These Toronto Kids Played on Taylor Swift's New Album, Thanks to BBDO

'Parkscapes' project led to a very special sample

An innovative fundraising campaign by BBDO Toronto for a music school in town has led to a thrilling experience for the students there, who can now hear themselves playing on Taylor Swift's new album. 

A year ago, BBDO came up with a unique idea to raise money for the Regent Park School of Music (RPSM). The agency worked with Grammy-winning producer Frank Dukes and the RPSM students to record an album of music called Parkscapes. Every time an artist samples music from Parkscapes, licensing fees, royalties and residuals will be paid out to the school for the life of the song. 

Fast-forward to last Friday, when Taylor Swift released here new album Lover. There, on her song "It's Nice to Have a Friend," is a sample from Parkscapes. Turns out Dukes shared one of the compositions, "Summer in the South," with Swift, who liked it—and the concept of supporting the school—enough to incorporate it into her own track. 

It's not a hidden sample, either. It's very much front and center. Listen to the "Summer in the South" track below, followed by the Swift song.

"Words can't describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift's new album," says RPSM executive director Richard Marsella. "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." 

Here is a thank-you video that the students made for Swift: 

Dukes, who was born in Toronto, spent three days working with 14 RPSM students at The Weeknd's House of Balloons studio to create the Parkscapes album. 

"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," says Rana Chatterjee, associate creative director at BBDO Toronto. 

Listen to the full Parkscapes album here.


Campaign: Sample School
Album Title: Parkscapes

Client: Regent Park School of Music
Jasper Gahunia, Faculty, Regent Park School of Music
Wes Allen, Faculty, Regent Park School of Music
Richard Marsella, Executive Director, Regent Park School of Music
Jane O' Hare, Executive Director, Regent Park School of Music Foundation

Composer: Frank Dukes

Agency: BBDO Toronto
Chief Creative Officer: Todd Mackie
Chief Creative Officer: Denise Rossetto
Associate Creative Director: Rana Chatterjee
Associate Creative Director: Jeff Cheung
Sr. Designer: Mike Nugent
SVP, Planning: Tom Kenny
Group Account Director: Tania Montemarano
Account Supervisor: Sagi Mamalider
Director, Data Analytics and Insights: Curtis Rushing
PR: Shannon Stephaniuk, Glossy

Production Company: Flare BBDO Toronto
Executive Producer: David Lembke
Director: Jordan Dashner
Director of Photography: Luke McCutchenson
Audio: Stuart McLean
Post/Editor: Ted Husband

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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