Charts, Juno Nominations, Prism Prize Contenders

The Canadian Charts, February 7, 2017

Nothing terribly exciting on the charts this week. There were only 17 entries by a Canadians and no new Canuck entries. No domestic albums debuted in the Top 10. One highlight is that Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” becomes her first #1 hit at Hot AC radio.

JUNO Nominations

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The JUNO Award nominations were announced at a press conference yesterday morning. The three amigos, Drake, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes lead with five each. The aforementioned Alessia Cara snapped up four as did the late Leonard Cohen. Up for Album of the Year are Starboy by The Weeknd, Illuminate by Shawn Mendes, You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen, Views by Drake, and Encore un Soir by Céline Dion. Single of the Year nominees are “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes, “One Dance” by Drake, “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara, “Starboy” by The Weeknd, and “Spirits” by The Strumbellas. You can find a full list of nominees here.

CARAS also announced a batch of performers at the main gala in Ottawa, April 2. In addition to the previously confirmed Shawn Mendes are A Tribe Called Red, Alessia Cara, Ruth B, and The Strumbellas.

We hope that the JUNOs, which have always been more progressive, do not veer towards Grammy style with excessive focus on roots and urban music and going with sentimental favourites.

Prism Prize Top 20

The good folks over at the Prism Prize have unveiled their 20 picks for the year’s best music video. The collective can now boast the highest cash prize award in the world for the year’s best music video which is now $15,000. The prize will be awarded May 14 after the 20 is pared down to 10 on March 28. The Top 20 in alphabetical order are as follows.

A Tribe Called Red feat. Black Bear – Stadium Pow Wow
Aidan Knight – What Light (Never Goes Dim)
Andy Shauf – The Magician
BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Kaytranada – Lavender
Braids – Companion
Dilly Dally – Snakehead
Grimes – Kill V. Maim
Harrison feat. Clairmont The Second – It’s Okay, I Promise
Holy F*** – Tom Tom
Jazz Cartier – Red Alert / 100 Roses
July Talk – Picturing Love
Kaytranada – Lite Spots
Lisa LeBlanc – Gold Diggin’ Hoedown
PUP – DVP
PUP – Sleep in the Heat
Ronley Teper’s Lipliners – Lucky and Finnegan
Somewhere Else feat. Majid Jordan – Move Together
SonReal – Can I Get a Witness
Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
Wintersleep – Amerika

By comparison, the five MVs up for JUNO Music Video of the Year are “Kill v Maim” – GRIMES (Claire Boucher), “Lite Spots” – KAYTRANADA (Martin C. Pariseau), “R.E.D.” ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear – A Tribe Called Red (Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman), “Killa” – WIWEK/SKRILLEX (Jodeb), and “The Stranger” – Gord Downie (Justin Stephenson).

Buffy Sainte-Marie to Receive 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award

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CARAS, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has announced the 2017 recipient of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, and her name is … Buffy Sainte-Marie. The award, which will be presented in conjunction with the JUNO Awards in Ottawa this year, “recognizes an outstanding Canadian artist whose humanitarian contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada and/or whose impact can be felt worldwide.” It is named after the founder of the CHUM broadcast network, most notably Toronto radio station 1050 CHUM which launched in 1954. Waters committed the network to community and public service initiatives. The Allan Waters Humanitarian Award has been given out annually since 2006. Past winners in chronological order are Bruce Cockburn, Tom Jackson, Paul Brandt, Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Simple Plan, Tom Cochrane, Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, Rush, Arcade Fire, and now Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Buffy has had a long and successful career spanning half a century. She was chosen as a recipient this year, as it was felt she “exemplifies the essence of humanitarianism through her dedication to protecting indigenous communities and indigenous intellectual property, which have been at the epicentre of her lifelong activism”. Sainte-Marie was born on the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan. In 1964, she became well-known for anti-war peace anthem “Universal Soldier,” which has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1969, she founded The Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education. Her 1976 hit song “Starwalker”, which she dedicated to the American Indigenous Movement marked the first time Aboriginal and pop music were combined, and with Sainte-Marie dubbing it ‘powwow rock’ she created a new genre. She was a regular on children’s television series Sesame Street from 1975 to 1980. At the Bahá’í World Congress in New York 1992, Buffy appeared in the musical event prelude.

Her list of awards is impressive. As noted by CARAS, in addition to an Academy Award (Best Original Song) for “Up Where We Belong,” “Sainte-Marie is also the recipient of four JUNO Awards, a Golden Globe, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, a BAFTA Award, multiple Queen’s Jubilee Medals and Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. She carries the Order of Canada and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.” Her songs have been covered by a slew of A-listers including Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Céline Dion, Cher and Indigo Girls.

Sainte-Marie’s most recent album Power in the Blood (2015) won 2016 JUNO Awards for Aboriginal Album of the Year and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. It also took the Polaris Music Prize.

