique sound. She plays this really unique drum and she’s just got this really cool look to her, was able to mingle with her a little bit afterwards. I basically stayed all the way to the end I even caught Wes Mason’s performance really, really wonderful. And I think her name is Remi Salmi. She had fantastic energy. She just got the room hopping, even the crowd that came to follow her and watch her change the dynamic in the room of it, which was a great change in flow. And she had a live performer playing a djembe drum on stage with her, which was really, really unexpected, and I really dug that and all in all, it was just such a privilege and so wonderful to be playing with all these other artists.

Donald Plant 10:40

Hi, my name is Donald Plant. I am from the band Encore from Winnipeg, Manitoba. We just wrapped up at Canadian Music Week this past Saturday, and it was a phenomenal experience we performed on Friday night at the Kensington Sound Studio AM to FM promotions performance showcase. We did a couple of tracks our new single is one of them. And it was a great time honestly, it was it was our first experience that Canadian Music Week. We were able to learn a lot throughout all the panels, we’re able to meet so many different people, including a lot of artists, similar to ourselves where you know, we’re from Canada, and we’re all just there to like, meet as many people as we can. And at the particular Kensington Sound Studio showcase. I am we actually knew this artist in advance Kelly Fraser. She was a performer that went on right before us. And to me, she’s a phenomenal performer. She is from Winnipeg, as well. I’ve met her one time before that day. And she and I are we’re pretty. We’re pretty close friends actually now like that. We met kind of each other a couple times. And I was just blown away by her ability by she was just performing by herself. And I found it very interesting that she did she did four songs and it was like by yourself at first just her voice with a drum. That was for the first two and then she added some tracks. I just thought that was very unique. Just being there by yourself not even having a second person to do anything with for the performance I thought that was very unique and just kind of shows her talent a little bit. But all in all have such a phenomenal experience with that artist. I was lucky enough to see Television on the Monday night as well. That was a very good time. They’ve been around for quite a while and I really liked them live. I thought that was really cool.

Diane Foy 12:22

You’re really young, how do you know them?

Donald Plant 12:28

I didn’t really know them to be honest at all before Canadian Music Week but I looked them up. When I got invited to the party and I listened to them. I listened to like all their music and stuff and I looked them up on YouTube just seen your live show. And I was like oh this is like a cool and this was a nice good classic rock show. And it was really interesting for me to be able to see them. Since I am only 19 years old. I was really lucky to just see like these people are kind of experienced and I think with I was with a lot of the panels I’ll get to in a sec as well. Just these people are experienced in the industry they know they have succeeded.

Donald Plant 13:00

And they’re industry professionals. I thought that was like a major, something major, like learning curve for me, like, just be able to like, see, like these people, you know, like what they’re saying it’s not just guesses, it’s them based of their experience succeeding in the music industry. I thought that was really interesting. So we’ll talk a little bit about the conference as well. And on Thursday, I went basically from like, 10 all the way until like 5pm. I was there just trying to learn how to say can experiencing just tons of different panels. The first one I went to, was balancing money and music, trying to support your career and that was with a couple different accountants from different of their own firms as well as a singer from like her band, and with that one that it was about sort of managing money and it was talking a lot about the risks. And you know, as an artist, everyone goes to those times nobody struggle which is what they discussed quite a bit. You know, as an artist you struggling between like wanting to work, just save as much money as you can.

Donald Plant 14:00

Versus investing all your time and money in to the music. And it’s a constant struggle for any kind of rising artists, I think. And from personal experience, for sure, I’ve realized that, you know, when it comes to like, financial stability, there’s always it’s always like a hard thing to do, like, well, I could work, you know, every single day all day long, but then my music won’t be as elevated and I’ll be able to put as much time and effort, you know, as much like really just time and effort, I guess, but time difference my own music writing, producing, performing anything it is. And they talked about, like, what risks to take, like, you know, knowing what is a good opportunity versus was, you know, not maybe a good opportunity. So, for example, the singer, their band, I can’t remember the name of the band off the top of my head, but they opened for Bon Jovi about a year and a half or two years ago, back is what they were saying. And they said that they get they didn’t get paid at all for that performance. You know, it’s open for Bon Jovi. But the reason I took it was because it was Bon Jovi.

