One of Taylor Swift’s New Songs Is Doubling as a Fundraiser for Music Education

BBDO Toronto finds a clever way to garner donations

Black and white photo of three young people singing in a music studio with white walls
Regent Park School of Music students can hear their own tune on Taylor Swift's new album "Lover." Regent Park School of Music
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Lover,” has debuted to much fanfare all over the world. In Toronto, one song in particular is standing out because of its relationship with the Regent Park School of Music (RPSM), a nonprofit institution that provides subsidized musical education to kids of all ages throughout the city.

Swift’s song “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” features a composition created by students at the school. The tune is part of an album put together by the school called “Parkscapes” alongside Canadian producer Frank Dukes, whose credits include hits like Camila Cabello’s “Havana.”

The tie-up with Swift is the result of a partnership with BBDO Toronto, which RPSM tapped last year to help it find ways to raise money. BBDO Toronto helped facilitate the partnership with Dukes, who spent three days working with 14 of the school’s students to record “Parkscapes” (which can be listened to and purchased here).

The album, which includes 11 songs, was created to provide artists with samples for use in their own work. In exchange, each time an artist—such as Swift—uses music from the album, the licensing fees, royalties and residuals will be paid out to the school.

“It felt like a great fit for RPSM because the kids who benefit from the program are now playing a starring role in sustaining it,” said Rana Chatterjee, associate creative director at BBDO Toronto, in a statement.

In addition to incorporating the students’ music into her track, Swift also made a “generous donation” to the school, according to BBDO Toronto.

To promote its collaboration with the pop star, RPSM put together a short video. According to the school, she is the first artist to make use of “Parkscapes.”

“Words can’t describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift’s new album,” noted Richard Marsella, executive director at RPSM. “This exposure is raising awareness and much needed funds for the Regent Park School of Music. The royalties we receive from the use of our composition in the song will help fund musical education, and for that we are truly grateful.”

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.