2018 Maple Blazers: 10 New Canadian Artists Who Ruled the Year

We don’t know if Alice Merton, bülow, and Kris Wu are Canadian citizens, but a number of Canadian artists and pseudo-Canadian artists leapt out of obscurity to make their mark whether on the charts or awards shows. Below is a list of 10 such notables in alphabetical order. We give a pair of honourable mentions to the following for their success on the album chart: pianist Alexandra Streliski whose Inscape became her first Top 10 album and Your Favorite Enemies member Alex Henry Foster whose debut solo disc Memories Don’t Die reached #6. A further pair of slayers involved singer Anders who teamed up with Loud Luxury on followup charting single “Love No More” and EDM whiz Dzeko who joined Tiesto on Top 10 smash “Jackie Chan”.

Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine

Duo Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine from Ottawa were participants in CTV talent search show The Launch which was responsible for six new singles from half a dozen aspiring artists. “Ain’t Easy” from the pair, shaped by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, was the most successful making the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching platinum sales. EW x JF did not stop there releasing followup number “Better Off” which also made the Hot 100. Elijah’s knack for electropop production and Jamie’s soulful singing proved a successful combination.

Hubert Lenoir

Glam rock specialist Hubert Lenoir provided fodder for music critic giddiness this year. His debut concept album Darlène released in early February 2018 may not have ripped up the album charts but it was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize. Later in the year, Lenoir won four Félix awards: critically acclaimed album of the year, pop album of the year, single of the year (“Fille de personne II”), and best new artist.

Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher was awarded the $50,000 Polaris Music Prize for his album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, a work recorded in his First Nations language of Wolastoq. The disc was made following a research project on archival recordings of traditional Maliseet songs at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in an attempt to preserve the music, culture, and language of his people. He sings in his native tongue over classical music compositions.

Jade Eagleson

Growing up on a farm in Ontario, country gent Jade Eagleson scored his first hit in 2018, “Got Your Name On It” which reached #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 at country radio. Jade initially played gigs to earn extra money to save the farm. He was invited to perform at a country music festival where he dazzled the audience. Eagleson was eventually signed to Universal Music releasing his debut EP in October. He is definitely a name to watch.

Kelly Yu

Rising Canadian star Kelly Yu scored a huge Mandopop hit this year, theme song for Chinese romcom feature film The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes. The song bears the title “Tĭ Miàn” (Decent). An audio of it at Youtube has surpassed Vevo certification levels of 100 million. From Vancouver, Kelly attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She is such an accomplished guitarist that the legend who is Peter Frampton invited her to perform on stage with him in concert.


“No Sad, No Bad” is the first charting single from Filipino-Bajan rapper Killy, reaching #65 on the Billboard Hot 100. His real name is Khalil Tatem. Two previous singles, though not charting, were certified gold by Music Canada in 2018: “Distance” and “Killamonjaro”. At the age of 8, Killy moved from Toronto to Victoria where he attended school. In his late teens he relocated back to Toronto to begin his career in rap music.


Loud, alias of Simon Cliche Trudeau, is a rapper who won the SOCAN Songwriting Prize in this year for his piece”56K”. His stage name comes from his former association with band Loud Lary Ajust. Around for several years, it failed to place a hit on the Hot 100. With his going solo, Loud made it to #94 with Franco tune ” Toutes les femmes savent danser”. Loud also collaborated with Cœur de pirate on the track “Dans la nuit” from her 2018 album En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé. Loud’s debut solo album Une année record was longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and won rap album of the year at the ADISQ gala. He also won the Félix trophy for the Quebec Artist with the Most Distinction Outside the Province.

Loud Luxury

Duo Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace, under moniker Loud Luxury was easily the biggest success story of 2018. Gaining recognition for remixing Martin Garrix’s single “Scared to Be Lonely”, Loud Luxury released the EDM song “Body” featuring Brando. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified 7x platinum by year-end. It was a major success story across Europe, including a #4 placement on the British charts, and Australia where it reached #7. Followup single “Love No More” featuring Canadian singer Anders also charted.