Donald Plant 15:00

And I think that they really learned I think they said they learned a lot with the whole industry. And actually the name is “Good Night Sunrise” is a bad name they just opened for Bon Jovi. And they said when they went on like it was such a surreal experience for them being able to chat with, you know, Bon Jovi himself and just like, able to experience that big of a performance opportunity is that they didn’t get paid. But you know, sometimes they’re typically getting paid. They said around between 1 to $3,000 a night, and then they go from that to zero dollars. But it’s, it’s like they said it was a good risk they took because they felt as though you know, even though we’re not getting paid, we’re still benefiting beyond money. You know, it’s not just like, it’s not always just about money. It’s about for them. You got to open for Bon Jovi’s performing experience as a band, which developed a chemistry it builds up your name and your brand so you can promote it on Instagram, you know, you can sell merchandise and just really be able to network and just get yourself out there beyond you know, making money for performing. So that was kind of interesting to me like, and she talked a lot about different risks you can take like, oh, like, you know, do

Donald Plant 16:00

We tour in Europe we go over in the tour in Europe spending money on the flights spending money on the food, spending money on the hotels or Airbnb is how much money are we making per show? How much merch are you hypothetically going to sell per show? What rates you know, stuff like that. And she just she up for her perspective, as an artist, it really connected with me because I felt as though she said it, like every single artist goes through that tough time when you’re developing artists, you know, do I invest this much money into this? Or, like, if I lose money, what am I going to gain out of it? You know, like, kind of like putting it on a scale weighing, you know, social media promotion merch versus, you know, money and just it was interesting from an artist perspective to have her then I didn’t really go into that panel expecting to be spoken to by artists, which was something that I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. Like, this isn’t just like a couple, you know, business people. This is actual, a singer who’s you know, been around for and she’s in her background for like nine years. So it was really cool. The accountants there as well did he spoke about

Donald Plant 17:00

So along those lines of taking risks and just like, you know, that was more about accounting actually, when they’re saying it like maybe like, you know, when do you hire a professional accountant for like your business whether it’s you know, music business. So if your band when do you hire an accountant versus just doing yourself or getting your friend to do it and that was that was from an artist perspective, that was a little bit eye opening just because you know, like, some it’s like, when the singer was talking just about taking those risks and stuff like you can even ask you know, for financial adviser from these accountants like they can give you advice like, this maybe isn’t the best decision to lose, you know, three or $4,000 for a performance opportunity for four nights where you’re not making much. Maybe this is a good opportunity to go Yeah, you should definitely take that you know, you won’t make this much you’ll probably lose a couple hundred or even like $1,000 or even $1,000 a couple thousand you know, it’s still good opportunity because of this could come out of it, this will come out of it. And that was really interesting for me just being able to like see those people talk about it. And just talk about you know, money and just I guess there were Struggles with it right? Because money is everyone has to worry about money at some point if you’re in the rising artist release, but yeah, that was a really good experience for me as the first panel to CMW.

Donald Plant 18:10

The next one I went to was the master class with Linda Perry. And I want to say this is a big one for me. I’m a huge Linda Perry fan and even from her time and enough for non blondes to when she just herself as a writer, she’s a phenomenal writer and she’s written some seriously big tunes like I know a lot of people reference the what’s going on song as like her biggest piece of work just because it was so well claims throughout the 4 Non Blondes but I was really excited going into this one so I was lucky to be able to see her. What happened was she sort of listen to some people’s music and what she would do is critique them and she would say like okay, play it for me whether it’s through speakers or actually just playing live. And that was really cool because I thought it was kind of an eye opening thing you know, like this is a

