Meet The Drake's Music Programmer: Iain MacNeil

Posted by Drake, March 28, 2016
Iain MacNeil Music Programmer for The Drake

The rumours are true. We've hired a new music programmer who's bringing a stellar lineup of hot indie acts + eclectic voices to The Drake. With years of experience at Canadian Music Week, we're excited to welcome Iain MacNeil to The Drake family. From new music he's loving to under-the-radar local artists about to hit it big, Iain answers all our questions.

Tell us about you. How did you get into music programming?

I grew up in Halifax, playing in bands from the age of 13. I realized the band thing wasn’t going to be a real career for me, so I started to book little shows with touring bands I knew were coming through the city. By the time I graduated high school, I decided I needed to move from Halifax if I wanted to pursue a career in the music industry so I moved to Toronto.

I took an Entertainment Business Management course at Metalworks Institute and from there I got an internship with Canadian Music Week. My time at CMW was great and I got to work my way up in the company, from intern to booking some of the festival’s headlining acts. It was such a great experience! I fell in love with programming right away.

What do you love about Toronto’s music scene?

I love how diverse the scene here is. Some cities you get stuck with a certain “sound” but with Toronto there are so many different sounds going on. It’s really great to see how over the last 5+ years of living here it seems as though the whole world is finally starting to take notice of the amazing music scene out here.


What are you listening to right now?

I can’t get enough Anderson .Paak right now… I still haven’t seen him live but that’s definitely on my bucket list for this year.


Best part (so far) about joining The Drake team?

Everyone here has been super awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of such an expansive team and have everyone be this cool and helpful! I love all the properties as well; the possibilities are endless when it comes to programming. Whether it’s bringing in a buzzy act to the Drake Underground (my fave room in the city, even before joining the team here), throwing a crazy building-wide party or bringing some great new music programming to the Drake One Fifty and Drake Devonshire.

Name one under-the-radar artist from Toronto everyone should know about?

I’m not sure if he’s still considered under-the-radar but I love what Daniel Caesar is doing.

What upcoming shows should we be geeking out about right now?

We have some really cool things on the books right now that I can’t wait to announce but I'm really excited to see Dralms on April 15; they're from Vancouver and I really dig their single "Shook".



What are you here to do?

I’m here to build upon the great reputation that guys like Nathan [Stein], Brian + everyone else before me have built and keep taking the programming to the next level. The best part about the Drake Underground is it’s the perfect room to grab bands just as they're breaking...M.I.A. did her first North American show here. It's also a great space to host a really special secret show.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Probably “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West. I love the vibe, the Curtis Mayfield sample, everything about it.

Posted in: People

Tags: Drake staff  Drake Underground  Iain MacNeil  Jen McNeely  music  our people  sarah brown