Scarlett Butler is a new Canadian music duo comprised of Troy Kokol and Joni Delaurier. But ask anyone in the Canadian country music industry and they would be known better individually for crafting songs you have probably heard on the radio.
After a decade writing songs for country artists (250+ songs over the last decade) with and for artists like Shane Yellowbird, Brett Kissel, Tenille Townes, The Higgins, Mike Plume and others, this talented duo stands on a solid foundation of well-crafted songs backed up by a soul-warming blend of harmonies.
Delaurier and Kokol met at a songwriting event in Calgary, Alberta. “I heard her song and was like, that girl will write a hit song one day,” said Kokol.
It turned out to be true, sooner rather than later. The two started dating and together took their first trip to Nashville. Soon after, they wrote Shane Yellowbird’s hit song “Pickup Truck”, which was listed as the #6 all-time song on Canadian country radio by Billboard and spent twelve weeks in the top 10 on BDS. This earned the pair nominations for Canadian Country Music Song and Songwriters of the Year, a SOCAN Award and opened many doors to collaborations with some of the best writers and artists on both sides of the border.
As recording artists, both have released solo records with Kokol earning himself solo nods for Male Artist of the Year at the Indigenous Music Awards in 2018. However, forming a duo is an evolution from the songwriting rounds they have played over the years, where they would sing harmonies on each other’s songs and records, and the million times they were told “you guys should start a band”.
During the pandemic, having sidelined some of their solo music ventures, it seemed like the perfect time. The pair wrote “Looking for a Lockdown With You” with some radio friends as a gag, which they recorded with Aaron Goodvin, Michelle Wright, Duane Steele and CBC Heartland’s Amber Marshall, raising funds for the Unison Benevolent Fund and garnering them their first top 50 on Billboard Canada charts. It also garnered the pair “Songwriters of the Year” at the recent Country Music Alberta Awards.
“Our partnership works the same in life as it does in music - we just really like one another’s style, and genuinely like to be together,” says Delaurier. “We hope that translates when we perform and that people feel something real from us.”
“There are so many songs we’ve written over the years that we love, that didn’t find their way onto a record. We can’t wait to share them,” says Kokol.
You will find this pair playing all over Western Canada, writing songs and occasionally jamming a ukelele cover on TikTok.
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