Class Is In Session!

Oct 26, 2015

It’s finally that time! We’re so excited to welcome the three winners of the inaugural Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class to Toronto! They’re on the fast track to learning the ins and outs of the music business with Canada’s Music Incubator at Coalition Music. They’ll also be playing a showcase for key members of the Canadian music industry at hmv Underground!

We caught up with Derrival, Fortunate Ones, and Slow Leaves before they hopped on a plane to Toronto!

You’re about to embark on a whirlwind week of mentorship and development. What, specifically, do you hope to get out of the program?

Derrival: With so many amazing workshops throughout the week it’s hard to narrow down what we hope to get from the program.  The most important part of this program to us is the connections.  We will be meeting with so many people that could hugely boost our career.  Since we’re a young band, we are still missing some big elements to our team like a booking agent, record label and manager, and this experience will help introduce us to the best of the best. We are also hoping to develop a strong confidence in our performance and songwriting skills.

Fortunate Ones: We’re really hoping to expand on what we’ve already learned about the music industry in every aspect… We’re particularly excited about the workshops regarding touring and performing. That’s ultimately what we’re most passionate about. We are also interested in learning how to best manage our time day to day, and how to best approach multiple tasks, giving each objective the time and effort required.

Slow Leaves: I’m hoping to get a better handle on managing my music related affairs. I have a lot of room to improve in managing tour budgets/logistics and keeping good accounting records for tax time. I also hope to connect with some potential future team members i.e. manager, agent, label, etc.

Having seen the week’s curriculum, what are you most excited to learn about?


Shane: I am particularly excited about the producer workshop with Gavin Brown.  We admire all the Canadian artists he has worked with and are looking forward to hearing what insight he might have on how we can progress our music.

Daniel: I’m really excited to learn more about how we can best go about developing relationships with new connections.

Fortunate Ones:

Andrew: I think it’ll be interesting to hear how we can improve our social media presence. It’ll also be great working on songwriting and production. To be immersed in so many important elements of the industry is an exciting prospect and we plan to sponge up as much information as we possibly can.

Slow Leaves: I’m most excited for the producer/songwriter mentoring session. I’m looking forward to learning more about recording techniques, a process that I really enjoy.

Are there any aspects of the program that make you nervous?


Daniel: For me, as excited as I am to meet many new people, I’m also nervous. Many of the people that are a part of this program have been idols for us, and it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to know we’ll be around them in a relatively vulnerable environment as we develop our band.

Fortunate Ones:

Catherine: The thing that I’m most excited to learn about is also what makes me the most nervous, which is performance! Criticism can be difficult to digest, even though I’m totally aware there’s so much room for growth. I’ve got so much to learn!

Slow Leaves: I’m nervous about all the attention and the need to be “on” for much of the time. I don’t usually have such a packed schedule of meeting people and require a certain amount of “me” time. However, I’m excited to make the most out of this experience.

Your bags are all packed for a week in Toronto, but you can’t forget __________! (What’s something you absolutely must not forget to pack?)


Daniel: Hair product – can’t live without it.

Deven: Toe-shoes for morning runs.

Glen: Swim shorts, every time we travel together, if someone forgets swim shorts we end up staying in a place with a pool and an awesome slide.

Fortunate Ones: Underpants! Vitamins, a good book, yoga mat & a water bottle.

Slow Leaves: I pack pretty light and I don’t have too many must-have items beyond my required gear (guitar, pedals, phone, etc.). Anything else can usually be replaced along the way if forgotten.

As touring musicians, you’re on the road quite a bit. What’s your go-to on-the-road song by a Canadian artist?

Derrival: It’s hard to answer, as there are so many good choices! Maybe Hey Rosetta?  There is nothing like driving through the immensely beautiful provinces while listening to Yer Fall.

Fortunate Ones: Anything by Old Man Luedecke, but specifically, My Hands are on Fire. We play a lot of Bahamas, Jenn Grant & The Weather Station! And Joel Plaskett always gets the car going a little too fast on the highway.

Slow Leaves: I don’t really have a go-to song on the road, though as far as Canadian music goes, Doug Paisley’s album Constant Companion usually gets a good spin along the way.


Now that you know them a little bit better, go ahead and follow the Class of 2015 on their journey!

Derrival: @derrival

Fortunate Ones: @FortunateOnesNL

SlowLeaves: @SlowLeaves


Good luck to the Class of 2015 as they begin their journey to becoming “JUNO-ready”!



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