Our founder, Laura Simpson, talks about creating fairer music industry with Gen W. Learn more about the early days of The Syrup Factory and what Laura is doing now with Side Door!
We are so excited to share that we were awarded with the ECMA for 2019 Company of the Year. We would like to thank ECMA and our community for the recognition. We would also like to take this time to thank all of the incredible artists and industry folks that we are fortunate enough to work with.
Congratulations to all of the ECMA award winners and nominees. We applaud your work and recognize all of your efforts. Extra special congratulations to our clients, Ben Caplan (Songwriter of the Year) and Reeny Smith (R&B Album of the Year & Bucky Adams Memorial Award) for their successes this weekend.
For the full list of ECMA recipients visit: https://www.ecma.com/news/ecma-2019-music-industry-award-winners
The ECMA Nominations were announced today and we’re so excited to be included in the list of nominations and we’re even more excited for all the wonderful artists we’ve worked with who have also been recognized. Congratulations everyone!
The Syrup Factory - Company of the Year
Our mission is to empower artists. We have grown a lot in the last year and we wouldn’t be here without the support of the artists we are fortunate enough to work with. Thank you all, this industry wouldn’t exist without you. We love you.
Gabrielle Papillon: Three nominations
Solo Recording of the Year
Songwriter of the Year
Song of the Year “When The Heart Attacks”
Reeny Smith: Two Nominations
Bucky Adams Memorial Award
R&B Soul Recording of the Year
Christina Martin: Fan’s Choice Video of the Year
Cameron Nickerson : Country Recording of the Year
Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald:two nominations
Gaelic Artist of the Year
Instrumental Recording of the Year
2018 was an exciting year for The Syrup Factory, doubling the workload that we took on the previous year. It was a year of change, celebration and growth. We are grateful for all the wonderful artists, teams, and service providers we worked with and can’t wait to continue these relationships in 2019. Here are some highlights from the wonderful artists we’ve worked with this year. Be sure to sample their music through our Spotify playlist!
In April of 2018, Sarah Jamer became Co-Owner of The Syrup Factory. Laura Simpson handed over the day-to-day management of clients to Sarah, in order to concentrate on building fair performance opportunities for artists at Side Door. Laura remains as co-owner and advisor of The Syrup Factory.
The Syrup Factory took home Company of The Year during Nova Scotia Music Week! Artists we were fortunate enough to work with who also took home awards include: Gabrielle Papillon, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, Ben Caplan, Folk Album of the Year, Christina Martin, Pop Album of the Year, and Reeny Smith, African Nova Scotia Artist of the Year. Nominations included Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset, Cameron Nickerson, and Miller-MacDonald-Cormier. We celebrated with high kicks, as always.
The Syrup Factory was founded with the principal that the artist comes first. Our mission remains to empower artists to focus on their art, while we provide support for their projects.
Our two largest engagements of 2018 included supporting Ben Caplan with the release of Old Stock, the album based of the award-winning play Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, and Christina Martin with the release of Impossible to Hold. These engagements focused on project and team management, digital marketing, tour support, and administrative support.
This year marked our expansion of services to artists outside of the East Coast. They included Johnny Coull, from Montreal who released his album, That Cold Year, and Sandra Bouza, from Toronto who released her debut EP, Three Years.
We conducted an East Coast publicity campaign with digital marketing for Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset who released their album, Half Girl, Half Ghost. Reviews and appearances included: Global, CTV, Bob Mersereau, and Canadian Beats. They received four nominations from Music Nova Scotia in their first year!
Ian Janes released his single, ‘Can’t Remember Never Loving You’ the track he co-wrote with Byron Hill. The track was featured in the hit TV show, Nashville, on CMT. We worked with Ian to promote the song to both his existing audience and the Nashville fan base. This was a really interesting project where we focused on directing fans to Spotify using organic reach and paid advertising. For organic reach, we joined multiple Nashville fan groups on Facebook that had high user engagement. We then started sharing the song and acoustic video by Ian in these groups and having conversations with Nashville fans. We tracked the results using Spotify, and we watched Ian’s fanbase develop in the US and the UK. Almost a year later he is maintaining the fans that we gained from the campaign with his highest listening cities being in the US.
