Tag Archives: Elise Estrada
“In the current state of society, children face a cruel fate. Millions and millions in country after country are dislocated socially. Children find themselves alienated by parents and other adults whether they live in conditions of wealth or poverty. This alienation has its roots in a selfishness that is born of materialism that is at the core of the godlessness seizing the hearts of people everywhere.
“The social dislocation of children in our time is a sure mark of a society in decline; this condition is not, however, confined to any race, class, nation or economic condition — it cuts across them all. It grieves our hearts to realize that in so many parts of the world children are employed as soldiers, exploited as labourers, sold into virtual slavery, forced into prostitution, made the objects of pornography, abandoned by parents centred on their own desires, and subjected to other forms of victimization too numerous to mention.”
“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future. They bear the seeds of the character of future society which is largely shaped by what the adults constituting the community do or fail to do with respect to children. They are a trust no community can neglect with impunity. An all-embracing love of children, the manner of treating them, the quality of the attention shown them, the spirit of adult behaviour toward them — these are all among the vital aspects of the requisite attitude.”
—The Universal House of Justice
Written over 12 years ago, the above words about children and youth by an internationally elected institution were so much more true this year when we witnessed events of children being shot to death in the United States, stabbed in China, and bullied in Canada. The late beloved television personality Mr. (Fred) Rogers once related that whenever tragedies happen, he was comforted in realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in the world. When tragedy struck in Metro Vancouver, which made news around the world, who was to do something to help?
Vancouver music producer Adam Hurstfield was joyfully celebrating his son’s sixth birthday when some unsettling news came to his attention. The stark, cold reality of a dark underside of Canadian society was uncovered when the harassment and bullying of a 15-year-old girl led to her committing suicide. Her name was Amanda Todd. This news stirred the very depths of his soul and, unable to sleep that night, he knew he had to do something. He contacted those in his musical family including JUNO-nominated singer Elise Estrada. They worked together to write a song for Amanda, a song called “Wonder Woman”.
While recording the song, Adam and Elise were overcome with feelings of déjà-vu. Amanda’s name and face seemed all too familiar. After the song touched the airwaves of television news and radio, Amanda Todd’s family contacted them to say thank you and emailed a special photo to the musicians. It was a photograph of Elise Estrada and Amanda Todd together, a photo snapped by Adam Hurstfield. Todd’s cousin told them that the day Amanda met Elise Estrada was one of the happiest days of her life.
A music video was put together with tremendous expertise. It contains snippets of Amanda’s life growing up, intermixed with Elise walking through beautiful parks and streets, the ground covered with dying autumn leaves. It opens with Hurstfield’s son clinging to a fence saying that bullying needs to stop and shows scenes from candlelight vigils held in the city to honour Amanda Todd’s memory. Elise is also shown behind a window in a café, the panes of glass streaked with tears of teeming rain. The video also includes photos sent in by various people touched by the song holding placards of messages. All proceeds raised by the song are going to the Amanda Todd Foundation dedicated to the elimination of bullying as well as suicide prevention.
