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Writer Candidate Profile

Diane Tell (Fortin)

Born in Québec City, Diane Tell entered the Val d’Or conservatory at the age of six. She continued her studies at the Montréal conservatory and then at CEGEP Saint-Laurent and she wrote her first songs at the age of twelve. As one of Québec’s pioneering female singer-songwriters, she proposed her personal repertoire over the course of her first four albums. She won six Félix prizes before the age of 25: breakout artist, best artist, best album, best song and, twice, songwriter of the year. Several of her songs have become SOCAN Classics and Si j’étais un homme was inducted in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. She earned a MIDEM Award for her album Chimères and a Victoire Award for her album Faire à nouveau connaissance. In 1990, she was chosen by Plamondon, Berger and Savary to play a leading role in the musical La légende de Jimmy. That wonderful experience was followed up by another musical, Marilyn Montreuil, written and stage directed by Jérôme Savary and the Théâtre National du Chaillot, in Paris. Diane Tell not only played the leading role, but she composed the show’s score. Over 300 performances of both shows were presented in France and Europe. Over the past 25 years, Diane has relentlessly toured, written, composed and recorded in Canada, France, the U.K. and Switzerland. In 2018, she will produce her 15th studio album of original material in Montréal. As an independent artist, she owns the phonographic rights of her entire catalogue, she manages her own publishing company as well as producing and financing her albums herself. Also a photographer, she directs the majority of her music videos. Her YouTube channel actually gets 400,000 views per month on average. In her blog Diane Cause Musique, she engages up-and-coming artists by explaining the inner workings of the music industry.


Q:  What issues will be important to SOCAN members in the next three years?
DT: In the short term, the upcoming copyright reform has to be top priority for SOCAN members. Medium term, I believe that the digital transition, whose negative effects we’re dealing with, will end up creating a prolific emulation in favour of creatures, thanks notably to the blockchain chain revolution whose first glimpses are astonishing. ASCAP, SACEM and PRS have recently undertaken the creation of a prototype of shared management of information linked to copyrights based on blockchain. All stakeholders of the industry could one day contribute to the creation of an exhaustive reference that would improve the transparency and efficiency of the management of online musical rights. SOCAN, a North American organization with a bilingual tradition and a corporate culture related to SACEM’s, based in a country with a mixed judicial system (civil and common law)—is exceptionally positioned to participate and even lead this revolution! In the longer run, it is in our best interest to anticipate and invent the future of copyrights. We have a duty to educate the general public and especially our new and future members. The usefulness of collective management societies, their modus operandi, the importance of respecting copyrights can all be explained and taught.


Q:What contribution can you make to the SOCAN board of directors?
DT: It’s hard to be and have been. Yet, that paradox characterizes me very well. Being part of the music scene for four decades has undoubtedly given me a ton of experience. And that’s what my current creative and business activities rest on. I was popular, I’m still a well-known personality and I still go further, to do more, and better for the ones that are upcoming and will soon take our place. I am technologically literate and well versed in the modern uses and processes and I carry on with my trade according to the new rules of the game, devoid of any kind of nostalgia. I’m an optimist. It’s my positive energy that I want to contribute to SOCAN’s board of directors. The projects are numerous and the stakes enthralling. I am a firm believer in collective management and am a member of several societies in Canada and Europe, including SACEM and, soon, SUISA. I’m bilingual and of dual nationality and I would love to be the positive electron that will electrify the bond between various atoms. Supports, recording techniques, means of dissemination and modes of consumption are evolving rapidly. But one thing doesn’t change. At the heart of it all is the song and its creator. Preserve and promote that source is our mission.




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