We supported with Cameron Nickerson on the release of two singles from his album, Detours. The singles included ‘Gettin’ Out of Dodge’ and ‘Rainy Day Thinkin’. We partnered with Country Liberty for a special long-weekend merch package that included a Spotify playlist created by Cameron Nickerson. Sara Russell from our team designed his single artwork for both releases and conducted digital marketing campaigns for both.
The Syrup Factory supported a brand new group, The Muddle, by developing a branding package and online presence. This was an exciting creative project to utilize our discovery interviews to help develop their brand. We also created a lyric video for them, which was also a first for us.
We continue to provide artists with representation at conferences like Nova Scotia Music Week and the ECMAs, so they can focus more on their performances. This year, we supported Cameron Nickerson, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, Gabrielle Papillon, Ian Janes and Reeny Smith in various ways, including making connections before the event, conducting meetings, creating and presenting promotional materials and doing post-event follow ups and reporting. This was also the first year where we experimented with virtual conference representation, something that we will continue in 2019 to provide off-site support to artists in need.
The Syrup Factory hosted workshops for artists in Halifax. To kick off the year, we conducted a ‘Get your $h!T Together’ workshop with guest artist, Cassie Josephine, looking at how to plan for releases, social media best practices and team building. We also hosted our conference workshop, with special guest, T Thomason, giving tips and tricks for a successful conference weekend.
We increased the availability of our two hour in-depth consulting bookings - what we call “120 sessions” - in order to support more artists. These one-off sessions often focused on reviews of social media, branding, release strategies, team building, or strategic planning. Thank you to all of our 120 artists, we are so proud of the work you are doing!
See you in 2019!
We can’t wait for a new year of projects going into 2019. We have some exciting new services planned, if you’d like to stay up to date, please join our mailing list. If you are interested in working with us in 2019, please get in touch with Sarah at email@example.com.
Combining a love for rootsy maritime music with an adoration for the outlaw country heroes of old, Cameron Nickerson crafts a sound that’s both familiar and wholly unique. His debut album, Detours, released in 2018, recalls modern country troubadours like Sturgill Simpson while remaining firmly planted in the whiskey-soaked tales of legends like Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Nickerson’s latest single, Rainy Day Thinkin’ is a long, dark exploration of relationships and loss, and is described by the singer-songwriter as “a simple sad song with a glimpse of hope.” The track starts off with a slow, crooning crawl before exploding like a barrelling freight train near the end. Exceptionally personal, yet wholly relatable, Nickerson walks a fine line between crisis and catharsis, inviting the listener to sit down and commiserate. Nominated for Country Artist of the Year by Music Nova Scotia, Nickerson has fully embraced his solo career and shows no signs of slowing down.
“I have two goals with my songwriting,” Nickerson says. “One is to fuel the fire inside of me that needs to write songs for some unknown reason. The second is to always tell the truth in my lyrics, what I believe and hope people can relate in their own different ways.”
Stream the emotional new single below, as well as a new live performance from Cameron, and keep watch for upcoming tour dates!
Music Nova Scotia announced their nominations for the upcoming Nova Scotia Music Week. We are delighted to announce that The Syrup Factory received its first nomination for Company of The Year! Sara Russell, from our team was nominated for visual artist of the year and many of the artists we work with were also nominated for multiple awards. We’re looking forward to a busy week during NSMW 2018.
The Syrup Factory: Company of the Year
Sara Russell was nominated for Visual Artist of the year 🎉
Congrats to all nominees and extra special congrats to the incredible artists we've had the pleasure of supporting:
Gabrielle Papillon: Recording of the year, SOCAN Songwriter of the year, Solo Recording of the year, Pop Recording of the year
Christina Martin: Pop Recording of the Year, Solo Recording of the Year, Music Video of the Year
Reeny Smith: African Nova Scotia Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Music Video of the Year, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year
Ben Caplan: Folk Recording of the Year, Solo Recording of the Year
Cameron Nickerson: Country Recording of the Year
Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset: Rock Recording of the Year, Recording of the Year, Music Video of the Year, Group Recording of the Year
Miller | MacDonald | Cormier: Traditional / Roots Recording of the Year
"The live video doesn’t exactly leave us with any concerns for his solo career. Nickerson just rips through an existential crisis with the infectious sort of blues-rock gusto that’d give Ryan Adams a run for his money." - Alex Cook, The East
Cameron Nickerson releases his second single, 'Gettin' Out of Dodge' off his debut solo album, Detours. The single is accompanied by a live performance video recorded by Analog Songs at codapop studios.
