Taylor Swift album includes voices, performances by Toronto music students


TORONTO — It’s nice to have a friend in Taylor Swift.

The pop star’s latest album includes material performed by students at Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music, with proceeds going to support musical education for children in high-priority neighbourhoods.

The kids’ voices and instrumentation appear on Swift’s song, “It’s Nice to Have a Friend,” from her new album “Lover.” The material was taken from a student composition called “Summer in the South,” which appears on their album, “Parkscapes.”

The track made it into Swift’s hands thanks to its well-connected producer — the Grammy award-winning Frank Dukes, who spent three days working with the students earlier this year to create 11 songs.

The track features 14 students between the ages of nine and 18 who use a combination of steel pan, harp, organ, voices, strings, horns and other sounds for the piece.

The school’s executive director Richard Marsella says royalties from the use of the composition will help fund the school’s program.

“Words can’t describe how thrilled we are to hear our students on Taylor Swift’s new album,” Marsella said Monday in a release.

“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 Toronto-bred Dukes, born Adam Feeney, describes the student album as a collection of “sparse, melancholic compositions.”

“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,” said Dukes, whose more famous collaborators include The Weeknd, Post Malone, Camila Cabello, and Kendrick Lamar.