The powerful message this video presents, the expertise in putting it together, and the gorgeous cinematography all combine to deliver the best music video of 2012. The Canadian Music Blog declares Elise Estrada’s “Wonder Woman” 2012′s Music Video of the Year. Watch…
We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2012. Regardless of when the song came out, to be eligible, the MV had to have been released within 2012. In assembling our list, we were not concerned with how much we liked the song, simply with the video itself. If low on the violence, raunchiness, and expletive side, while beautiful to look at, clever, creative and original, had great wardrobe choices, some breathtaking cinematography, or a stellar message, the music video had a good chance of making our list. Here we go…
#10. “Love Again” by Kreesha Turner
Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner takes a journey through an iron gate and folding / pop out staircase from what looks like a video game or Fifth Element style Egyptian stone temple into an abandoned warehouse converted to a dance studio. She is greeted by a legion of hoodie-clad dancers atop blocks of stone. Turner dazzles throughout the video with a number of sleek black outfits and greets the viewers with bright-eyed sincere and confident gazes. Keep an eye out for the chandelier-lit, smash-through ceiling elevator with a nod to Charlie and Chocolate Factory. This is such a gorgeous video, it received a big thumbs up from Nelly Furtado. Watch…
#9. “Feel” by Victoria Duffield
Speaking of dancing, few can outdo Abbotsford, BC’s teen pop princess Victoria Duffield. The video begins with Victoria knocking on a formidable-looking door at a teal and vermillion wall. She enters a room with a propeller-bladed metal wall fan and lights resembling Luke Skywalker’s light saber. With her copper-coloured hair slapping through the air, she releases bursts of high energy power dancing. She proceeds with her crew through various rooms in the building all lit by lamps of various colours. In the words of Chekov, “(Sigh), I vas never zat young.” The whole video is like a fountain of youth. Watch…
#8. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Walk off the Earth
We are not sure if Walk off the Earth are members of the Flat Earth Society, but they grabbed a novelty song from around the globe and turned it into one of the cleverest music videos of the year – five musicians cover Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” while simultaneously playing a lone guitar. Big beardie and crew taught us that you do not necessarily need a big budget and elaborate set to create an enjoyable video, just some clever ideas, skill, and talent. To date, the video has been watched on YouTube over 140 million times. Let us hope for Sarah’s sake that the men showered before they crowded her on the chesterfield, eh. Watch…
#7. “Co-Pilot” by Kristina Maria
Think about a Stress Centre and most of us would name the airport: lost luggage, long queues, jet lag, delays, taserings, getting accosted by Customs, the fear of flying, watching your new laptop get fingered by the drooling security dudes, and having your belt buckle set off the alarms. In 2012, Ottawa’s Kristina Maria came to the rescue, relieving all those pent up stresses from all of our bad experiences, by dancing up the airport with a multiethnic squadron of dancers. The video begins with a headphoned girl chuckin’ and jivin’. A security guard approaches her, and we think he is going to tell her to settle down. But unexpected twists happen and before you know it pilots and flight attendants join in the fun. Corneille adds some fabulous French for a true Canadian bilingual treat. Watch…
#6. “Le jour se lève” by Garou
This was a #1 Hit for Esther Galil in September 1971; it topped the charts in France for 4 weeks. Canadian soul singer Garou, off his bilingual album Rhythm and Blues, interprets it brilliantly. The mood the video sets is a perfect complement to the music. Looking like it comes out of an Orson Wells film, it is shot beautifully with gorgeous lighting and shadows in a night of fog, alleys, lamp posts, pool hall, and a dimly lit jazz club with a wooden revolving door. A mysterious motorcycle woman brushes shoulders with Garou on the sidewalk, and she drops something. He assumes it is a wallet, stoops down to pick it up, and finds a surprise. Watch…
#5. “I’m Just Me” by Diamond Rings
We haven’t seen a video this cool since John Foxx’s “No One Driving”. Another John (O’Regan), as Diamond Rings, fills an ominous void formed when the visionary electronic rock artists of the early 80s retired from the scene and left us surrounded by 1990s skaters in crotch-drop pants and 2000s heavily-tattooed yoga pants lovers. John reminds us why new wave fashion rocked. He combs his platinum blonde hair upwards, dons a silver space cadet uniform, holds a tennis ball with flashing lights, shows off glow-in-the-dark nail polish, slowly rotates his head adorned with diamond-themed shades, all amidst a stage set of TV screens, dry ice, and fanned out green laser beams. Watch…
#4. “Burning” by Mia Martina
