The shortest song on the new Taylor Swift album Lover is It’s Nice to Have a Friend. Truer words have never been crooned, because the song on the pop star’s blockbuster seventh album incorporates a short atmospheric loop written and recorded by students of Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music (RPSM), which provides musical education to children in the city’s high-priority neighbourhoods. The sample Ms. Swift used was created by the students with the help of Frank Dukes, a star Canadian producer who worked with Ms. Swift on her album and who is a friend of the music school.
The piece of music, which includes voices and instrumentation by students, is called Summer in the South, one of 11 created at the school earlier this year in partnership with the Grammy-winning producer. The Toronto-born musician spent three days working alongside 14 RPSM students between the ages of 9 and 18. They used a combination of steel pan, harp, organ, voice, strings, horns and other sounds to create a series of sparse, melancholic compositions that are collected on an album called Parkscapes. Mr. Dukes shared one of the motifs with Ms. Swift, who decided to fit it into her album.
“Words can't describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift’s new album,” said Richard Marsella, the school’s executive director. “This exposure is raising awareness and much needed funds for the Regent Park School of Music."
Every time Ms. Swift’s album is purchased or licensed, a portion of the royalties earned will go to the school to fund musical education. On top of using a composition from the students on her album, Ms. Swift also made a generous donation to the school.
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