Building A National Artist

Artist Case Studies and Panel Discussion

by SaskMusic

October 16, 2014 in Industry News

Workshop promo graphic

Building A National Artist

Artist Case Studies and Panel Discussion
with the MDM Recordings Team

Regina: Saturday, October 25
Networking time to follow
The Exchange, 2431 8th Ave.           

Saskatoon: Sunday, October 26
Networking time to follow
The Den @ The Two Twenty, 220 20th St W

SaskMusic is pleased to present this in-depth workshop with five professionals from MDM Recordings, who will share their expertise on how to build a nationally successful artist. One of Canada’s hottest independent labels, MDM is celebrating numerous highlights: Langenburg’s Jess Moskaluke receiving Female Artist of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards in September, her Gold certification for “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”, and Chad Brownlee’s four-and-counting Top 10 Canadian country music singles (among numerous other achievements for the label).

Our panel will share their secrets of success, including the importance of teamwork, solid marketing strategies, and a lot of hard work and dedication. This session will begin with artist case studies where we’ll examine the career paths of Canadian country music sensations Jess Moskaluke (SK), and Chad Brownlee (BC), and investigate the strategies these artists and their teams have used and continue to use to sustain successful national careers. This discussion will delve into strategies from their early careers that eventually led them to the MDM Recordings team and onward. Our panel will also outline how each team member, including Mike Denney (Owner and President of MDM Recordings), Mitch Merrett (Musician, Producer, Songwriter) and Carmen Choney (Tour Manager, Publicist, Artist Manager) participate in the delivery of the national strategy for each artist.

We encourage artists and music industry professionals from all genres to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with these industry frontrunners face-to-face. In this session, you’ll learn the techniques and strategies for how a dedicated artist team works together to set goals and make decisions that ensure success from pre-album preparations to the recording and creative process through to marketing, promotion, distribution, and touring. Attendees will get an in-depth look at what it takes to obtain and maintain an effective team in the music industry, and how to utilize the professionals around you to excel in your music career.

To register, please contact, click here to visit the Workshop Registration page, or call 1-800-347-0676. The session is free for current SaskMusic members, or $30 for non-members (payment accepted via cheque, cash or credit card in advance, or by cheque or cash at the door).

Creative Sask

We thank Creative Saskatchewan for their support of this event.



About the Panelists:

Chad Brownlee

A testament to his drive and talent, Chad Brownlee (MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada) is an extraordinary example of what one person can achieve. Although he may focus on living in the moment and absorbing every treasured second with his fans while performing on stage, Brownlee has already lived a life many would argue could fill multiple lifetimes. An award-winning singer, songwriter, philanthropist and former NHL draft pick, country music artist Brownlee is by definition a renaissance man, who lives by the credence that “opportunity lies along the path created by the choices you make.”

Brownlee will join labelmates Jess Moskaluke and Bobby Wills on the “When the Lights Go Down” Tour” across Canada in early 2015. Following on the heels of Top 10 single “Fallin’ Over You” from his third album “The Fighters” (released June 2014), his latest single “Just Because” currently sits at #13 on the CMT Top 20 video chart and #14 on the Billboard Canada Country chart. In recent years his singles have rapidly climbed the country music charts, with multiple singles cracking the Top 10, including “Listen,” Smoke In The Rain”, and “Crash”. Over the last few years Brownlee has received critical acclaim and numerous accolades including a highly coveted JUNO nomination for Country Album of the Year, and Canadian Country Music Association Award Male Artist of the Year nominations in 2012 & 2013, and the CCMA Rising Star winner in 2011. Notable tour dates include runs with Grammy nominee Dierks Bentley across Canada and co-headlining the coast-to-coast “Your Town Throwdown” tour with Deric Ruttan and Jason Blaine in the fall of 2013.

Carmen Choney

Carmen Choney's events career has spanned more than a decade as Tour Manager, Publicist and Management professional, to name a few. Her knowledge, work ethic and industry contacts have proved invaluable in pushing the MDM Recordings brand out to the masses. As Tour Manager for Chad Brownlee and Co-Manager of Jess Moskaluke, she has had the great fortune of traveling this country working not only with directly the artist/band, but also promoters, buyers, media and the fans themselves. Her point of view of the business takes into account the overall well being of the artist, both on stage and off, and provides a fair assessment through experience of what the audience is hoping for in the show. She not only works on the business side of the music but is still a fan of great music, both on record and live.

Holding a diploma in Management Studies from Grant MacEwan College and a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge, Carmen has worked on, and volunteered for, some of North America's largest events and music festivals including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver for NBC and a yearly position as Stage Manager for the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose AB.

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke (MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada) has had a whirlwind of success in 2014, including receiving the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year Awards at the 2014 Canadian Country Music Awards (including a performance on the live national awards broadcast), a Gold certification for single “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”, and releasing her full length album “Light Up the Night”. Her latest single and video “Used” has just been released and is currently at #24 on the Billboard Canada Country chart.

With her collective YouTube views at 20,000,000, and 100,000 subscribers, the “Tyler Ward Featured Artist” rocked the stage on a 45-city tour with his camp throughout North America in 2011. Moskaluke won both the 2011 Big Dog 92-7/Astral Media’s “The Next Big Thing” contest (securing an opening spot with Grammy Award nominee Dierks Bentley) and the 2011 Canadian Country Music Awards’ New Artist Showcase. In 2012 Moskaluke released title track and video “Catch Me If You Can” and the 8-track EP, with track “Go Big Or Go Home” featured on the hit CBC TV show “Heartland.” In January 2013, single “Hit N’ Run” was released to Canadian radio, hitting #48 on the BDS charts for country radio in Canada in two short weeks. Her first indie EP “Cover Up” debuted at #5 on the iTunes Canada album charts, whilst her YouTube cover of The Script’s “For The First Time” reached over 1,000,000 views in only 3 weeks.

Mike Denney

A man with a smile and a mission, as President of MDM Recordings Inc. (MDM), an independent recording company located in Toronto ON, Mike Denney believes in his artists and is prepared to invest whatever it takes, as long as it takes. One of his biggest dreams for the company and artists is to help enhance their success by securing them international recognition, and he has made this goal a priority. A 25-year veteran of the music industry, Denney believes that being passionate and success-driven about music (or anything that you do) supersedes wanting a large paycheck and material advances. Being shown the ins and outs of the music-world by networking with like-minded individuals and asking questions about the business throughout his career has attributed to where his career is today. Denney states, “I am grateful to the numerous people in the music industry who have mentored me and/or given me their knowledge and time.”

Canadian country music label, distributor and artist management company MDM, founded in 2008, was created by Denney to aid independent artists to grow with diverse development in all aspects of their respective careers. Distributed through Universal Music Canada, their current roster includes Brownlee, Moskaluke, Bobby Wills, Charlie Major, Hayley, The Lovelocks, Clayton Bellamy and more.

Mitch Merrett

Merrett has earned two SOCAN Songwriter awards, two Canadian Country Music Awards as both producer and songwriter, and numerous British Columbia Country Music Association Awards, including a pair as Guitar Player of the Year. The business knowledge he’s picked up along the way dealing with major labels, negotiating distribution deals, touring, writing, recording and producing could fill a textbook.

Now that he’s marking his own course, Merrett is on the phone and in the air, developing the careers of two amazingly promising new country artists, marked for sure success by every biz insider and regular country fan that sees them (Chad Brownlee and Hayley McLean).