Donald Plant 19:00

Writer telling you what’s you know, like, not just good things about yourself, but ways you can improve as a writer. I was interested to see just personally what her feedback would be for any artists, whether it’s with this rock or pop or even just like indie, like, sort of more acoustic vibe, there’s this one performer even performed on a harp. And she sang and played the harp and Linda Perry gave her $100. And that was very interesting. Just having her talk about like the harp and you know, it was just interesting when she’s tossed a $100 on the table, and the harp player was actually very talented. But yeah, Linda Perry. She broke into the songwriting. And it’s sort of a consistent thing I realized throughout all of CMW was, you know, it comes down to the music and I think Linda Perry, that’s like, the biggest thing I took out of that is it really just comes down to good, well written, likable catchy songs, and people just want to hear good music, you can have the best ability to brand yourself, you can have the best networking, you can, you know, you can be as attractive as possible, you can have all the money in the world, but really it just comes down to good music as a successful artist. And she said, You know, like, certain people will just try to force things and songs where it’s like you listen to the whole thing, the entire song you play through the whole thing. And you know, you like every word and the very end here one thing that pushes you off a little bit, and instantly that song turns from like, you know, one of the best songs you’ve heard, like, this is extremely well written song to like just a song that you know, is a good song, but this could have been better, something like that. And that goes for any song like you look at the production even with any song even, like for example Aerosmith. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, that’s just a phenomenally well written song. And you could produce that any way you want it. But at the core of it, it’s just such a good song that it’s always going to be liked, even if you produced it, like a pop song or like a hard rock song.

Donald Plant 21:00

Or like even like jazz, you could do anything you want with that song. And you could just still have it sounds just phenomenal song because the way it was written is just at the core of it. Like I said, it’s just truly such a good song. I think that’s what she really kind of got in my head. And I noticed that throughout the whole weekend there was it was just a reoccurring thing, make good music, be true to yourself and make good music. So to hear her speak about it and give her insight you know, on writers and producers and just songs and playing. It was for me just a phenomenal experience. I was lucky to see it. And then the next one we went to was how to become a social media ninja in an hour or under an hour. And this one was with this old manager. This one was pretty interesting was pretty packed. He was at the very beginning he actually said that he wasn’t going to go through the full thing because he said he ran out of time early on or something. But his name is Rick Barker. And he was very interesting. I found him kind of like funny actually like you the way he would approach himself and like talk about different things. He just showed us like, I think that one was cool because it really just showed us the power of social media. He showed us the power of social media. And I was very kind of opened. My eyes were open, I guess I could say, by his only a 40 minute period, he just he went to such detail and showed us like just how fast things can really happen. You know, he was saying that he was talking about Instagram and Twitter, primarily, like Twitter and Instagram, you saw people going live at the very beginning on Instagram, he would show like, you know, he has x amount of followers, if he goes live, every single one of those followers get notified. So instantly, you have people telling you like concerns telling you that this person is going live. So if anyone has interest in that person, they’re going to automatically click it. And then they go live and you just showed us like, how quick that can happen. So automatically, he had like, I think was like 50 or hundred people just joined live as soon as he went, whether it was a lot of people were inside that panel, but a lot of people weren’t. And then he said, you know, theres no person, Charlie the kid, he was in the panel as well. Rick was like, oh, Charlie go live, Charlie went live and all of Charlie’s followers, they got notified that Charlie was going live with Rick Barker. So you know, people click that. And they’re like, oh, who’s this? And maybe Charlie’s followers clicked it. And then they saw Rick gross regarding the clip on his account, they realize this is their old manager, wow, this is I like this guy. Like, they look into what he does. And then they follow him or even just different artists perspective, like, what he was going into was a lot of stuff. Like, as an artist, what we can do is go live with your fans. He said, that’s a big thing to do. So I think that was something I took out of it and the rest of the group. I went there with Daniel, my bass player, and we were talking like, that’s a good idea, like going live with fans. So that’s something we took out we’re definitely going to, you know, experiment with going live with different people like and if they like your music, they like your whole group or as an artist, I guess if you’re solo artist to like, all of their fans will get notified and they’re like, you know, this person is like a phenomenal artist. Like, I connect with them. You know, that I was saying like connection

Donald Plant 24:00

The music right, so let’s say for example, let’s say I go live on the band account on Instagram with one of our fans that has, you know, two or 3000 followers, let’s say, then all of their note of all of their sorry, followers are getting notified that they’re going live with us. And all of all of our followers are getting notified that we’re going live with them. And it’s just like that. When Charlie and Rick went live each, it was like almost 200 people on his live stream, not that quick within a span of like, two and a half minutes, 200 people. And I was like, wow, like, that’s like, I knew, like, everyone knows social media extremely powerful. But if you do certain things, right, you know, like, just, if you put like time into thinking about the sort of process of social media, it really does show how quick things can happen, how powerful you can truly be with it. And he actually didn’t go into like the full deal. He gave us links and he gave us access to his website, which has the full thing, but he really just