New City

Based in Toronto, trio New City scored its first charting single this year, dance-pop number “Getting Closer” (#73). The band describes its vision as “We now live in a playlist culture. For listeners today, musical genres and divisions are breaking down, and songs live or die on their own merits—no longer dependent on which category they’re placed in. Toronto-based trio NEW CITY is a new band with a new sound for this new moment.”

Yes McCan

Montreal-based Jean-François Ruel, a.k.a. Yes McCan, left alternative rap group Dead Obies for a solo career. He scored his first charting single in 2018: Désirée (#96). It features the talents of Cape Tula and Yen Dough) and is the final track on his 2018 album, Oui. The official YouTube audio for the track has racked up nearly 1.5 million listens (at this writing).

Kelly Yu and the Third Ex-File

Rising Canadian star Kelly Yu has scored a major Mandopop hit this year, theme song for Chinese romcom feature film The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes. The song is currently #3 at iTunes Taiwan, and a YouTube audio file has attracted 65 million “views”.

Kelly was born in the Chinese city of Dalian and emigrated to Canada when young. To further her musical pursuits, she attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Kelly is a singer, songwriter, accomplished guitarist (among the mastery of other instruments), and actress. After participating in televised singing competition reality show Duets, Kelly released her debut album Spirits in 2014 and starred in the Chinese-Korean romantic drama TV series One and a Half Summers.

We will keep happy tabs on this talented gal as her career flourishes. Watch the MV for The Ex-File 3 theme below.

Joseph Has the Mercury Rising

Toronto’s Joseph Salusbury, under stage name Joseph of Mercury, has the thermometer visibly rising with the release of his superb new EP. It’s 80s synth pop combined with 50s velvet crooning. He has the theatrical good sense of Freddie Mercury, captures the excitement of Future Islands, and dishes out the echo heavy proclivities of Roy Orbison. With the Joseph of Mercury disc, the man is named artist of the week by Apple Music in both The United States and Canada. The beats are well done, and the ride is one of unexpected twists; the whole package sounds fresh and is as engaging as fireworks on the 1st of July. This is quite the ace in the hole and we look forward to a full-length from this super talented artist. MV for “Find You Inside” embedded below to give you a taste.  iTunes

“Wake Up” to Dreamy New Singer Jessicka

Jessicka is a new singer from Vancouver and has signed with Light Organ Records, a label specializing in alternative music. Her debut single “Wake Up” is a dreamy synth pop number with crystal clear vocals and now translates itself into the visual plane with a music video. Jessicka plans on releasing an EP in the fall. Rumoured guests on the disc include Juno Award-winning violinist Jesse Zubot and members of indie group Mother Mother. “Wake Up” MV embedded below.  iTunes

Natasha Zimbaro Drops Debut EP

From the city of Maple Ridge, which lies within Metro Vancouver, comes a country recording artist who recently dropped her debut EP, an eponymous one. The six-track disc follows the release of single “Rebound” last October. Her name is Natasha Zimbaro, and if her name or face seems familiar, that may be because she was a finalist in Simon Cowell’s X Factor UK in 2011. Moreover, she was one of three in pop group Prty H3ro who placed two singles in the Billboard Hot 100, “Life of the Party” and “Young & Shameless”. As a soloist, Natasha has decided to return to her country roots, the genre she embraced when she became a teenager.

Before we tell you how much we love this treat of an EP, let us state that the country music scene needs Natasha Zimbaro. One of the reasons for Shania Twain’s success was that she made the genre accessible to a broader audience by toning down the twang and making it fun-loving. She gave it some oomph (for lack of a better word). Natasha does that in spades. She has a fresh, youthful style and injects a wallop of energy into the genre. Picture Back to the Future III’s Doc Brown tossing some Presto logs into the locomotive boiler. That’s what Natasha does here. She elevates country music to a dynamic realm. She has a great voice and the music is fab. Hoping the very best for this brightest of shining stars.  iTunes

