The Prophets of Music announce first recipients of music scholarship program

Article // Jodi Brak 
Published // 11 August 2016 // Beatroute

After many months of preparation, The Prophets of Music Emerging Artist Scholarship Program unveiled the first three artists who will be taking part in the brand-new initiative.

The Ashley Hundred creates a rich and colourful palette of textures while surrounded on stage with a mixture of instruments and effects. The group, colourfully describing themselves as folkadelic musicians, feel this opportunity really shows they made the right decision in taking their music career seriously. // Photo: Jodi Brak
Dan Owen, owner of OCL Studios, has been a longtime partner of the Prophets of Music program, and acted as emcee at the special reveal event in the National Music Centre announcing the 2016 participants in the Emerging Artist Scholarship Program. // Photo: Jodi Brak
After the announcement, the artists taking part on the program, such as Brett McCrady, had a chance to explore the National Music Centre, with many unable to resist a chance to play a few of the hundreds of historic instruments in its collection. // Photo: Jodi Brak

The Ashley Hundred, Rend and Brett McCrady receive mentorship and support to further their musical careers

CALGARY — After many months of preparation, The Prophets of Music Emerging Artist Scholarship Program unveiled the first three artists who will be taking part in the brand-new initiative.

In a special reveal event at the newly-opened National Music Centre, Dan Owen of OCL Studios announced that Calgary folk-pop group The Ashley Hundred, beachside pop wizard Brett McCrady and Edmonton based alt-rockers Rend will be the first three Albertan artists to take part in the program.

The Prophets of Music program offers mentorship, studio time at OCL Studios to record an EP, and amazing networking opportunities for artists in the province at a pivotal point in their career.

“Artists who are selected as part of the program are provided with mentorship and education in music fundamentals, artistic development, performance, production, business essentials and brand development”, said Dan Owen, owner of OCL Studios. “We went through an exhaustive process of going out for applications, and we had 48 different artists submit. It was tough to sift through all of those applications, but these are the three that came through. We are just at the start of this program and it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Beyond the music, artists in the program will get the chance to learn more about the business side of the industry, as well as areas such as promotion and public relations which may not be the first thing on the mind of a talented musician.

“This feels like it is going to be such a rewarding experience. It’s more than just a grant,”says Brett McCrady, one of the Calgary-based artists in the program. “You get a grant and you say, ‘Okay, cool, now what do I do with this?’ but this gives you a team of people who are behind you, support that would be really hard to come by otherwise, people from so many different backgrounds that I would never have met. It just felt like a home run, like I knocked it out of the park even though I figured I was going to miss the swing.”

Being a part of the Prophets of Music program puts these artists in touch with some of the biggest names in Canadian recording, such as Vancouver-based producer Howard Redekopp who has worked with Tegan and Sara as well as The New Pornographers, and Scott Henderson, a Canadian talent manager and vocal coach. They will also receive mentoring from Wayne Logan, a Canadian entertainment lawyer who can teach them how to read through the fine print of record deals, performance contracts and licensing agreements.

Carol-Lynne Quinn, lead vocalist of Rend, said, “Honestly, it’s just been such a thrill thinking about what’s coming next, working with these amazingly talented people, learning so many new things, and of course, making an awesome recording!”

At the end of the program, each artist will be given the opportunity to record a professionally produced and mastered album at OCL Studios in Calgary.

These musicians will also be brought into the Prophets of Music Society, working with the next trio of artists who are nominated for the program in 2017. McCrady says one of the most exciting parts of this opportunity for him is becoming part of a network of mentors for up-and-coming musicians.

“What’s very cool about it as well is they are very focused on creating almost a family around this whole program,” he said. “Once we are done in the program, we’ll have an ongoing relationship with the future acts that go through the program, kind of transitioning into a mentor role.”

The unveiling of the Prophets of Music program marks another step forward in providing opportunities for Albertan musicians to receive the support they need to advance their music and showcase the exceptional talent and culture being fostered in the province.