Donald Plant 25:00

Talked about, you know, Twitter, like, if you have so many thousands of followers or people you follow, for example, he said a lot of things can get lost, which is another interesting point I never actually thought about before. But he said he’s following like 20,000 people or something. So how many times a day do you think people post that are out of his 20,000 people he’s following. And he actually showed us this website you can go to, and you can just find it. And it shows you like how often people are tweeting, if you’re 20,000 people you’re following certain people you might look for might get lost in there. So he said, you should always be tweeting, he said, because you never understand. Like, for example, if we post let’s say, at 9am, that our song just came out, people will see it that are following us. A lot of people will, but a lot of people that follow us won’t because it gets lost if they’re following hundreds of people or even thousands of people like it gets lost, right? So like, if you have, you know, thousands of people you’re following, you’re going to see thousands of tweets. And if you only have one of those tweets as you then you’re not going to maybe be seen and then you don’t get that chance for that person to listen to your music. And what if they really, really like that song where they get so invested, they come in this comes to your show, you know, like, who knows how connected people can get to a song. If they never hear it was a big point you kind of brought up and he said, you know, you really have to push yourself and you should be tweeting the same thing like six times a day or doesn’t the exact same thing, but it could be like, our song came out, check it out, like a Spotify link, and then you could put like, we’re super happy with the reaction we’ve got so far, just constantly be uploading on Instagram and Twitter and just using social media as a tool to really boost yourself in a way it was the biggest thing I learned out of that. And yeah, it was just really cool. I’m definitely going to the website and check out the full presentation he has for the social media ninja thing it’s interesting for him. He said. He went from sort of zero to 100 very quick. He said, you know, he was addicted to crack cocaine, like 20 or 30 years ago. And now, he’s Taylor Swift’s old manager and he’s doing a lot of stuff with social media lots of

Donald Plant 27:00

Several other artists who works on to launch artists, just teach them about social media and just really how to use it, you know, and it just shows you know, if you put time and effort into things, and you can connect with people on a personal level with your music, and you’re able to, you know, like have them see your music online. It shows you how powerful it really is. So I thought that was really cool. The next one I talked about was maybe the Poo Bear interview, I thought that was phenomenal.

Donald Plant 27:26

Just for me as a as a fan of Poo Bear. And as an artist, going into sort of the same things as Linda Perry, where he was a phenomenal songwriter. He’s a phenomenal songwriter, and they’re telling us the same things to be successful artists, there’s so many things that go into it, but the number one most important thing that can ever actually come from you is good quality music for anyone doesn’t know, Poo Bear was and he’s a songwriter. He’s written for so many people. He’s primarily known for writing for Justin Bieber, he wrote, “What Do You Mean”, and “Where Are You Now” and when I went there, I wasn’t honestly sure what to expect that was over in the Osgoode Ballroom East those pretty big, I think is like the biggest conference hall there. And I’d never been there throughout the whole day until that point. And Nile Rodgers was there as well. Nile Rodger is a phenomenal writer I was lucky enough to meet Nile Rodgers actually, after the Poo Bear interview and just chat with him for a couple seconds as he was on his way out, but I just said like he’s, he’s worked with Nile Rodger, sort of Madonna, he’s worked with Chic and he’s just a phenomenally well renowned writer. But going back to the Poo Bear interview, I was very impressed with how down to earth he was. I feel like a lot of times people can get kind of not fool of themselves but kind of fool themselves and sometimes people can get very, like, almost arrogant or something if they feel like they’ve done to too much. But with Poo Bear, I felt as though he was such a down to earth, kind hearted person and I genuinely mean that like I from the minute he walked in, he started greeting everyone. And the first thing he always says which is kind of funny is happy birthday he says that at the first of any conversation. He’s been saying it like for 10 years, he will say happy birthday.

Diane Foy 28:59

Can someone in that room would have a birthday?