Mia Martina is one of the few artists who can and does release both English and French versions of her songs, a true Canadian trooper. “Burning” offers crisp, clean, images of a high society evening in an intricately decorated indoor space graced with the presence of human flame throwers and a sax player dancing within a kaleidoscope of showering sparks of light. Mythic oil, red candles, framed mirror, a pair of sparkly shoes, gold evening gown, lots of jewellery, with ribbon rhythm dancing complete with confetti are everything a party-goer needs. You can tell a music video is good when you turn the sound off and your eyes are still glued to the screen. This is one of them. Watch: English Version French Version
#3. “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber
This video broke a VEVO record, racking up the most views ever in a 24-hour period with 10.6 million. Filmed in a clever way with a smiling Justin apparently pulling the camera while walking backwards and turning around, it was filmed at Raging Waters Theme Park in San Dimas, California, USA. The video shows an assortment of acrobatic dancers in and around swimming pools of various shapes and splash dancing in an ankle-high wade pool. Flashing coloured lights abound amidst the plants and straw covered bamboo bridges, the video being filmed after dusk. And for the grand finale, the Biebs comes down a water slide into a pool of a cheering crowd in broad daylight. Watch…
#2. “Missing You” / “Tu me manques” by Mia Martina
The French and English music videos for the song are slightly different. In either case, the intense images match the yearning music. The MV opens with a view overlooking a town by the sea (we’re guessing Dubrovnik, Croatia), and we find Mia in a breezy room with a rotary telephone. She emerges, and we see some intricate Spanish architecture and streets of Madrid before she takes a drive in the countryside in a classy white car with a backdrop of copper-stained rock. We then see Mia in a green evening gown surrounded by Greek pillars and a marble staircase. It all wraps up with time-lapsed photography of night traffic. Mia states this will be the final MV release from her Devotion album. We can’t wait for her next album release. Watch: English Version French Version
#1. “Wonder Woman” by Elise Estrada
When the tragedy of a 15-year-old girl named Amanda Todd, harrassed and bullied into suicide, struck Metro Vancouver, making news around the world, Elise Estrada wrote a song called “Wonder Woman”, its music video put together with tremendous expertise. It contains snippets of Amanda’s life growing up, intermixed with Elise walking through beautiful parks and streets, the ground covered with dying autumn leaves. It opens with a young boy clinging to a fence saying that bullying needs to stop and shows scenes from candlelight vigils held in the city to honour Amanda Todd’s memory. Elise is also shown behind a window in a café, the panes of glass streaked with tears of teeming rain. The video also includes photos sent in by various people touched by the song holding placards of messages. All proceeds raised by the song are going to the Amanda Todd Foundation dedicated to the elimination of bullying as well as suicide prevention.
The powerful message this video presents, the expertise in putting it together, and the gorgeous cinematography all combine to deliver the best music video of 2012. The Canadian Music Blog declares Elise Estrada’s “Wonder Woman” 2012′s Music Video of the Year. Watch…
Five words: Music Video of the Year. End of discussion.
While Carly Rae Jepsen has had the biggest Canadian song of the year, the most important song belongs to her British Columbian sister Elise Estrada. “Wonder Woman” was released on iTunes today and all proceeds will go to The Amanda Todd Foundation, which is committed to anti-bullying campaigns and suicide prevention. Not only is the song about Amanda Todd but all victims of ridicule, harassment, bullying, aggression, and abuse. For your convenience, you can find the song at the following LINK. We encourage all to buy a copy, as this is the clarion call for a massive restructuring of a lamentably defective society.
The incredible story of the song has come to light. We share it with you.
Local music producer Adam Hurstfield was joyfully celebrating his son’s sixth birthday when some unsettling news came to his attention. The truth of a dark underside of his own city, a city that has the highest positive reputation in the world, was uncovered in the suicide of a 15-year-old girl in the midst of a bullying exceeding the vilest cruelty of the beasts of the field.
This news stirred the very depths of his conscience and, unable to sleep that night, he knew he had to do something. He contacted those in his musical family including JUNO-nominated pop singer Elise Estrada. They worked together to write a song for Amanda Todd, a song called “Wonder Woman”.
While recording the song, Adam and Elise were overcome with feelings of déjà-vu. Amanda’s name and face seemed familiar. After the song touched the airwaves of television news and radio, Amanda Todd’s family contacted them to say thank you and emailed a special photo to the musicians. It was a photograph of Elise Estrada and Amanda Todd together, a photo snapped by Adam Hurstfield.
Todd’s cousin told them that the day Amanda met Elise Estrada was one of the happiest days of her life.
Update: The Official Music Video for the song has been released. Check it out HERE.