Love doesn't always come with a happy ending. It gets messy and drawn out. Truths become lies and vulnerability exposes the darkest sides of our souls. The grey area that follows, somewhere between love and loss, is where you'll find Matt Steele and the Corvette Sunset's debut record.
Half Girl Half Ghost captures the tumultuous trifecta of lost love, mental illness and addiction. Part autobiographical, part fiction, the album explores these themes in the band's signature power-pop rock’n’roll style. Through Steele's reflective lyrics, the band takes an honest look at coping with emotional turmoil, and the doubt, anxiety and heartbreak that comes with navigating relationships.
“For this record, we put together a set of songs that captured how unexpectedly dramatic my life had become from the time before my mother’s death in 2014 until right before things started looking up again," confesses Steele. "I wanted to pay it forward for all the songs that got me through those strange, heavy times.”
The creation of Half Girl Half Ghost coincides with an important phase of self-discovery for Steele. Inspired to help people better manage their mental health challenges, Steele has embarked on a career path in healthcare, following in his late mother’s footsteps. He's now enrolled in therapeutic recreation at Dalhousie University and volunteers with the Abbie Lane Memorial Hospital Mental Health Program.
Half Girl Half Ghost also illustrates the importance of feeling alive, putting old worries aside and simply having fun. Because, as Steele sees it, "you have to take care of yourself first and maybe that means being a little over the top in the process of finding your way back to normal."
Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset will officially release Half Girl Half Ghost at Halifax's Seahorse Tavern June 7th followed by dates in Saint John and Charlottetown. For more information visit Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset on Facebook.
- PRESS RELEASE BY JILL CHAPPELL
Make it a partnership. Build an empire.
The Syrup Factory's Laura Simpson and Sarah Jamer partner up for sweet success
We are delighted to announce The Syrup Factory is forming an official partnership between Founder Laura Simpson and Director of Artist Strategy, Sarah Jamer. Simpson will stay on as President/Advisor while Jamer will head up the company and be the primary lead for all clients.
“I’ve been working with Sarah since 2016. She was a recent business grad who shared my vision of serving artists based on their immediate needs on a budget that they could afford," says Simpson. "Not only has she gained the trust and respect of the artists we work with, she continues to find innovative and intuitive solutions to their needs.”
Sarah Jamer was promoted to The Syrup Factory's Director of Artist Strategy in July 2017. She is a Saint Mary’s University Sobey School of Business graduate and holds a diploma in Business Administration from the Nova Scotia Community College. Jamer brings immense value to The Syrup Factory's artists with her diverse background in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship. She plays a critical role in strategy development helping artists better connect with their audiences. Sarah's current roster of artists includes Gabrielle Papillon, Christina Martin, Ben Caplan and Ian Janes.
"I'm incredibly grateful for Laura's support and encouragement over the last two years," says Jamer. "To be able to work with someone who shares the same vision and values as you is a special thing. To be trusted enough to be made a partner to execute that vision is truly humbling."
The Syrup Factory is entering its third year of business providing artist services on a contract basis to help promote artists and release their work. Simpson and Jamer team up with independent contractors to provide quality service to assist with projects, including Sara Russell for graphic design and digital marketing, and Jill Chappell for public relations.The Syrup Factory partners with labels, artist managers, booking agents and distributors to assist with album, video and single releases, tours and merchandise management.
The Syrup Factory will be at the East Coast Music Awards May 3-6 in Halifax. Be sure to check out our showcasing artists: Christina Martin, Gabrielle Papillon, Ian Janes, Jody Upshaw, T. Thomason and Christine Campbell. See you at the show!