Donald Plant 29:01

I’m not sure. I think what happened was, he said happy birthday and someone in that room I guess might have a birthday. And he says happy birthday and he said it’s stuck with him. So now it would be like weird if he didn’t say it. And people would be like, oh, like, why is he not saying it? Like? Um, but yeah, so I just thought that was kind of funny as it kind of brought him down to a personal level, I think is what he said to like, he said, He’s saying that he seemed like this is like my true self. I’m kind of goofy. You know, I’m not super, super serious person, but kind of goofy. And so I’ll say happy birthday, and I was just kind of stuck with him. And, you know, he’s, I think someone in that room I should do a birthday. So that’s kind of funny. He was just such a down to earth guy. He said, you know, writing for artists for him start off at young age. He was very poor. And he said his mom and him had to move and live on the street for almost a year. And he said that what he did was used to listen to Stevie Wonder. And right away actually, that sparked a connection because I’m a huge, huge fan of Stevie Wonder I listened to the for me and particular

Donald Plant 30:00

Actually, I’ve learned a lot from Stevie Wonder’s production I love his writing as well but his production his high hot beats are so interesting to me and I use I use like influence from him because in all my music now I’m using different types of high hot beats. So if you listen for example, our new song we just released cross line the high had been the pre chorus is so different. It’s not like a basic young. It’s something and it’s really, it’s a melodic high happy and you know, Michael Jackson had a similar style doing like, something like that Stevie Wonder, to me was the first time I ever heard it was like, Oh, that’s very unique. So he started talking about how he grew up with Stevie Wonder and how he wasn’t supposed to sort of hiding under the blanket listening to Stevie Wonder music at nighttime and stuff. And It was just interesting. He said, like, that really got him into like, the writing part. He said, he just listened to the same Stevie Wonder song over and over again. I think it was, I think was I just called to say I love you. And that’s like a phenomenal Stevie Wonder song if anyone doesn’t know it.

Donald Plant 31:02

But yeah, he just said like when he grew up writing, he started writing and writing. And he was never the best singer. But a lot of people there actually started talking about how good listener he really was. But he said when he was writing for people at first, it was just because they want to express themselves. And he didn’t feel like he was ever going to go anywhere. But you just write and write and write, trying to write a song, your song a day kind of thing. And eventually, someone started recognizing that he had all these songs, and he started pitching other people and saying, you know, hey, like Poo Bear, I have a band or I have an artist that could really use this song, I think they would really fit it. And so he started developing those kind of connections at a young age. I think it was like, he was 15, he said, and he had like a number one hit song he wrote was on the radio, being played like every day, and his teacher. So he told him, I remember this quote, he said, He’s like, my teacher told me, you know, you’re never going to make it big as an artist. And he said, what do you mean like I have, I have a hit song on the radio right now and he’s 15 years old. And as an artist, like that’s a 15 year old to have a hit song on the radio being played every single day?

Donald Plant 32:00

It’s just like, I can’t imagine I’m a 19. And like, I can’t imagine it being 15 and having that kind of accomplishment, but he’s very humble about it. It wasn’t that he was like very confident or throwing any of the success around. It was just you so humble. He said, like, you know, I saw a lot of love. And later on, they talked about Justin Bieber quite a bit, and how that kind of developed and he said he first met Justin, a couple years back, and then he started writing with him a little bit and eventually like, he does song writing with artists. And he said he was writing for artists. He said, Justin Bieber is the only artist. He’s really developed such an emotional connection with like he went in to say how the reason you are Justin Bieber so much is because she understands Justin Bieber as a person can emotionally relate to the words that Poo Bear’s writing. And Poo Bear as a writer, can mostly relate to Justin Bieber and how he’s how his emotions are feeling because they both started such a young age. So I think they have some emotional connection that he said he’s never felt this touch with any of the writers or any other artists. And Nile Rodgers when he was talking with us.

