Steve - Talent Around The Block

Steve is the face behind the Toronto Song Project, in which he finds and interviews singers from anywhere in order to write them a song. If you want to learn more about this fantastic project, read Steve's interview below:

Steve Toronto Song Project TATB • Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Steve Diguer (Pronounced Dee-gay). I’m a song composer. I write and direct for TV, mostly kids shows, mostly educational shorts.
I recently hosted and directed my own pilot show, with support from Bell Local. It’s called Toronto Song Project. In it, I search the city for people of all kinds, all ages, who have a good singing voice, and an interesting story to tell. I interview them on camera about their story, try to get to their deepest emotions connected to that story, then I write them a song… their song. We work it out together, they sing it, and we record it, while I film the whole journey.

• Tell us a little more about Toronto Song Project

In 2013, I had just moved back to Toronto from Los Angeles after spending two years studying and working in the music business. I landed some TV contracts and already felt invigorated and anxious to start something new. When I heard about Bell Local, I jumped at the opportunity to them Toronto Song Project. I knew I had to get two things absolutely right: the singers and the songs.

So we started looking everywhere. We used social media, we called and visited choirs, churches, homeless shelters… We asked everyone we knew if they knew anyone with a good voice and a good story. We combed the GTA as best as two people could.

Toronto Song Project involves a lot of things such as:
   - Planning a launch party with Bell Local for the pilot episodes where I feature my four singers on stage and some new     talent
   - Can Anyone In Here Sing? I visit random places in Toronto and beyond and ask that question.
   - Tips For Writing Good Songs: Currently filming short videos that give solid, proven advice on how to make your song     better.
To be honest, the whole idea scared the heck out of me. It was a big job – auditions, interviews, schedules, contracts, cameras, crews, musicians, rehearsals, studios. But mostly, when I stopped to think that these people were trusting me with something so important, so personal and intimate, and that I had to honor them with a good song that they would be proud to sing – it terrified me. The only way to take it was one day at a time.

Now that the shows are done, I have one goal which is to put a spotlight on the four wonderfully talented singers who took a risk, put their faith in me and the project, and made it what it is.  I love their hearts, their souls, and their courage for sharing their lives and their most intimate memories, both beautiful and painful. 

• What is your main career goal?

To make something the whole world wants. For Toronto Song Project to become the new Motown.  I want to meet fun, lovable, passionate people, make their songs happen, and send them out into the world.

• What made you throw yourself in the artistic world?

It’s the only thing I know, or have ever known. When I was little I liked to draw, and I liked to sing.  Writing and storytelling came later.  I learned to make videos a long time ago and never stopped loving it. Toronto Song Project brings the whole process together.  It’s exactly what I should be doing right now.

• What work in your artistic field impresses you?

Huge pop music fan. People keep lamenting the current state of music and I want them to shutup.  So much awesome stuff out there, in the commercial and indie genres. I love visual art with a statement.  In LA, I met an artist called Alex Schaefer who made a name for himself by painting Chase Banks on fire. Anybody who captures the world’s imagination with a simple idea.

• What is the project you are the most proud of?

I wrote songs with my band Señor Kasio a few years back. I still think it’s my best stuff though very few people – outside of my band – liked it.
If I had to wager, I’d say Toronto Song Project is possibly the best thing I will do.

• Where can we find you?

Brockton Village is my hood.  Every morning I’m at The Common (College & Gladstone).  Afternoons I like the Black Cat and the Brockton Haunt for writing.  I have a soft spot for Bairrada Chusqueira at College and Russholme. Love hitting the Hen House and other bars in the Dundas & Brock area.  Crazy about the Three Speed at Bloor and Dufferin.  Sometimes I walk through the Dufferin Mall for no reason.

• If Toronto was a person, what kind would it be?

I don’t think of Toronto as a person. You could say that about New York, Paris… Toronto to me is a completely, beautifully blank canvas that lets you do whatever the hell you want. Montreal knows who it is and expects you to fit into the narrative it has of itself. Toronto lets you do or be whatever the hell you want.
I guess if it’s a person, it’s a cool guy or gal at a party who’s quiet, listens, and occasionally surprises you by having a great, big unrestrained laugh.

• Last word for the road?

I talked too much as it is lol.


  1. I love the way you see Toronto as a blank canvas ! Great interview ! Good job Juliette !



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