Music Producer / Owner, Swing Low Productions, Toronto, ON. Born: Toronto, ON.
For over two decades, Orin Isaacs has been a keeper of the funky music flame North of the 49th parallel. Whether it be electrifying audiences with his prowess on the bassguitar, composing music for hit TV shows or producing Gold & Platinum selling albums. Orin has always been at the forefront of the Canadian music scene.
Since the age of seventeen, Orin has been bass-slinging his way around the world with such artists as Salome Bey, Arrow, Devon and the Dream Warriors after 5 years of touring, he decided to try his hand at production and started Bassmint Productions. Never a duplicator but always the innovator, Orin’s career was launched with the release of Devon’s 1992 JUNO award-winning album, In My Nature, on EMI records. With the buzz out on this up-and-coming producer, came more clients, new challenges and a worldwide publishing deal with EMI music publishing.
Orin then tried his hand at television composition with his first major show being Fox’s late-night hit game show Studs. With his clientele bass growing, Orin then decided to build North 49th St. Sound, his own professional 24-track studio in downtown Toronto. The studio attracted a whole new customer bass to include EMI Records, BMG, Virgin, Sony, the Toronto Raptors and shows like Ooh La La, Pumped, Stars on Ice, Catwalk, Rap City, and many others.
In its five-year run, Orin and Bassmint productions produced or recorded a total of five JUNO award-winning albums and in 1997, received the Craft EVA Award for best use of music in a corporate video. In that same year, Orin once again re-invented himself; he closed the doors to Bassmint Productions and started Moca Music. Under that company, he became Musical Director of Canada’s longest running late night talk/variety show, Open Mike with Mike Bullard, a position, which he held for it’s seven-year run. He is no stranger to the bandleader position. Shows like Canadian Idol, the JUNO Awards, the Gemini Awards, Genie Awards, Canada’s Walk of Fame, Canadian Urban Music Awards, the CFL and NHL Awards, have all asked Orin for his Funk and Roll, Rock and Soul sound.
In 1999, Orin released his first solo album, Where I’m From on Moca Music. Not to be confused with his composition and production work, he decided to keep Moca as a record label and he started Swing Low Productions. Under Swing Low, Orin’s music production and composing work can currently be heard on the world’s longest running sports broadcast Hockey Night In Canada (CBC). As well as Battle of the Blades (CBC), Canadian Idol (CTV); Project Runway Canada (Slice); The Jon Dore Television Show (Comedy Network); Soul (Vision TV); Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader? (Global); 2009 & 2010 Canspell Spelling Bee (Global); Canada’s Walk of Fame (Global); I Could Do That (Discovery); the 2007 & 2008 Grey Cup; 2006 Torino & 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics; CFL Football; Brier Curling; Karcher Curling; 2004 World Cup of Hockey (CBC Sports); Stars On Ice (CBC); The Business of Sports (TSN); Divine Design (W Network, HGTV U.S.); Colour Confidential (W Network); Soul (VisionTV); Divine Restoration (VisionTV, TV One); MuchMusic VJ Search (MuchMusic); Toronto Variety Show; House Capades (FOX29); Hatching, Matching and Dispatching (CBC); The Rick Mercer Report (CBC), Pop Cultured (Comedy). And TV specials like Comedy Gold (CBC); Cream of Comedy; The Nubian Disciples (Comedy); Canada’s Worst Driver 2 and Mindtrip (Discovery).
Orin has composed three movies for the National Film Board of Canada, Jane and Finch Again, Shinny and Flemingdon Park; has composed music for My Father’s Hands which won the HBO Award for Best Short at the Acapulco Black Film Festival; and has three JUNO Awards, as well as one Gold and four Platinum-selling albums to his major label record production credit.
As a bandleader and/or bassist, Orin has worked with international superstars like Mariah Carey, Martina McBride, Natasha Bedingfield, Billy-Ray Cyrus, Roger Hudgson, Lionel Richie, Patti Labelle, Richard Marx, Paul Shaffer, George Clinton, Deborah Cox, Brett Michaels, Macy Gray, David Cox, Rich Little, Dennis Deyoung, Paul Anka, Tom Jones, Anne Murray, Martin Short.
Honours: Also include an Eva Award; Urban Music Industry Special Achievement Award; the Reel Black Award for composition; Men of Excellence award; a spot on The Men on the Move calendar; inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2; as well as several awards for his active community service.
Favourite book? After the Bible, it would have to be The E Myth by Michael Gerber. He just breaks down why most small businesses fail. It was the first book I read when I was starting up my first company. Everything he said was true.That company failed! I re-read it and actual put the words into practice. My second company did and continues to do very well. 🙂
Favourite quotes? “Talent doesn’t get you there, it keeps you there!” That’s my favourite quote because I came up with it, and also live by it. My 2nd favourite quote is: “If i’m not as talented as you, I’ll just have to outwork you!” I just made that up because I live by that one too. 🙂
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Sign, develop and produce a successful international recording artist. It’s always been one of my dreams, one of the few that has so far eluded me. I’m still trying though!
Who inspires you? First: My Mom, because she was my first real supporter in the music game. Second: My wife, because she continues to hold everything else down in my life while I deal with my career. Third: My clients, they are the best of the best in this country. They are the ones that believe in me, so that inspires me to deliver. As long as I keep delivering, hopefully that inspires them to never lose faith in me.
Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I would be empty if I didn’t do it.
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