Through my creation Ed the Sock I was one of many architects of the greatest era of Muchmusic, when the Nation’s Music Station was Canada’s beating heart of ‘cool’ that brought together Canadians from around the country in our shared love of music and pop culture.
Then Much changed direction away from its winning formula and subsequently ceased to exist. I saw the iceberg approaching and lept to safety. And I was sad for the loss to Canadian pop culture and of a potent platform for supporting Canadian artists.
That’s why I created NewMusicNation. To fill the void left by the exit of the music TV experience.
NewMusicNation – an online video music channel with the spirit of classic music TV and featuring new VJs, modern tech & social media interactivity and focusing on independent (mostly Canadian) artists.
Myself and NMN’s co-founder, my wife & partner Liana Kerzner, had a gut feeling that there was still a thirst for the anarchic, music-savvy content we never stopped loving. But the level of response I got on social media when announcing this initiative was beyond our wildest imaginations. Posts constantly included the words “we need this” and “thank you for doing this”.
Bands and singers were effusive after the COVID time-out killed their career momentum. We were flooded with over 600 music videos in the first few weeks. We did a crowdfunding campaign and raised almost 200% of goal.
Yes, the internet has democratized content creation and allowed people to create and curate their own experiences, but nothing I’ve seen has the trademark snap crackle and pop of classic Much.
And yes, Youtube is home to thousands, if not millions, of self-made music videos, many of them of very high quality and quite a few which aren’t. But who has time to find the good ones? And algorithms suggest music like that which you’ve already been listening to, so the discovery of new sounds, new music is eliminated from the experience.
Our music selections are curated by human beings, not machines, including by our new VJs.
The new VJs are an eclectic lot: stand-up comic Robbie Stevenson, a diagnosed schizophrenic and recovering drug addict with a darkly funny view on the world; Dez Loreen, a filmmaker, radio host and professional wrestler who is a native of Inuvik, NWT; Candy Marie, a model, cosplayer, songwriter and mystic who has 3 dogs and a pet duck; Ali B, an Ontario farm girl who likes playing hockey, skiing and snowboarding; Sum_01, a London Ontario rapper, she brings an intensity and power to the screen; and the dean of all VJs, Canadian media icon Ed the Sock.
Our programming is eclectic as well. We have regular Videoflow where people can absorb a variety mix of musical genres, a Rock show (Power Hour), Metal Momentum, GenPop, The Punk Projekt, Rapsody, One World and Ed the Sock’s two shows – Are You Kidding, featuring humorous videos and Yo Canada! Spotlighting Canadian artists.
Also in development is a country music show hosted by a successful Canadian country artist (more to come).
I was initially dismayed when Bell Media, who I had previously shared my plans with, announced that they are launching an online project to be called Muchmusic. But as it turns out, they will be primarily making one-minute content for Tik Tok and not playing music. So we’re not really doing the same thing. Besides, competition brings out the best efforts.
We have the talent, the experience, the media reach and the music to proudly launch NewMusicNation.
If there’s one thing we’re still looking for, it’s salespeople who know how to sell branded online content. Interested? email@example.com
The first shows are completed and we’re very proud of them – the spark of music and mayhem has been rekindled.
I hope you’ll check us out on July 2, 2021 at newmusicnation.ca!