A moment of silence was held not only in Canada but in five countries, and last night candlelight vigils were held for a sweet and beautiful soul from Port Coquitlam, BC, a 15-year-old youth named Amanda Todd. Overwhelmed by depression and anxiety from cyber-bullying, blackmail, and physical assault, which caused her to change schools and her family to change homes, she took her own life on October 10, 2012.
JUNO-nominated Vancouver recording artist Elise Estrada has written a song about Amanda called “Wonder Woman”, the lyric video of which was posted on YouTube last night. The song will be available for purchase from iTunes next week and proceeds will go to charity.
Update: The Official Music Video has been released. Check it out HERE.
In time for Thanksgiving are October 2 releases from brand new country star Kira Isabella with her first studio album, Love Me Like That. The Ottawa teen sensation and Sony Music signee has already had three hit singles and won both a Canadian Radio Music Award as well as the Canadian Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year. Diamond-selling rock music veterans The Tragically Hip will be launching their 13th studio album, Now for Plan A, over a game of Twister. She has sold 15 million jazz records worldwide, and now Diana Krall is coming out with her latest work, Glad Rag Doll, while metal band Three Days Grace gives us their fourth album, Transit of Venus. And to top things off, Vancouver’s R&B princess Elise Estrada will be serving up her brand new single, “Piece of Me”. Not only can we enjoy a food feast on Thanksgiving but a musical one as well!
JUNO-nominated Canadian recording artist Elise Estrada is currently in-between projects and fell in love with the song ”Payphone” which is the #1 single in Canada this week according to the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. The song is from U.S. band Maroon 5. Elise recorded a video of her cover which completely blows the original version out of the water, showing Adam Levine how to sing it properly. Elise is without a doubt one of the most gifted vocalists in the country.
I received a personal email asking me whom I would like to see host the JUNO Awards this year (2012). I’m not a member, so my opinion doesn’t hold much weight. But I did give it some thought. The JUNO Awards were first televised in 1975, the host being Paul Anka (fitting). Over the years, hosts have not only been music stars but actors, TV personalities, and comedians. Below is a table summarizing the hosts of the JUNOs since 1975, including the host city.
|1976||Toronto||John Allan Cameron|
|1983||Toronto||Burton Cummings and Alan Thicke|
|1984||Toronto||Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin|
|1985||Toronto||Andrea Martin and Martin Short|
|1995||Hamilton||This Hour Has 22 Minutes Cast|
|2002||St. John’s||Barenaked Ladies|
As you can see, in the beginning, for feasibility, the show was held in Toronto. In 1991, for the first time, the gala was held elsewhere–in Vancouver. With bigger budgets, it is now being held in various cities. The JUNOs were broadcast on CBC up until 2002 when CTV took over. In general, they prefer big name stars to help draw viewing audiences. So, I’m guessing they’re considering Michael Buble, Justin Bieber, Rachel McAdams, Nickelback, Ellen Page, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne, Wayne Gretzky, and Jim Carrey.
I prefer the idea of a lesser name star.
Because our blog has a policy of giving priority to promoting Asian and Aboriginal Canadians, it would be cool if a star from one of these realms appeared as emcee. Because the show is being held in Ottawa this year, it would be fitting, though not necessary, if an Ottawan served as host. It should be someone current (i.e. had a hit in the past couple of years). And, it would be preferable to have a fresh face, someone who hasn’t hosted before. One name who fits all of these comes to mind–Kristina Maria. Being from Vancouver though, I can’t help being a bit biased. I would seriously cry if the honours were given to Elise Estrada.
Who should host the JUNOs? What do you think?
In keeping with our policy of giving priority to Canadian recording artists of Asian descent, we will be putting major profiles of Raghav, Kristina Maria, Anjulie, and Elise Estrada up on the site.
Normally, we reserve major profiles for superstars like Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, and Alanis Morissette. To help break the racist mold of a blacks-and-whites-only club in the West, however, we are making this move.
Let us know if there are any other Canadian artists of Asian descent you would like us to profile. The only requirement we ask is that the artist has had a Top 40 radio hit single in Canada.