14 Canadians Who Debuted on the Hot 100 in 2016

The Billboard Canadian Hot 100, the definitive chart for measuring the relative success of songs from week to week, welcomed 14 Canadian artists for the first time in 2016. The chart, which combines measurements of digital purchases of tracks, radio airplay, and streaming data (the latter a recent addition), launched in June 2007 replacing the old, highly problematic Nielsen SoundScan charts which measured the sale of CD singles only. For one of the thousands upon thousands of Canadian artists to make an appearance on the chart, it is a very difficult task. Nevertheless, while the chart was dominated by all kinds of foreign artists and Canadian A-listers like Drake, Justin Bieber, and The Weeknd, 14 managed to climb in. Some may have lasted for only a week and some may have gotten in via a credited feature in a track, buy hey they did it, and it’s a huge accomplishment! Who are these 14 artists? Where are they from? What kind of music do they make? We intend in this post to put faces to the names. Here they are in alphabetical order. Watch for some of these slayers in 2017.

Bit Funk


Now based in New York, this Halifax lad is a producer, remixer and DJ. He is making his mark on the contemporary club scene with his EDM wizardry. In late 2015, Bit Funk released his pop crossover single “Off the Ground”. It gained traction on streaming services, gaining 4 million on Spotify, and the MV did well on YouTube. Some mainstream radio stations picked it up, and it managed to squeak itself into the Hot 100.

Bobby Bazini


This hot soul singer is known throughout the land. While scoring a pair of platinum albums and four JUNO nominations, a hit single was sure to come at some point. Voila! In 2016, “C’est La Vie” off his third album was picked up by radio, especially AC and Hot AC stations, and rocketed up to the top 20 at iTunes. It is Bazini’s first Hot 100 charting single. There will be many more to come.

Delaney Jane


Delaney is from Toronto and began making music with Shaun Frank. They teamed up with international chart topping Canadian duo DVBBS in track “La La Land” which made the Hot 100. Delaney is working on her debut EP, and collaborations with other DJs are in store.

Jonathan Roy


The star hockey player now has a star singer son. The Roys are awesome. Jonathan’s launch was helped by mentor Corey Hart, and his delicious single “Daniella Denmark” popped into the charts in February. He’s from the suburbs of Quebec City.



One of the biggest songs of the year, “Never Be Like You” peaked at #21 and stayed on the chart for 28 weeks. The EDM track is from Australia’s Flume and features Toronto singer Kai. She had previously collaborated with Adventure Club, Diplo, Skrillex, and Childish Gambino. She also wrote the song “Sweet Talker” for Jessie J. But, of course, Kai’s big breakthrough came with the Flume track. It is now up for a Grammy Award.

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen? Yes. Remember that the Canadian Hot 100 has been around only since mid-2007. Following his heartbreaking death, Leonard’s song “Hallelujah” became a hit at iTunes and undoubtedly received some radio spins. It debuted on the chart at #17 remaining for just the one week. The same week, “You Want It Darker” from his last studio album charted at #73. It is a nice way to cap off the Montrealer’s legacy.

Lucky Rose


Vincent Carrier, a.k.a. Lucky Rose, is a DJ/producer from Quebec City who specializes in tropical pop. Lucky released his first official single “The Way You Want Me” featuring Yan Etchevary, and it was picked up by the Virgin radio group across Canada. It made the Hot 100 in February.

Michelle Treacy


This youthful star from Ottawa is red hot. She was selected to perform with Lady Gaga and was quickly signed by Sony. Michelle released her debut single “Armageddon” which remained on the Hot 100 for several weeks. Its music video racked up 300,000 views by the end of the year. Keep your eyes on this singer!



Being the first one signed to Drake’s OVO Record Label doesn’t hurt when it comes to breaking out in the urban music market. This Mississaugan’s real name is Jahron Anthony Brathwaite. He made the chart a few times through the year including as a collaborator. His first charting single (which incidentally featured Drake) was “Come and See Me” which peaked at #73.

Ruth B


The most successful newcomer in 2016 was Edmonton’s Ruth B who scored a triple platinum single for her delicate piano ballad “Lost Boy”. It was on the Hot 100 for 28 weeks peaking at #14. She may just be western Canada’s answer to Alessia Cara.

