'Vibe of love' after Taylor Swift donates to Toronto music school
Published Thursday, August 29, 2019 11:41AM EDT
Pop superstar Taylor Swift has donated an undisclosed sum to a community music school after its talented young pupils featured on a track off her new multi-million selling album “Lover.”
The Regent Park School of Music in Toronto is sampled on the Swift song “It's Nice to Have a Friend.”
The youth choir can be heard playing instruments and singing backup on the tune.
The collaboration came about thanks to Toronto music producer Frank Dukes.
“Taylor Swift’s people called the school on Friday last week when her album came out and made a generous donation, with the intent of it inspiring other people to donate and give,” Richard Marsella, executive director at Regent Park School of Music, told CTV’s Your Morning.
“There’s a real vibe of love right now and generosity that she helped spark with Frank Dukes and this gesture.
“This is a real vote of confidence from the biggest artist in the world right now and we’re not taking that lightly.”
Grammy-winning producer Dukes, whose more famous collaborators include The Weeknd, Post Malone, Camila Cabello and Kendrick Lamar, was introduced to the students through Rana Chatterjee, an associate creative director at advertising agency BBDO Toronto.
“We brought 14 of our students to his studio last December to work on his Parkscapes project,” Marsella explained.
“From there we have 11 tracks that Frank Dukes composed for our kids and it sounds so raw and I think genuine when you get that human feel.”
Parkscapes was recorded over three days as an initiative for Dukes’ Kingswood Music sampling library.
Licensing and publishing proceeds from the use of samples from the library go toward funding the school’s music program.
Marsella explained that the school works with 1,000 students across Toronto, in particular the Regent Park and the Jane and Finch neighbourhoods. It constantly fundraises for its annual $2 million budget, he said.
The students on the new Taylor track range in age from nine to 18.
“We had this feeling that Frank Dukes would help sell it to other artists that he works with and he happened to be working with Taylor Swift,” Marsella said.
“It puts us on a world stage all of a sudden and we’re honoured to be here to share this model of a community music school which is highly subsidized lessons.”
--- With files from The Canadian Press