Home » The Song Talk Radio Action Team

The members of the Song Talk Radio Action Team will always be found bravely staying out all night (sometimes past 10pm!) to search the world for the newest and most interesting guests.

Portrait of NeelNeel Modi


I’ve been writing music in different forms for over 25 years.

I began as a percussionist in school bands, and later self-taught myself the keyboard and wrote many multi-part instrumental pieces including some orchestral music.

Much later on, I began writing songs with lyrics and collaborating with singers. Very recently, I’ve taken on singing in my own recordings.

My approach to songwriting varies from piece to piece, but I always try to develop ideas that best “serve the song.” Currently, I’m working on my own writing, producing and recording songs for other songwriters, and collaborating with other writers. My most recent work is available on my blog.

You can contact Neel at neel(at)songtalk.ca

Portrait of PhilPhil Emery


I’ve been creating and thinking about music as long as I can remember.

I’ve always found myself in some band or other, writing and collaborating with others, from the gin-soaked jazz trio, Lost Parade, to copyright infringers Surface Noise. Back in the day, I fronted a local Toronto band called All The Rage, although I had much spikier hair and sillier pants back then.

These days I’m playing bass and singing in The Parkdale Hookers, while writing whatever comes into my head in my home studio. You can find my latest music forays at TheNoise.ca and at SoundCloud. During the day, I’m the principal at the Toronto-based marketing, graphic design and web design agency Focused Creative. I’m also on a quest to make men’s shaving a more comfortable experience with The Original PreShave Bar, available online and at select retailers.

You can contact Phil at phil(at)songtalk.ca / PhilEmery.ca

Past Members

Our past team members, who’ve moved on to bigger and better things, although we have to wonder what’s bigger and better than Song Talk Radio. We miss you!

Portrait of MikeMichael Proudfoot

past co-host

Michael Proudfoot is a singer-songwriter with a sideline in film and television production. He’s made a few short-films, written a couple of decent songs and won a handful of photography awards. In short, he’s a creative type with a woeful lack of direction.


Bruce Harrott

past co-host and founder

Born and raised in suburban Toronto, at the age of 14 Bruce wanted to be a Beatle.

He played acoustic guitar and sang off and on every year since then. For two decades, he worked as a corporate writer in sales and marketing and was called on to write lyrics for jingles and various presentations. The leap to writing both the music and the words was a direct result of reading Julia Cameron’s book “The Artists Way” in 1994. Doing her exercises every day he began to create songs – using a tape recorder to help him remember the melodies. Bruce wrote some 30 songs, some of which were actually worth keeping. He recorded 12 on multi-track tape at a studio in Vancouver, released 10 on a CD (Nipigon) in Whistler, BC in 1996. It’s now available everywhere on the web. In the spring of 2012, looking for a connection to other amateur songwriters, Bruce discovered MeetUp.com and the Songwriters Roundtable in Toronto. He’s been going to the monthly meetings ever since. He’s heard some really great new songs. Bruce continues to look for opportunities to write, play, and collaborate. Long live the song! You can reach Bruce at www.bruceharrott.com.

Portait of VanessaVanessa Vreeland

producer / social media master

Since joining the Song Talk team as the replacement tweeting machine, know I have big shoes to fill!
I couldn’t be more excited as I’ve been away from a radio station for the past 7 years (eek)! Having studied Radio Broadcasting years ago in London, ON, I knew one day I’d be back in a studio (I just didn’t know when). I took 7 years off to travel the world, try out different careers and live in a few different places, but deep down I knew I was missing something! Every Tuesday I look forward to tweeting you all the exciting details live from the show and info about our guests. And, of course I love hearing from you!

Linda LavenderLinda Lavender

audio guru / social media backup

Music is my passion, swimming instructor is my day job.

Songwriter, singer, instrumentalist…I live for musical collaboration.

I played primarily mandolin in my band Often Running (The Rosseau Sessions), stick to banjo in my duo Lavender & Twang, and my solo performance accompaniment is often my acoustic guitar. Love to play the bass, as well.

My style is eclectic…roots to rock to jazz. The songs take the lead. I’ve acted as host and organizer of two Toronto open mics and the open stage at Mariposa, thereby learning to cover “sound”.

I’m currently recording a new album in my home studio and happily spending Tuesday evenings in the CJRU studio with the Songtalk Team. Visit me on my website.

Etain Ryan

Engineer / Irish Person

I found myself transported to Toronto over a year ago from my hometown Dublin, Ireland. I have always dabbled in a bit of everything from banking, media and to retail. Always with sporadic bursts of venturing off into the unknown in between. I suffer from an acute case of wanderlust and am happiest when on open road; exploring new places and meeting new people.

I have a degree in history and geography but it wasn’t till I did my masters in journalism that I discovered my real passion: radio. I have been fortunate to work with several stations in Ireland and even with our National Broadcaster. I also combined my passion for the arts with radio and had my own weekly literature show.

I LOVE music. My lack in performing talent is made up for in my appreciation of music. I enjoy nothing better than to go to gigs and have been fortunate enough to see most of my (living) heroes live. Simon and Garfunkel, Blink 182, Madness, The Pogues and Ludivico an Einaudi. I would say my taste in music is eclectic but my favourite thing is to listen to movie scores. I use them to soundtrack my life as no one else seems to be doing the job. Buying milk has never been such an epic journey….trust me, try it some time!

Janice HoJanice Ho

past social media master

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

Growing up as a kid, I worshipped the pop divas and became best friends with the radio. I took classical voice lessons during my teenage years and fell in love with the beautiful art of opera. I also learned piano and later on in life picked up the guitar. I have always loved and needed to write creatively, especially poems, as a way of expressing myself.

But it wasn’t until two years ago that the grand doors to the World of Songwriting parted ways and I took my first wondrous step onto this exciting journey of creating songs. I fell in love with music all over again. Since then, I’ve written and collaborated on a few tunes and am continuing to learn about the craft of songwriting from many talented musicians and lyricists.

As Song Talk Radio’s “Tweeting Songbird”, I get the chance to be inspired by our weekly guests and tweet out songwriting inspiration to our listeners throughout our live shows!

You can check out my music on SoundCloud and hear me talk about my approach to songwriting on my Song Talk Radio interview. And, of course, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @JaniceHoTweets!

Nicole_smallNicole Di Donato

past tech guru / social media backup

Music has always had a special place in my life.

Growing up, I would put on shows for my friends and family where I would sing the latest pop songs and choreograph my own dances.

I’ve always been drawn to musicals and have experience with acting, singing, and dancing. Some of my favourite musicals include “Grease,” “Kinky Boots,” and “Once.”

I attended an arts high school where I majored in drama, allowing me to improve my acting abilities as well as learn how to direct, design costumes, and write plays.

I am currently studying journalism at Ryerson University and hope to pursue a career as a broadcast journalist. I used to have my own column in the Eyeopener called “Year One” and I also work on a live television show as a Production Assistant.

Additionally, I have my own segment on CJRU 1280AM called “Arts and Culture on the Morning Mixtape” where I interview musical artists and bands, as well as other members of the entertainment industry. You can listen live every Tuesday morning at 9:15 a.m. on the radio waves or stream it online at cjru.ca.

I am so glad to be a part of the Song Talk Radio team! Each week, I am inspired by not only the hosts of the show but by the talented guests as well. I truly feel like the crew is my second family and I am so thankful to be helping with the social media and tech for the show!