Additionally, we will be bumping up Susan Aglukark, the world’s most successful Inuk recordnig artist, from a mini profile to major profile.
Origin: Maple Ridge / Surrey, BC
Genres: R&B, Pop
Studio Albums and Hit Singles
2008: Elise Estrada
• Juno Nomination for R&B / Soul Album of the Year
• Singles: “Unlove You” (#11), “Insatiable”, “Ix Nay”, “These Three Words”, “Crash & Burn”, “Poison”, “One Last Time”
2010: Here Kitty Kittee
• Singles: “You’re So Hollywood”, “Lipstick”
“Being an Asian singer in North America hasn’t always been easy. There is nothing more rewarding than being a role model for my culture and showing aspiring artists that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it, regardless of the odds stacked against you” –Elise Estrada
April 5, 2008 was an inspirational milestone in Canadian music history: it was the first time a Canadian of east-Asian descent scored a Top 40 radio hit. The feat was accomplished by a young woman from Maple Ridge, BC named Elise Estrada.
Elise was born in the Philippines but when she was four, her family immigrated to Canada. She grew up in the Vancouver area where she participated in a number of singing competitions as well as beauty pageants. When she was 17 she was crowned Miss Vancouver Princess. After travelling to Los Angeles, U.S., she landed a role in a Disney Television pilot based on her life as a singer.
Vancouver radio station The Beat 94.5 FM offered a singing competition which she won. Graced with a beautiful voice, she was offered a record contract with RockSTAR / Universal and released the single “Insatiable”. It received radio airplay on The Beat.
Her second single, “Unlove You” was released and was brought into regular radio rotation. It entered the Canadian Hot 100 on December 22, 2007 gradually rising into the Top 50. When it was made available on iTunes, it shot up to #11 on the charts where it peaked on April 5, 2008. It made the Top 100 year-eand chart. This is remarkable given that no music video was shot to promote the song.
Estrada performed at the Canada Day Festival in Surrey, BC and released a full-length (self-titled) album in September. The album was produced by Adam H (Loverboy, Ne-Yo, George Clinton) and Sean Hosein & Dane DeViller (Hedley, Jessica Simpson). Grammy winner Orlando Calzada (Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez) took care of the mixing. It was nominated for a Juno award—R&B album of the year in 2009. She won the Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Artist in the R&B/Dance category. Several other singles were released from the album. “Crash and Burn” was nominated for two MuchMusic video awards (see below).
Estrada hosted a dating competition MuchMusic television series called Love Court which featured her “First Degree” as the theme song. In 2010, she released her second album, Here Kitty Kittee which spawned two singles. The music video for “Lipstick” was filmed in London, England.
In 2012, Elise released single “Piece of Me” as well as a charity single about the suicide of Vancouver bullied teen Amanda Todd.
Elise’s younger sister Emmalyn is in the process of consolidating a singing career and is a name to watch for in the next few years.
Elise Estrada hasn’t racked up gold and platinum certifications as of yet, but she has set the stage for all future Canadian recording artists whose roots lie in east Asia. And in so doing, she is a true heroine and will be remembered in the generations to come as a Canadian legend.
Elise Estrada’s Official Website
The most significant event that occurred in the latter years of the first decade of the new millennium was that, for the first time in music history, a Canadian of east-Asian descent scored a radio hit. Canadians of Asian descent make up over 12% of the population but have seen little representation in the music industry. Maple Ridge B.C.’s Elise Estrada, born in the Philippines, recorded the R&B hit “Unlove You” which peaked at #11 on the singles chart.
This period also witnessed the 3rd best-selling Canadian single of all-time internationally, after Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” sold 7.3 million copies worldwide.
Edmonton, which had been left off the map in terms of churning out significant recording artists, contributed two during this time: Kreesha Turner and the Stereos.
Canadian music embraced further diversity. For the first time in a while, Canada gave the world a new male teen international superstar. A couple new electronic artists achieved success. Rock trio Metric released the single “Help, I’m Alive” which peaked at #21 on the singles chart in early 2009. LIGHTS, a female singer-songwriter, won the best new artist JUNO after her electronic pop song “Drive My Soul” became a Top 20 hit. Much of this diversity, however, involved taking on American styles of music, like R&B and rap. This coincided with Billboard magazine’s taking over the Canadian singles and albums charts in 2007.
