How a Toronto youth music program ended up on Taylor Swift's new album

The Regent Park School of Music, in collaboration with producer Frank Dukes, can be heard on one track.
Taylor Swift performs new music from her latest album, Lover. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift's latest album, Lover, was released today, and if you listen closely you'll hear a big Canadian connection. 

The Regent Park School of Music in Toronto is sampled on the song It's Nice to Have a Friend, which was produced by Toronto's Frank Dukes along with Louis Bell and Swift. The youth choir can be heard playing instruments and singing backup, which came about as part of a collaboration with the producer called Parkscapes. It is available through Dukes' Kingsway Music Library.

You can listen to the original sample here, called Summer in the South. 

Duke caught up with q host Tom Power last month to discuss the youth program and how it's helping the kids. 

"We made it so that the proceeds from the sales of the library go to fund the school," he said. "Beyond that, when it gets sampled, money from sample clearances and the royalties — which could be long-standing and pretty significant overtime — would go and sustain the program." 

Frank Dukes produced the sample along with Louis Bell and Swift. (Jordan Dashner)

Regent Park School of Music is a community school that helps kids succeed through music and develop a positive future by practising their musical passions. The Toronto program gives young people "highly subsidized quality music education" in high-priority neighbourhoods. 

reached out to the music program, who confirmed that their feature is on the song but could not provide further comment. 

"It became this really amazing thing," Dukes said of working with the school. "Spending time with the kids who were a part of the program, it was really inspiring for me to see how having them become a part of something where they really felt engaged and inspired helped open up their eyes to see how big the world is. That if they really want something they just have to do it and they can get it and it's all within reach." 

You can hear our q This panel talking about Taylor Swift's new album and the cool Toronto connection by following the link: 

You can check out Taylor Swift's track, It's Nice to Have a Friend, here:

Taylor Swift's new album, Lover, is out now. 

— By Enrica Ammaturo