Shaun Frank


Shaun is the Toronto based DJ/producer involved in the aforementioned Delaney Jane and DVBBS track “La La Land”. He has done work with the likes of Borgeous, Kiesza, Down with Webster, and The Chainsmokers.

Sleepy Tom


Speaking of EDM crafters, Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom (Cam Tatham, born in Squamish, BC) teamed up with Diplo to score the charting single “Be Right There”. It garnered 160 million streams worldwide and went gold in Britain peaking at #8 on the official British charts! Sleepy has worked with Zeds Dead and Martin Solveig.

The Strumbellas


Another of the bigger successes of 2016 was Toronto roots leaning, JUNO award winning group The Strumbellas. “Spirits” peaked at #23 and went platinum. It also saw big success internationally. The photo above is the band being presented with a gold award by Germany.

Yan Etchevary


Yan, from The Magdalen Islands, was featured in the aforementioned single “The Way You Want Me” by Lucky Rose. The song was included in Sony compilation album Just the Hits 2016.

Gelsea Mae Set For Big Things

gelsea-mae-need-you-nowIf ever there was a superstar in the making and one to watch for in 2017, Gelsea Mae is it. This multi-talent grew up on Vancouver Island studying classical piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and taught herself the guitar. Moving to Vancouver, she got into photography, and her work was scooped up by Cosmopolitan mag. Acting jobs came knocking. She landed roles in TV series Witches of East End and Rush. In 2017, she will star in thriller series The Arrangement. Gelsea’s feature film debut was in 2015’s Beeba Boys directed by Oscar nominee Deepa Mehta. In 2017, she will star in comedy The Fusion Generation.

Of course, we are most interested in Mae’s musical pursuits. A song of hers was featured in the movie All Things Valentine, and one of her covers attracted praises from Meghan Trainor. Now, Gelsea has teamed up with top producer Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Hedley, Tyler Shaw, Victoria Duffield) to create her official debut single “Need You Now” which has received radio spins across the nation. Gelsea Mae recently launched its beautiful neon-themed music video which we have embedded below along with links to her social network sites.  iTunes


The Katherines and Frederick Are Better Off Now


Album To Bring You My Heart is set for release January 13, 2017. It will be the debut long play from Vancouver alt-pop female trio The Katherines, signed to 604 Records. Ahead of this highly anticipated disc, the group has launched beautiful track “Better Off Now” featuring Frederick as a single complete with a music video which we have embedded below. Frederick is the alias of Colin Janz, son of North Vancouver 80s pop icon Paul Janz. Frederick released an exceptionally brilliant alternative pop EP back in 2008 called Artisan Kane. The Katherines are Kate Kurdyak, Lauren Kurdyak, and Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher and work with musicians Liam McKeeWright (guitar), Mike Young (bass), and Johnny Andrews (drums).  iTunes

Let’s Give It Up for The Beaches


Nielsen Music features Toronto’s The Beaches this week. The all-female rock band consists, according to the official biography, of “good girls gone great … their sassy, saw-toothed alt-rock songs recall … Metric and The Runaways and writhe, snarl and spit the kind of romantic defiance, youth rebellion and peer solidarity that makes these females such a formidable force for rock.” Single “Give It Up,” according to Nielsen, is bubbling under both the Modern Rock Airplay as well as the Emerging Artists charts. Members are sisters Jordan (bass) and Kylie (guitars) as well as Eliza (drums) and Leandra (keys). The group released a pair of independent post punk / new wave EPs and now has been signed by Island Records (UMG) with “Give It Up” being the band’s debut major label single. We embed the music video below, and you can find the song at iTunes.