In the late 2000s, a large portion of Canadian music began to emulate styles popular south of the border. A number of new Canadian artists began performing rap and R&B music. Relatively-speaking, such music did not sell well domestically. Most of these American-style artists arose from Toronto and were heavily promoted by Toronto-based MuchMusic. Although many of them were of Jamaican ancestry, they did not perform reggae music.
While it is true that Canadian artists like Avril Lavigne, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Raine Maida were busy writing and producing songs for American idol winners like Kelly Clarkson, and, in so doing, somewhat Canadianizing American pop, the American influence on Canadian music was much more apparent.
Artists who continued to perform Canadian styles of music began shedding their Canadian pronunciation, adopting American accents. And bad grammar became trendy. By the end of the decade these tendencies had become quite standard.
We can only speculate as to the motivations behind such a trend. Perhaps with the advent of digital music and the looming threat of rampant online piracy, record labels were pushing Canadian recording artists to tailor their music and accents to American styles in order to maximize chances of being successful in the world’s largest market for music. Ironically, many of the artists who did this did not end up making names for themselves in the republic. The most successful Canadian artists during the latter years of the decade were those who made music that was very Canadian: Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback. The only new artists to sell many records during this period were Feist and Justin Bieber.
Although the year was heavily dominated by pop-punk superstar Avril Lavigne, the Juno gala held the following year gave all three major awards (song, album, and artist of the year) to a folk-pop singer from Amherst, N.S. called Feist. She had received some attention in 2005 for her cover of the Bee Gees’ song “Inside and Out”. Juno-winning The Reminder was certified double-platinum. Feist’s song “1234″ was a Top 10 hit in Britain and the U.S. and made it to #3 at home. In the late 2000s, Feist was the most successful new artist at the Junos, winning eight of 11 nominations.
Five-piece, Vancouver-based, punky grunge band State of Shock scored a Top 10 hit called “Money Honey”. They managed three songs in the year-end Top 100 charts by the end of the decade. They were one of the few male-female combo bands.
Toronto’s Jully Black also made the Top 10 with her cover of the 1960s song “Seven Day Fool”. In Québec, female rocker Anik Jean enjoyed the hit “Oh mon chéri” and Jonathan Painchaud scored with “Pousse, Pousse”. But it was rocker Marie-Mai, Star Académie finalist who shone the brightest. She won four Félix awards, released gold and platinum albums, and recorded songs with David Usher (Moist) and Simple Plan. Although she did not see any hit singles, Peterborough, Ontario’s indie folk singer Serena Ryder scored a pair of gold albums and was honoured with the JUNO for best new artist.
With the handover of the official Canadian charts going to Billboard magazine, there was no year-end chart for the year, and we do not have access to the weekly singles charts for the first half of the year. Nevertheless, we have attempted to piece together data on some of the hits this year which you can find HERE. In brief, besides the new artists mentioned above, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback / Chad Kroeger, Nelly Furtado, Finger Eleven, Michael Bublé, Bedouin Soundclash, and Céline Dion enjoyed big hits.
Like R&B singer Jully Black, Toronto’s Kardinal Offishall (born Jason Harrow) is of Jamaican ancestry. His singles have done much better than his albums. This year, he scored the international hit “Dangerous” (11th biggest of 2008) with American Akon which won the Juno for song of the year. The two collaborated again in “Beautiful” and “Body Bounce” in subsequent years. In 2011, he recorded the song “Ghetto Love” with Montreal’s Karl Wolf, a rap-reggae version of Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love”. Kardinal Offishall has won 3 JUNO awards.
Edmonton-born Kreesha Turner, whose mother is Jamaican, started her career by performing 70s-style R&B and scored the Top 10 hit “Don’t Call Me Baby”. South of her, in Calgary, Andrew F became a one-hit wonder (so far) with his punky song “The End”. Marie-Pierre Arthur scored the Quebec hit “Pourquoi” as did Yann Perreau with “Beau comme on s’aime”. Gypsy jazz band The Lost Fingers, from Quebec City, scored a platinum album called Lost in the 80s.
