SOCAN's Michael McCarty Tapped for Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame

 Jeff Knights/SOCAN 
Michael McCarty 

Michael McCarty, chief membership and business development officer at The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), and the former long-time president of EMI Music Publishing Canada, will be inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame next year.

The industry veteran, who signed such artists as Sum 41, Billy Talent and Three Days Grace to publishing deals, long before they had record contracts, will join fellow inductee Steve Herman of Live Nation, at the annual Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards Gala Dinner, held at Rebel Entertainment Complex on May 9.

"I'm honored to be singled out by Neil [Dixon, CMW president], included with the esteemed group of other inductees," Toronto-based McCarty told Billboard. "It's really honouring all of the songwriters, mentors and colleagues I've had the privilege of working with over the years.

"I've always been in awe of great songs and those who write them. From my previous life as a music publisher to my current role at SOCAN, I've been very fortunate to have been in the position to help open doors for some very talented, inspiring people. If Jack Richardson, Frank Davies and Marty Bandier hadn't opened the door for me, I wouldn't be here."

At Canada's performing rights organization SOCAN, which he joined in 2013, McCarty leads a department of 40 people across Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Nashville whose growing membership of 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers includes such leading Canadian music creators as Drake, Alessia Cara, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Frank Dukes, Murda Beatz, Keith Power and Andrew Lockington. His mandate includes creating cutting-edge creative and digital business services for current and future SOCAN members. He is also responsible for overseeing the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Prior to joining SOCAN, McCarty spent over 25 years in the music publishing business, serving as president of EMI Music Publishing Canada for 18 years. While there, his acute ear, mentorship and nurturing approach to talent, including his staff members, helped launch the careers of Sum 41, Billy Talent, Three Days Grace, who just surpassed Van Halen for the most No. 1s on Billboard's mainstream rock songs chart, as well as Alexisonfire, producer Gavin Brown, songwriter Simon Wilcox, and then-duo esthero and Doc McKinney. Other signings included The Pursuit Of Happiness, Kim Stockwood, Jelleestone, Chin Injeti and Len ("Steal My Sunshine"). He also co-signed Nelly Furtado and Tal Bachman to EMI's New York office, and at ole spearheaded the signing of writer/producer Timbaland. Other writers McCarty published are Bob Rock, Eddie Schwartz, David Tyson, Ian Thornley, Loverboy, Snow, and Jim Vallance.

His boosting of Canadian talent also extended to incubating entrepreneurs such as Canadian record labels Distort and its spin-off Dine Alone. After EMI, he took the position of president at ole.

McCarty got his education at Fanshawe College's pioneering Music Industry Arts program, and began his career as a recording engineer/producer, working with legendary Canadian record producers Jack Richardson (Guess Who) and Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper). His passion for developing talent led to his first publishing role as creative manager at ATV Music in Toronto, prior to its purchase by Michael Jackson.

Of all the worldwide ATV employees, McCarty was one of two selected by Jackson to continue to work on the ATV catalog. A series of acquisitions resulted in him being named as creative director in the Los Angeles office of SBK Records and Publishing. There, he signed actress Mila Jovovich, worked on the original Teenage Mutant NinjaTurtles soundtrack album, and co-signed Wilson Phillips, whose debut album sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

SBK was acquired by EMI Publishing, who eventually brought McCarty back to Toronto as president of their Canadian company. Under his leadership, EMI was named Music Publisher of the Year a record 12 years in a row by an industry-wide ballot at CMW. 

McCarty was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of SOCAN, the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), and a director of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), as well as a founding director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

He has been actively engaged in lobbying government for effective copyright reform and testified at Canadian Senate and Parliament Copyright hearings. He also appears as a keynote speaker at many music industry conferences, and is a founder of the Digital Music Summit, initiated by the CMPA, which is now a fixture of the Canadian Music Week conference.