How Toronto Music Students got on Taylor Swift’s New Album

//  08.26.19

Taylor Swift Supports the Regent Park School of Music with Her New Album, “Lover” and a Generous Donation

Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album Lover, is helping to fund the programming at Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music (RPSM). The song “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” includes voices and instrumentation by students at the school, which provides musical education to children in Toronto’s high-priority neighbourhoods.

“Words can’t describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift’s new album,” says Richard Marsella, Executive Director, Regent Park School of Music. “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.”

The composition used by Swift is one of 11 created by the school earlier this year in partnership with BBDO Toronto and Grammy award-winning producer Frank Dukes. The Toronto-born Dukes spent three days working alongside 14 RPSM students between the ages of nine and 18. They used a combination of steel pan, harp, organ, voices, strings, horns and other sounds to create the compositions as part of an album called “Parkscapes.” Dukes shared one of the compositions with Swift, who decided to incorporate it into her album. She loved the music and the fact that she would be able to support the students at the music school.

“It was great to experience what it’s like to be in a real music studio environment,” adds Mwinyi, who has been a guitar student at RPSM for 10 years. “And it’s amazing to see the very different approach Taylor Swift took to the composition that we made.”

The “Parkscapes” album is named from a mash-up of the expression “sonic landscapes” and “Regent Park” and is hosted on Dukes’ Kingsway Music Library, which houses a collection of original compositions created by the music producer and composer.

“The album is comprised of a series of sparse, melancholic compositions that are ripe for use by contemporary music producers and artists,” says Dukes. “It’s incredible to hear the one of world’s most popular artists using the RPSM students’ music as a part of her own song.”

This global exposure brought on by Taylor Swift is a best-case-scenario outcome for the innovative musical collaboration between RPSM and Dukes, which is meant to raise money for the school. The school hopes that others will be inspired by Swift’s interest and generosity and support the school. Every time the album is purchased, licensed or sampled royalties go to the school to fund musical education.

On top of using a composition from the students on her album, Swift also made a generous donation to the school. If others want to support the Regent Park School of Music and its students, they can donate now at

The “Parkscapes” album was brought to life in partnership with creative agency BBDO Toronto, as part of an initiative called “Sample School.”

For more information on the compositions by the students at RPSM visit:

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
RPSM Students featured on “Parkscapes”
Marija, 14, Violin
Nikita, 17, Steel Pan
Jayden, 11, Cello
Tesfa, 14, Drums
Selam, 12, Guitar
Thomass, 18, Xylophone
Mwinyi, 17, Guitar
Dayton, 14, DJ
Miro, 18, Viola
Genesis, 13, Guitar
Macario, 14, Saxophone
Ryan, 16, Piano
Gabe, 9, Piano & Guitar
Jessie, 17, Harp
About Regent Park School of Music (RPSM)
RPSM is a community music school in Toronto that gives kids a unique music education in a safe, nurturing space where they can build their confidence to reach their full potential. This year RPSM will give 1,000 young people aged 3-18 a quality music education at their central location in the Regent Park Daniels Spectrum as well as in Jane and Finch and other high-priority neighbourhoods in Toronto.
About Frank Dukes
Frank Dukes (born Adam Feeney) is a Canadian record producer, composer and DJ. He is a Grammy Award winner who in 2018 was recognized by Billboard Magazine as Producer of the Year for his work with artists like The Weeknd, Post Malone, Camila Cabello, and Kendrick Lamar. Through his Kingsway Music Library, he is also known for producing original compositions for prominent record producers to sample in their own productions.
About the Kingsway Music Library
The Kingsway Music Library is a collection of original musical compositions and master recordings aka “samples” created by multi genre music producer and composer, Frank Dukes. will also be home to the album Dukes created with the kids from RPSM entitled Parkscapes. It will be available for purchase and download at
About BBDO Toronto
BBDO ( manages the communication needs of many of Canada’s largest and best-known brands and has consistently earned a creative reputation that places it among the top creative agencies in Canada. BBDO Canada is a subsidiary of BBDO Worldwide, which is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC)(, a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company.

Music, Pop-Culture