Montreal’s pop pianist Béatrice Martin, under the stage name Coeur de Pirate, released her debut album this year. It was certified platinum and was nominated for Francophone album of the year at the JUNOs.
LIGHTS is not a band but a female singer-songwriter based in Toronto. She became one of the most successful electronic pop musicians in the late 2000s, winning the Juno award for Best New Artist. Her “Drive My Soul” was the 70th biggest song of 2008.
Vancouver’s Phillipine-born beauty contest winner Elise Estrada scored the hit “Unlove You” which finished in the Top 100 year-end chart of 2008. As far as we know, she is the first Canadian of east-Asian descent to score a hit on the radio in Canada, a remarkable achievement.
Mission, B.C.’s Faber Drive were signed onto Chad Kroeger’s label 604 Records and performed mainstream pop. “When I’m with You” made the year-end Top 100 and the following year their “Get Up and Dance” was the 48th biggest song of the year.
Many new artists emerged this last year of the decade.
Lebanese-born Montrealer Karl Wolf began performing R&B and his cover of Toto’s “Africa” was the biggest song of the year by a Canadian artist, finishing the year in 9th spot.
A Canadian rapper had a huge hit south of the border. “Best I Ever Had” was the 22nd biggest song in the U.S. (79th in Canada) thanks to Toronto’s Aubrey Drake Graham, known simply as Drake. He started out as an actor playing the character Jimmy Brooks on the television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Drake’s father is an African American from Memphis, Tennessee, and his mother is Jewish Canadian. He started out by collaborating with American rap artists like Kanye West, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne, signing onto the latter’s record label. Drake’s album Thank Me Later managed to go platinum in Canada.
Outselling Drake was a youngster from Stratford, ON named Justin Bieber who managed one platinum and two double-platinum albums. “One Time” and “One Less Lonely Girl” were big hits this year. He became successful by uploading videos of his songs onto Youtube. This led to a recording contract. Although primarily a pop artist, some of his songs feature rap segments from American artists.
Besides Nelly Furtado and Shawn Desman, another Portuguese-Canadian popped out of obscurity; in fact, he is Desman’s younger brother, Danny Fernandes. His “Fantasy” was a big hit this year.
Born in Scotland, naturalized Canadian soul singer Johnny Reid, despite no hit singles, put out an album that went double-platinum this year: Dance with Me. Divine Brown was yet another Toronto R&B singer to arise, though she did not score any significant hits until she teamed up with Nelly Furtado and performed “Sunglasses” (#22).
Toronto’s Suzie McNeil had entered a CBS reality show called Rock Star: INXS to find a new lead singer for the band. She was the last female singer to be eliminated from the competition, having gained by then considerable respect. She relocated to Los Angeles to develop her career. Her “Supergirl” made the year-end Top 100 this year.
Also from Toronto was Melanie Fiona, whose parents immigrated to Canada from Guyana. Her “Give It to Me Right” also made the Top 100 of 2009.
Besides Kreesha Turner, Edmonton produced the band the Stereos who scored two big hits this year: “Summer Girl” (#2) and “Throw Your Hands Up” (#3). The Stereos made a kind of music that blended all the current popular styles: grunge, dance, and rap.
Originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec, The New Cities set up base in Montréal and released their debut LP this year. Gold single “Dead End Countdown” was a big new wave hit, 69th of the year.
Links to Related Posts
Lists of Canadian Songs in the Top 100 of 2008 and 2009 in Canada are HERE.
Mini profiles on semi-major artists Feist, Marie-Mai, State of Shock, Faber Drive, Drake, The Stereos, and LIGHTS are HERE.
Major profile on Elise Estrada is HERE.
Major profile on Justin Bieber is HERE.
A list of Juno and Félix song of the year nominees and winners for the decade 2000-2009 is HERE.
A list of best-selling Canadian albums 2000-2009 is HERE.
A list of best-selling Canadian singles 2000-2009 is HERE.