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Jay Semko

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"have a good time ALL the time..." - Viv Savage

Sounds Like:

Jay Semko


all great music....big fan of Beatles, Stones, Gordon Lightfoot, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne and sooooo many others...

Favourite Singer/Songwriter:

Gordon Lightfoot

Contact Email:

Social Media:

Songs by Jay Semko



Saskatoon, SK

Level of Experience:



Country | Folk and Traditional | Rock and Pop

I Write:

By myself | For myself | With others | For others

I prefer to write:

Lyrics | Melody | Chord Patterns | Arrangements

Songs Recorded:

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Albums Released:

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Song Placements:

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Other Credits:

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I am interested in:

Web Cowriting | Face to face Cowriting | Networking | Pitching Songs to Artists | Pitching Songs To Tv/Film/Etc.


Jay Semko is an award-winning songwriter, composer, performer, and voiceover artist, and was inducted into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Canadian pop/rock icons The Northern Pikes. In 2011 he was nominated for Songwriter of the Year in the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMAs) for "Before You Leave Canadaā€¯, and in 2012 won the award for Best Roots Album in the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards for his "Force Of Horses" album - in 2012 Jay was also nominated for Roots Solo Recording of the Year in the WCMAs for "Sending Love", and was a finalist in the Gospel category for the song "Drop You In the Water" in the 2012 international Independent Music Awards (the lone Canadian nominated in the category). He is known worldwide as music composer on the internationally syndicated TV series, "Due South" (for which he received two nominations for Canada's Gemini Awards - Best Music Score in a Dramatic Series) - he won the 1997 MMPIA Blizzard and 1996 SMPIA awards for Best Music Score as music composer for the movie, "Paris Or Somewhere". Jay is currently nominated in the category of Best Original Music for a Non-Fiction Program or Series in the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Gemini Awards) for his work on the TV series "Dust Up".

As a member of the Northern Pikes, Jay was awarded 4 Gold records and 1 Platinum, with sales of over 700,000 units worldwide. The Northern Pikes had a number of Canadian hit singles, including Teenland, Things I Do for Money, Wait For Me, Hopes Go Astray, She Ain't Pretty, Girl With A Problem, and Kiss Me You Fool. Two of these (Things I Do For Money and She Ain't Pretty) charted in the USA Billboard charts, and many of the band's videos were top 5 on Muchmusic, including Girl With A Problem, which reached #1. The band has received numerous awards and award nominations, including 8 Juno award nominations, and won in the Outstanding Pop Recording category of the 2001 Prairie Music Awards for "Truest Inspiration". Jay has also received 2 Canadian Music Publishers Association Awards, for Teenland and Girl with a Problem. The Pikes still perform today, and during the course of their career have toured across Canada, the USA, and Japan - opened for/shared bill with: David Bowie, Robert Palmer, Peter Frampton, Bruce Hornsby, Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, The Band, Bryan Adams, The Fixx, Duran Duran, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, Eurythmics, KD Lang, and many others. The Northern Pikes are the 2012 inductees into the Western Canadian Music Awards Hall of Fame, joining Chilliwack, Loverboy, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Loreena McKennitt and many other exceptionally talented artists from western Canada.

In 1993, as the Northern Pikes began a long hiatus, Jay Semko wrote the theme and co-composed the score for the 2 hour pilot movie for what would become Canada's most successful internationally syndicated TV series, "Due South". "Due South" was the first Canadian-made dramatic television series to debut and air on a major network in the USA (CBS-TV). The 2 hour pilot and 66 episodes were made from 1993-98, and Jay had the privilege of working under multiple Oscar and Emmy winning producer/writer/director Paul Haggis, who created "Due South", in addition to working with Jeff King and Paul Gross as producers for subsequent seasons of the show. Jay worked with the best TV personnel in Canada while composing for Due South with award-winning co-composers John McCarthy and Jack Lenz, and had a great time appearing as a special skills extra actor in an episode of "Due South" during the final season of the show (with Ronnie Hawkins and Michelle Wright).
.Jay continues to compose music scores for a variety of dramas and documentary films and series on Discovery Channel, CBC, Global, History Television, PAX, APTN, Showcase and others, and has had many of his songs and compositions featured in film and television (Trailer Park Boys - the Movie, Men with Brooms, Being Erica, and Cedar Cove are some recent examples).

Jay has 10 solo releases, all now available on his own label, Inner Expression Records. Jay has recorded with such music luminaries as Garth Hudson (The Band), John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), Crystal Taliefero (known for her work with John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, etc), Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies), Melanie Doane, Ashley MacIsaac, Ken Greer (of Red Rider and the Road Hammers), Bob Egan (of Wilco and Blue Rodeo fame), Serena Ryder, Patricia Conroy, Matt Andersen and Greg Godovitz (Goddo), and worked in the studio with Grammy-winning engineers/producers/mixers Bob Clearmountain, Hugh Padgham, Ed Stasium, and Bob Ludwig. He has received many stellar reviews, as a solo artist had 2 Top 40 AOR-chart singles in Canada/ Top 10 and #1 in !earshot Folk/Roots/Blues Charts in Canada - has toured across Canada numerous times, performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas/ International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis/ various festivals across Canada - was a finalist in the worldwide John Lennon Songwriting Contest(2009) - has co-written with Willie Mack, Gilles Godard, Andrew Fromm, Tim Taylor, Steve Fox, Jimmy Rankin, Beverley Mahood, Roger Springer, Daryl Burgess, Larry Haack, and many others.

His latest album, "Flora Vista", features 10 new songs about love, addiction, heartbreak, spirituality, crazy road trips through the desert, and more............ "Flora Vista" recently won the 2015 SCMA Award for Roots Album of the Year.

Jay has written a wide variety of music: for a permanent installation at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, and has participated in other projects such as "Where Were The Mothers?", an art installation project by Linda Duvall which recently exhibited in Mississauga, Winnipeg and Regina that involved songwriters and inmates at correctional facilities co-writing songs together. Jay recently composed the music score for Linda's newest project, entitled "The Toss", which debuted at Gallery TPW in Toronto in March 2012.

Jay also is an accomplished voiceover artist and a full member of ACTRA, with his voice being heard on many radio and television advertisements, public service announcements, documentaries, and dramas, and has written numerous music and music business related articles for various Canadian publications. Jay has also instructed songwriting courses and hosted songwriting workshops and seminars through the University of Saskatchewan, Songwriters Association of Canada, SOCAN and private clients. Additionally, Jay has acted in 28 music videos, both as a member of the Northern Pikes and as a solo artist, with most receiving national and international broadcast on MuchMusic, MusiquePlus, MTV and CMT.

In Jay's words: "Every day is a gift, and I try to make the most of every minute I am given here." Jay is truly in a good place these days - his songs, film & television scores, and legendary live performances continue to garner him international recognition as one of Canada's most prolific musical talents.

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