The Black Moon Rises with Amaara


New Canadian singer and dream pop specialist Amaara (Kaelen Amara Ohm), based in Toronto, is gearing up for release of an EP in early 2017, and she has launched her debut single “Black Moon” complete with a music video that stands as one of the year’s best. Filled with mystical themes and dark ambience, find Amaara near a misty forest joined by some real animals—horse, wolf dog, and owl—lightning, and a rising supermoon. The MV was shot in Alberta in June.  iTunes

Mylène Farmer

Mylene Farmer

Born: 1961, Pierrefonds, QC
Debut: 1984
Genres: New Wave, Pop


• 6 Diamond albums (France)
• 15 Number One Hits (France)
• 45+ Top Ten Hits (France)
• Album Point de suture spawned 5 number one hits
• Number one hits in 4 consecutive decades
• Appearance in Guinness Book of World Records for best-selling French single of all-time, “Désenchantée”

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

1986: Cendres de lune


• Hit Singles: “Libertine” (#10), “Tristana” (#7)

1988: Ainsi soit je…


• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces” (#1), “Sans contrefaçon” (#2), “Sans logique” (#10), “Ainsi soit je…” (#12)

1991: L’Autre…


• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Désenchantée” (#1), “Regrets” (#3), “Je t’aime mélancolie” (#3), “Beyond My Control” (#8)

1995: Anamorphosée


• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “XXL” (#1), “L’instant X” (#6), “California” (#7), “Rêver” (#7), “Comme j’ai mal” (#11)

1999: Innamoramento


• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “L’âme-stram-gram” (#2), “Innamoramento” (#3), “Souviens-toi du jour…” (#4), “Optimistique-moi” (#7), “Je te rends ton amour” (#10)

2005: Avant que l’ombre…


• 2x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “F*** Them All” (#2), “Peut-être toi” (#3), “Q.I” (#7), “Redonne-moi” (#7), “L’amour n’est rien…” (#7)

2008: Point de suture


• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Dégénération” (#1), “Appelle mon numéro” (#1), “Si j’avais au moins…” (#1), “C’est dans l’air” (#1), “Sextonik” (#1)

2010: Bleu noir


• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Oui mais… non” (#1), “Bleu noir” (#1), “Lonely Lisa” (#1)

2012: Monkey Me


• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “À l’ombre” (#1), “Monkey Me” (#3), “Je te dis tout” (#3)

2015: Interstellaires

mylene farmer - interstellaires

• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Stolen Car” (#1), “City Of Love” (#1), “Insondables” (#23)

Other Hit Singles

“Que mon cœur lâche” (1992, from Dance Remixes, #9), “La poupée qui fait non” (1997, from Live à Bercy, #6), “Dessine-moi un mouton” (2000, from Mylenium Tour, #6), “L’histoire d’une fée, c’est…” (2001, from Rugrats in Paris, #9), “Les mots” (2001, from Les Mots, #2), “C’est une belle journée” (2002, from Les Mots, #5), “Pardonne-moi” (2002, from Les Mots, #6), “Slipping Away (Crier la vie)” (2006, from Go – The Very Best of Moby, #1), “Avant que l’ombre… (Live)” (2006, from Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy, #10), “Déshabillez-moi (Live)” (2007, from Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy, #10), “Du temps” (2011, from 2001.2011, #4)

Note: All certifications and hit single peak chart positions above are for France.


Mylène Farmer (born Mylène Jeanne Gautier) is a progressive French-Canadian recording artist and one of the most successful Francophone singer songwriters of all time. She has scored six diamond albums in France, 15 chart-topping singles, and 47 top ten hits. Her album Point de suture accomplished the same feat in France that Michael Jackson’s Bad did in the United States spawning five number one singles. Farmer has collaborated with a number of global A-listers including the United States’ Moby and United Kingdom’s Sting and Seal. She has worked with French director Luc Besson (Nikita, Leon the Professional, The Fifth Element) on music videos. She is also responsible for launching the career of French dance-pop sensation Alizée.

Mylène was born in the greater Montreal area to French parents and grew up in the Paris suburbs from the age of eight. Because of jus soli birthright citizenship recognized in Canadian law, as in most American countries, Mylène Farmer was awarded Canadian citizenship at birth.

Farmer was fascinated by horse racing in her teens and became a qualified equestrian instructor. She ended up leaving the stables to pursue an acting career by enrolling at a drama school. She changed her surname from Gautier to Farmer in tribute to her idol, Hollywood actress Frances Farmer and was able to earn a living as a model acting in television commercials. In 1984, Mylène answered a newspaper ad seeking actors from film student Laurent Boutonnat. The two became friends and forged a creative partnership which included writing and producing music for film progressing to the making of music videos. Farmer managed to attract attention with a series of risqué MVs.

