Patrick Ballantyne Interview

Patrick Ballantyne recently did an interview with Canadian Beats Magazine. Below is an except – read the full article here: Canadian Beats.

First of all, congratulations on signing with Northwood. What made you decide to sign with them? Were you looking to be signed with a label, or did it just happen?

Patrick Ballantyne: There was a fair amount of happenstance, actually. I’m a big fan of Ambre McLean, who is also with Northwood. She and I worked on a new song recently and we got to chatting about Northwood. One thing led to another and here we are! I wasn’t really looking for a label, but Matt Connell at Northwood is prepared to help me get material out in a very supportive way. My main music gig is songwriting but I really enjoy recording. This will give me an opportunity to release music that might otherwise stay in my basement!

Patrick is certainly a great addition to your roster of artists. What made you decide to add him to your label? What do you look for in new artists?

Northwood Records: Here at Northwood, we’re always on the lookout for new artists that will enrich the fabric of the label. We’ve been familiar with Patrick catalogue for some time, and more recently had the chance to be a part of the co-writing process between Patrick and one of our other artists. It was shortly after that, that Patrick began telling us about his interest in releasing some new material, one song at a time. The renewed interest the industry has given to releasing “singles” has been an interest shared by Northwood Records since it’s inception; serving both the future’s demand for consistently fresh material, and music’s past golden age of hit songs delivered on 45’s. It was this discussion that ultimately led to the partner ship between Northwood and Mr. Ballantyne, and we are very excited for the chance to be working with him.

Do you have any advice for artists trying to break out onto the Canadian music scene?

PB: Be aware of trends, then go in the opposite direction. Chasing what is popular will leave you frustrated, so be your own person. What makes you unique as an artist is YOU, so refine YOUR art, not what you think others want from you.

NR: With the constant changing state of the music industry, one rule has and always will outshine any other – make good music. Focus on that first and the rest will come.

You’ve been named Best Songwriter of 2014 by Now readers, how did you feel when you heard this? Did you expect it at all?

PB: Extremely humbled and thrilled. When you see Ron Sexsmith, for example, among the other nominees, honestly, I was thrilled to just be mentioned with him. Winning was certainly not expected.

You’ve written with many names in Canadian music. Are you continuing with that or are you focussing more on your own projects?

PB: My main focus will always be working with other artists, and contributing what I can to their careers. Northwood Records has graciously given me an avenue to release songs that haven’t yet found a home elsewhere.

How was the fan reaction to ‘Days of Rain’?

PB: The feedback has been amazing. Those that commented all seem to select different favorites…a song that moved them in some particular way, or resonated with them at a particular point in their life. The album is best listened to, and was designed to be listen to, as a whole. Some songs flow into the next with a break. As a kid, I enjoyed putting the headphones and getting lost in an album. I tried very hard to create that same vibe with ‘Days of Rain’. Clearly, however, in an era of ITunes and downloading single songs, it can be tough to find time to listen to an entire album from beginning to end. I think it’s worth it though!

Why have you decided to revamp Patrick’s older music and re-master ‘Days of Rain’? Is there going to be anything extra added to the newer versions of the albums?

NR: This was actually more Patrick’s idea than anything. Anybody who has every made a record(even ones that they are immensely proud of…) knows about the collection of little regrets, or lists of “things I would have done differently if I had the chance”. Patrick saw this as his chance to change some of those 20/20-hindsight issues, and we were happy to help him seize the opportunity. Beyond these types of little enhancements, each one of his older albums has been bundled with a never before heard bonus track.

A Ballantyne Valentine


In an era where many independent artists opt to go alone rather than sign with a label, the new alliance of Patrick Ballantyne with Northwood Records reflects a shared synergy not often found between labels and artists, and the most salient ingredient is their mutual love of songwriting.

Patrick Ballantyne was recently named “Best Songwriter of 2014” by Now Readers. He is an established songwriter, having written with Canadian staples like Big Sugar and The Trews as well as emerging artists like Tim Chaission and Meredith Shaw. Northwood Records believes in giving artists flexibility and freedom to explore their craft, while being supported by a tribe of fellow creators.

Northwood is a label that holds a high appreciation for the art of the song. Patrick Ballantynes experience and achievement in this area is superseded by one thing; his own appreciation for the craft of songwriting.” ~ Matt Connell (President, Northwood Records)

The alliance “re-introduces” Patrick’s back catalogue. His eponymous album has been reformatted to improve the musical flow, while his second release “Days of Rain’ has been re-mastered by Mark Plancke. Both albums will also feature a bonus track from the original album sessions.

Northwood offers a tremendous amount of freedom to fully express myself as a songwriter and recording artist. I could ask for nothing more!” says Patrick.

Patrick will release his first single under the Northwood Records banner on February 13th.  “She Loves A Man” — a light hearted, rockabilly via Dylan number that somehow reflects both its release date of Friday the 13th and Valentines Day! It will be available through the Northwood Records store ( as well as the usual digital retailers.

CBC Music Awards – Our Picks

CBC Music AwardsCBC has announced the opening of nominations for their CBC Music Awards, with 10 categories or fan-based awards.

You can nominate bands on the CBC Music Awards homepage, or via Twitter by tweeting @CBCMusic, with the name of the band, the #CBCMusicAwards hashtag and the hashtag of the category for which you want to nominate them. Click here for all the details on voting and a full rundown of the categories.

We’ve weighed in on our choices, and have come up with a list of 10 artists from all the great acts that we have worked with either directly, indirectly, or are just fans of, that we feel are most deserving in each category. If you agree with our picks, be sure to send them out a vote, tweet or ‘share’ yourself!

Here’s our picks:

“Top of the Class Award” for artist of the year: #artist
“Earworm of the Year Award” for best song: #song
“I Left Home to Buy This” Award for album of the year: #album
“Proof You Heard Them First Award” for rising star: #risingstar
“Best Reason to Buy a Concert Ticket Award” for best live show: #liveshow
“Homegrown Hero Award” for best independent artist: #indie
“Best Way to Spend Three Minutes on YouTube Award for best music video: #video
“Most Likely to Follow You Back Award” for best fan engagement: #fan
“Heart of Gold Award”: #heartofgold
“Wish You Were Here Award” for best international artist: #international

Enter: Jubilee Riots

We’re very proud to be working Jubilee Riots on their brand new album. Some of you out there may already know these guys as “Enter The Haggis”. With a new name, and a revamped sound, Jubilee Riots bring forth their stellar new record, “Penny Black”.

Penny Black is available as of TODAY in stores and online everywhere.

The band created a collection of tracks that they could perform start to finish on a late night dance tent stage at festivals; an album with an energetic pulse that would be impossible to sit still and listen to. It was that juxtaposition of upbeat party grooves with meaningful lyrics based on very personal stories that became the focus of the project.

Ambre McLean’s “Me” Out Now…

The new Ambre McLean album has arrived! “Me” is the first of a series of 3 recordings to be released over the next year.

Get your copy now at one of these fine

“Me” on iTunes(Can)…

“Me” on iTunes(usa)…

“Me” on Bandcamp…

“Me” on Google Play…

More stores to be added soon!