Donald Plant 33:00

Well, he said, Poo Bear to Justin Bieber is sort of like Nile Rodgers and Madonna. He wrote Nile Rodgers from Madonna wrote like, “Like a Virgin” was one of her biggest pieces. And they did so much writing together and who were Justin Bieber writing even that new Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber song, which came on that same day, actually, because it was a Thursday and on the Friday morning at midnight was Justin Beiber and Ed Sheeran’s, “I Don’t Care” the new song. And he just seemed very down to earth and like, just very humble. I think that’s, I think that’s very for me, just interesting and very

Donald Plant 33:33

I don’t know, it just it’s impressive. I guess I could say like, he holds himself he seems very nice and very, you know, outgoing, like, I met him very, very, very real. I just shook his hand and said like, thank you for coming out and speaking and he said, like, said Thank you brother. He was just very nice and he was very just a kind person. I think that goes a long way in the industry as well. You know, but he’s written like number one hits you know, you can go you go radio right now, you’ll hear that Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber song similar to what I was saying before the Linda Perry thing like Songs, careers, writing are just good songs. They’re not he’s not writing songs, they’re being pushed with so much money that they have to be successful. It’s just that he’s writing good songs that people want to hear. You know, he’s writing songs that can connect with people on an emotional, even, like a personal standpoint. Like, for example, what do you mean? He was saying, you know, a lot of people can relate that in different ways. It’s not like you’re writing a song, it’s just like a, like a little jingle, you know, you’re writing a song. It’s a very emotional, very personal song. And it’s about you know, he said, adults can relate to it in this way, and children point to it in this way. And he said, You know, he goes to Justin Bieber’s concerts where you performing on the purpose tour, and he said, you know, for his first couple tours, it would just be Justin Bieber performing the like, you know, younger kids and younger crowd with their dads or moms or parents or someone supervising but they’re not like no, no the music now sing along. But he said when you saw the purpose tour with “What Do You Mean” it sounds like that and sorry. He said, you know, he started to see like more parents coming. It wasn’t just younger people. It was all age’s crowd. All singing it.

Donald Plant 35:00

It wasn’t supervision anymore It was just actually being invested in being involved in the concert because you can relate to that song different ways and I think the power of music really being able to you know connected people of all ages and there’s so many artists across so many writers to like people like Ryan Tedder is another phenomenal example of a great writer, you know, just, those are right music that can relate to people. And I think it’s just like, it doesn’t matter if you’re writing for a certain crowd. Or if you’re writing for an all age’s crowd or anything, right? Music is personal to you. And if you write music that people can relate to, it’s a successful song, even if only 100 people hear it, and 100 people can hear it, and like it and connect with it. That’s a success because it’s ultimately connecting with them. Right. And I think that that’s what Poo Bear was kind of trying to get out. Even Linda Perry, you know, like, the more connectable or like ability they have to connect with that song connect with you. On the personal and emotional standpoint, the more successful your song is going to be is a big thing I learned out of that

Diane Foy 35:57

That’s it, it’s all about connections, no matter how you’re doing it, that’s how you get ahead whether it’s you make a connection through your music, you make a connection through social media or you make a connection when you meet people one on one, or when you’re on stage, it’s, it’s all connection. And the more you can do that, the more you draw people into you at what you’re doing.

Donald Plant 36:14

I’m just going to sort of reiterate, I guess, like, what I learned as a couple of big like, major points is just, you know, using social media like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, knowing about how quick all that happens with different like, you know, algorithms and like just like, all like the connections you can really develop on there. Just using that to your advantage is going to help you so much and I think it all kind of ties together going into what Linda Perry and Poo Bear were saying, you know, just making good music, the songs have to be like, good song at the core of it. You can produce it however you want. You can have anyone singing or playing it or whatever. But as your good, well written song to connect with people. If you have that ability, connect with people, and then going through the social media thing networking yourself in proper ways. Using those same connections, I think it’s just that’s how that’s what they were trying to get out. And that’s saying, know how to make it in music industry. I think that was the biggest thing I took out of it as an artist, I mean, just as a songwriter as well.

Diane Foy 37:08

Where can people find you online?

Donald Plant 37:11

I’m from the band Encore. We just released our single cross the line on April 29. And you can find us on all Instagram, socials, you know, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, everything. It’s @encore_bnd sort of like band without the A. But yeah, you can find us on there. If you want to go to the music, go for it. But yeah, thank you so much for having me on this podcast. It was an awesome experience to be able to talk about what I learned at CMW this year.

Diane Foy 37:48

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