Farmer’s first two singles released gained minor success, but she was determined to release an album. Her first studio LP, Cendres de lune, came out in 1986. Boutonnat wrote the music and directed the cinematic-style videos while Farmer penned the lyrics and sang. Singles “Libertine” and “Tristana” cracked the Top 10 in France. Album Ainsi soit je… followed in 1988 and catapulted Mylène Farmer to superstardom. The album went diamond, was the best-selling LP from a female artist in France through the 1980s, and spawned her first number one hit, “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces”.

Facing the pressure of a followup blockbuster in the early 90s, Farmer succeeded, rising beyond superstardom to become iconic. This was achieved with album L’Autre and the phenomenon that was single “Désenchantée” which topped the charts for 9 weeks entering the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling French single of all-time worldwide.

Around this time, a deranged fan entered the Polydor Records headquarters in Paris, shot the receptionist, and held employees at gunpoint demanding to talk to Farmer. Following this, Mylène left the country to live in Los Angeles for a few weeks. She released a remix album with new song “Que mon cœur lâche”, the MV of which was directed by Luc Besson. She returned to the U.S. for a break again after the debut feature film from Boutonnat, Giorgino, in which she starred, was a commercial disappointment. It was in California where Farmer began work on 1995 album Anamorphosée. This was the first album for which Farmer wrote music. Pumped up by electric rock guitars, single “XXL” was her first song to debut on the French charts at #1.

From then on, Mylène Farmer began to tour extensively and released live albums which sold exceptionally well. She closed out the 90s with her fourth consecutive diamond studio album Innamoramento and in 2001 contributed the song “L’histoire d’une fée, c’est…” to the film Rugrats in Paris.

In the new millennum, Farmer and Boutonnat put together music which they felt more appropriate for a younger star and found Alizée of Corsica. They wrote and produced Alizée’s albums Gourmandises and Mes courants électriques. Alizée’s hit song “Moi… Lolita” topped the charts, and she became the most successful French singer of 2001. For her own hits, Farmer released a compilation double disc album Les Mots that year, another diamond seller for her.

Mylène Farmer released Avant que l’ombre… in 2005. The following year, she collaborated for the first time with electronic musician Moby who invited her to record a duet with him in song “Slipping Away”. She also worked on Luc Besson’s animated feature film Arthur and the Minimoys, lending her voice to Selenia, the character voiced by Madonna in the international version.

Album Point de suture was released in 2008 and spawned five #1 singles. Bleu Noir, co-produced by Moby, followed in 2010. With the continued success of albums and singles, Mylène Farmer at this point now had number one singles in four consecutive decades. Her ninth and tenth studio albums are Monkey Me in 2012 and Interstellaires in 2015. The latter features a collaboration with Sting (The Police).

Rise Up with Liz Loughrey

liz-loughrey-rise-up-2016Canadian singer Liz Loughrey recently released her fourth digital single “Rise Up”. Though bearing the same title as The Parachute Club hit, it is an original piece. “Rise Up” is the heralding track of the Torontonian soul-pop marvel’s upcoming EP and burbles along nicely through reggae tinged territory. The singer hopes the song will inspire us all to rise up for positive change in our local communities. Liz is currently visiting schools across Canada to talk to youth about doing so. She also hopes people will share stories on social media about making a difference under hashtag #RiseUpMovement. The “Rise Up” song was written and produced in Miami, USA by Loughrey, Adrian X (The Weeknd, Drake, Kylie Minogue), and Supa Dups (Drake, Party Next Door, Mary J Blige).  iTunes

