Billboard Canada acquires FYI Music News

The Canadian music industry newsletter and platform will soon have a new home within Billboard.

FYI Music News logo

FYI Music News is becoming a part of Billboard. Over the next couple of weeks, FYI will integrate with Billboard Canada as it fortifies its aim to be the authority for the Canadian music industry.

“I believe FYI, with the combined platform of Billboard Canada, can only strengthen our reach around the globe,” says music mogul Gary Slaight. And [we can] continue to tell the story of new Canadian artists, businesses and people making an impact here in Canada.”

Fifteen years ago, Slaight saw a hole in the music landscape. His father Allan Slaight and his family had been building the identity of Canadian music through a radio empire called Standard Broadcasting, and he had taken up the mantle as the country’s foremost philanthropist for arts and culture. You can find their name on some of the most prestigious events, venues and incubators, from the Polaris Music Prize to the Junos to the iconic concert venue Massey Hall.


But one thing was missing, he thought. Canadian music, as a business, didn’t have a proper outlet.

“Our industry needed a voice,” he says. “We believe that Canadian artists are world class and should be promoted as such.”

The answer, from veteran music journalist David Farrell, was FYI Music News, a music journal to cover the business and industry on an insider level. With Farrell at the editorial helm, FYI has spent the last decade and a half delivering a digest of all the goings-on in the Canadian industry, from the breakout success stories of Drake and Justin Bieber to the up-and-comers ready to make as big of a mark. They never lost sight of the people behind-the-scenes building the foundations for artists to succeed on an international level. With FYI’s newsletter that goes out to the country’s music industry movers and shakers every Thursday morning, it continues to do just that.


“To me, FYI was and is a Vox Populi for all of us involved in Canada's music business — from creationists to the many component parts that sign, produce, publish and promote our artists,” says Farrell, who’s edited the publication and newsletter since its inception.

The music industry is one of the most exciting and expanding sectors in the country. When it comes to the business of music, no one covers it better than Billboard. Billboard is expanding and using its authoritative platform to promote and spotlight the industry within Canada, so joining forces with FYI makes perfect sense.

“We express our sincere gratitude to Gary Slaight and Derrick Ross [from Slaight Music], and we are thrilled to welcome David Farrell to our team,” says Mo Ghoneim, the President of Billboard Canada. “Their dedication and shared vision for celebrating Canadian talent will drive our united mission forward.”

This week, we were proud and excited to launch Billboard’s inaugural Canadian digital cover with a major story celebrating Punjabi-Canadian artists — a genre that is making waves throughout the globe but often ignored by the media at home. With the combined force of FYI, we will continue to tell stories like these and paint a holistic view of Canadian music — from the breakout artists to the venues, festivals, labels and arts workers who make it happen.

“With the combined platform of Billboard Canada, we can only strengthen our reach around the globe,” says Slaight.


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David Sims for W Magazine

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