Fanshawe marks pandemic anniversary with “Quaran-tunes” playlist


On March 17, 2021, Fanshawe released a new Spotify playlist titled "Quaran-tunes" to mark the one-year anniversary of the first pandemic lockdown that triggered the shift to remote delivery at the College.

The playlist includes more than 50 songs from 28 artists, who are students or alumni of the College’s Music Industry Arts (MIA) and Audio Post-Production (APR) program. “Quaran-tunes” is Fanshawe’s follow-up to the Fanshawe MIA’s JUNO History playlist that was shared during this same week in 2019 as part of JUNO celebrations in London.

The playlist was developed with three goals in mind:

  1. Create something Fanshawe students, staff and community could enjoy;
  2. Mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic lockdown in a positive manner;
  3. Support MIA and APR students and alumni whose musical endeavors were turned upside down by the pandemic.

Recent graduates of the MIA and APR programs, like members of pop rock band Sneaker Club, lost momentum when the pandemic hit as live performances came to a screeching halt. “We were actually going to be playing our first headline show in April, however, the pandemic shut the hopes of that down pretty quickly,” shares Sneaker Club’s drummer Bryan Dowd (MIA 2019, APR 2020), whose track ‘Seventeen’ is featured on the playlist.

“The pandemic has impacted everyone; the music industry has been hit particularly hard, and live music was hit the hardest,” states Dan Brodbeck, Grammy-nominated and JUNO-winning Music Industry Arts program coordinator.

While plans changed, artists still tried to make the most of the situation, focusing on improving their playing and songwriting and taking opportunities where they came. “With recording setups being more cost-effective than ever before, a lot of our grads, along with many music professionals, took the opportunity to complete and release new material. A lot of studio colleagues found that the recording end didn’t get nearly as affected as live performers and live technicians so many decided to turn their attention to recording and releasing music and we are all grateful for it!” states Brodbeck.

“[The] pandemic impacted [my music] in a different way than expected or planned. I am continually improving as a songwriter,” shares Sarina Haggarty (MIA 2020) whose tracks ‘Easy Tiger’ and ‘Not Over You Yet’ are featured on the playlist. “The pandemic did in fact give me more chances to have quick gigs online and make profit from them,” continues Haggarty.

Brodbeck shared, “I was extremely proud of our students and grads for taking an obviously bad situation and turning it into something positive. I was fortunate enough to be involved in a few of these releases myself. ‘Not Over You Yet’ from Sarina Haggarty was one that I mixed and mastered but was engineered and produced by Alex Emrich, an MIA graduate from three years ago. Two of our other professors were involved in the production, engineering, mix and master of ‘Easy Tiger.’ I have worked with many grads as peers after they graduate. To be there when they enter the program, teach them, then help them start their careers feels great.”

The playlist comes on the heels of seven Fanshawe alumni being nominated, or involved with projects nominated, for nine 2021 JUNOS.

  • Dubmatix (Jesse E. King, Recording Engineering 1993) - Reggae Recording of the Year;
  • George Seara (Recording Engineering 1997) - Recording Engineer of the Year;
  • John “Beetle” Bailey (Recording Engineer 1990) - Recording Engineer of the Year;
  • Half Moon Run (Devin Portielje, Music Industry Arts 2009) - Group of the Year;
  • Justin Meli (MIA, 2015) engineered “Dizzy” which is nominated for Alternative Album of the Year ;
  • Darren McGill (MIA 2015) worked on “This Place Sucks Ass” and “Pray for It” nominated for Alternative Album of the Year and “A Beautiful Place to Drown” nominated for Rock Album of the Year;
  • Jesse Slack (MIA 2011) co-wrote a song on “Jade Eagleson”, nominated for Country Album of the Year.

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