Michelle Treacy: From Lady Gaga Duet to Debut Single

michelle treacy - armageddonOur radar screen picked up a new major blip, a very bright one! We are excited to tell you about Michelle Treacy. She’s a 20-year-old who hails from the nation’s capital. In 2014, Michelle, attending Lady Gaga’s concert at Montreal’s Bell Centre, was brought onstage to sing a duet with her. Her brother filmed the scene and had to apologize for the shaky recording because he was bawling the whole time. Michelle is now signed to major label Sony Music and working on her debut album. Treacy’s debut single “Armageddon” is out. It was produced by Canadian whizzes Todd Clark and Steve Kozmeniuk (Phillip Phillips, Kendrick Lamar). The song is currently getting added to radio and at #47 on Nielsen BDS. The national broadcaster featured Michelle in an article July 11.  We have embedded the official audio of “Armageddon” below. You want talent? You’ve got it!  iTunes

Three New Singers to Brighten Up Your Summer

3 new singers

Avery Raquel

Teen prodigy Avery Raquel is a big reason why Canada is a world leader of jazz music. One of the cool things about the genre is that it doesn’t matter how old you are; singers and musicians of all ages, from junior to senior, are welcome in the spotlight. Avery released an astonishingly good vocal jazz album of covers in early 2016 called Life Lessons which matches her singing talent with very professional and gorgeous arrangements. We embed a video of performance snippets below. You can check out her album on iTunes.

Rosemary Fairweather

Little is known about this independent artist who has thus far released three singles in the underground depths. We do know that she is from Toronto and is getting started on social media with her website in the early stages of development. Her most recent single “Moonlight” is a breathtaking electronic pop song of dreamy cloud surfing. We embed the SoundCloud below. Find a copy of the song on iTunes.

Vanessa Piunno

This Montreal-based teenage singer was selected to be the voice of the latest song from popular DJ MC Mario. While Mario has sold 3.5 million records, Vanessa is at the cusp of stardom. Having already appeared in commercials for Canadian Tire and in a music video from Snow Patrol (!), Vanessa takes the mic in “Dreamers” which is primed to become the anthem of summer 2016. Have a listen below and find the track on iTunes.

A Secret Canadian Superstar Named Gina Choi


Canadian recording artists based abroad tend to get disregarded by domestic media unless the foreign country in question is the United States. If a Canadian artist gets snatched up by a foreign record label and relocates to a country like the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, South Korea, what have you, he tends to remain oblivious to the Canadian populace. Things become especially obscure when that artist records music in an Allophone tongue. Consider the scenario that a Canadian singer fluent in both English and Italian gets offered a generous contract by an Italian label, relocates to Italy, records primarily in Italian, and becomes a huge superstar in Italy. Will the Canadian media bring this to the attention of the Canadian public? Aside from maybe a little piece in the back pages of a newspaper or two, generally not.

We have featured a number of these types of artists in Canadian Music Blog, and it is time for another. One of the biggest superstars born and raised in Canada that most of you will have never heard of is Gina Choi who records under the name G.NA.

Gina Choi was born in Edmonton and graduated from Fraser Heights Secondary School in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey. She was signed by Good Entertainment under Korea’s CJ Group and was to lead girl group Five Girls. However, the group disbanded prior to its scheduled debut in 2007 due to the label’s financial troubles. Choi found herself stranded in Korea trying to break into the music industry. She became a backup singer for K-pop superstar Hyuna. Despite being of Korean descent, she had a hard time with culture shock, having grown up in Canada.

In an English interview in Singapore, G.NA stated that, in Canadian culture, if an elder person asks you to do something, you can ask why or just say no. In Korea however, this is considered taboo. She also said certain body language and gestures meant different things, and she had to relearn the way she motioned her hands.

At long last, G.NA was picked up by Cube Entertainment and experienced a huge breakout success as a soloist, not only in South Korea but a number of other countries. Her EPs and songs like “Top Girl”, “2Hot”, and “Black & White” rocketed up the charts. According to one source, the latter single reached #1 in Korea selling over 2.5 million copies there.

Alas, at this writing, G.NA is at a new crossroads. On March 1, 2016, she announced that she had chosen not to renew her contract with Cube and left the label under good terms. We are keeping our fingers crossed that she finds a suitable new home and continues slaying in the K-pop realm or perhaps a switch to maple pop? We have embedded below G.NA’s MV for 2011 smash “Black & White” which has 12 million views on YouTube.