Western Canada Flexes Its Muscle at BreakOut West and the 2016 WCMAs

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It’s time to fold up the CN Tower and put eastern Canada in the overhead storage bin for a bit. The 14th annual 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards, in conjunction with festival BreakOut West, recently celebrated the best of western Canadian music and its industry. To quote from the organization’s website, “BreakOut West and the Western Canadian Music Awards are the primary events hosted by the Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) – an organization created by the Music Industry Associations (MIA’s) of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory – to promote and celebrate western Canadian music.”

From October 13-16, 2016, awards were given out, in this year’s host city of Regina, at various ceremonies and venues interspersed with concerts and showcases. Six-time JUNO winning bluesman Colin James of Regina was this year’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Throughout the four provinces and two territories, Alberta’s Lexi Strate was crowned pop artist of the year largely for her first-rate EP Waves. BC’s Indo-Celtic collective Delhi 2 Dublin was named electronic/dance artist of the year, Manitoba’s Romi Mayes blues artist of the year, Alberta’s Brett Kissel country artist of the year, Edmonton’s The Wet Secrets rock artist of the year, and Vancouver’s David Morin urban artist of the year for his beautiful R&B album Every Colour. BC’s Yukon Blonde took home the trophy for recording of the year—On Blonde. The Bros. Landreth of Manitoba were named breakout artist of the year. Find a full list of winners below.

POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lexi Strate (AB)

ELECTRONIC/DANCE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Delhi 2 Dublin (BC)

FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jocelyne Baribeau (MB)

ABORIGINAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
William Prince (MB)

BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Romi Mayes (MB)

BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Bros. Landreth (MB)

CHILDREN’S ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick (MB)

CLASSICAL ARTIST/ENSEMBLE OF THE YEAR
Couloir (AB)

CLASSICAL COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
Along the King’s Road – Jason Cullimore (SK)

COUNTRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Brett Kissel (AB)

INSTRUMENTAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Pugs and Crows (BC)

JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Curtis Nowosad Quintet (MB)

METAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Striker (AB)

RAP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SonReal (BC)

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Yukon Blonde – On Blonde (BC)

ROCK ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Wet Secrets (AB)

ROOTS DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
Northern Beauties (AB)

ROOTS SOLO ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Frazey Ford (BC)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Colin Stewart / Hive Studios – Yukon Blonde “On Blonde” (BC)

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Pharis Romero – “A Wanderer I’ll Stay” from Pharis & Jason Romero A Wanderer I’ll Stay (BC)

SPIRITUAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Yvonne St. Germaine (SK)

URBAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
David Morin (BC)

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Ft. Langley – Aidan Knight “All Clear” (BC)

VISUAL MEDIA COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Alec Harrison – 2014 FIFA World Cup Open (ESPN) (AB)

WORLD ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tasman Jude (AB)

AUDIO ENGINEERING AWARD
Nygel Asselin – Jon Bryant “Twenty Something” (BC)

COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE AWARD
The West End Cultural Centre (MB)

EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL DESIGN
Roberta Hansen – The Small Glories (MB)

IMPACT IN ARTIST DEVELOPMENT
Paquin Artists Agency (MB)

IMPACT IN LIVE MUSIC
Rawk Entertainment Group (SK)

IMPACT IN MUSIC MARKETING
Live Nation Canada (BC)

HERITAGE AWARD
John Arcand

KEVIN WALTERS INDUSTRY BUILDER AWARD
Derek Bachman (posthumously)

Jocelyn Alice Wins Big at First Calgary Music Awards

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After all these years, Calgary has finally launched its own music awards gala. The event went down last night, September 25, 2016. While an annual music awards has been going on in its sister city of Edmonton, 300 km to the north, for seven years, Calgary has seemed more interested in waterflood enhanced recovery processes and voidage calculations than looking at the permeability of music. Hosting the JUNO awards and opening the National Music Centre this year helped consolidate impulses towards organizing something that recognized local recording artists. After all, with Calgary bred A-listers like Tegan and Sara, Paul Brandt, Jann Arden, and Kiesza, there is no dearth of musical talent in Canada’s third largest city.

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(Above: YYC Music Awards stage and nominated pop recording artist Lexi Strate)

This was apparently not the city’s first attempt to put something together. There was an awards show in the 1990s, and one that was planned three years ago fell through. The four core players in this year’s launch were Shannon Ambrose who runs online music site The Portal Magazine, Darren Gilbert, a producer and the owner of local recording studio Off The T-Can Studios, and Leanne Harrison and Sarah Fielder who run music management and booking company The SIN Agency. This time, The YYC Music Awards fell into place at the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell where some 16 trophies were handed out before a crowd of about 275 who purchased $40 tickets to the event. It was all done very professionally and included live performances.

The big winner at last night’s shindig was Jocelyn Alice for her recently certified platinum single, “Jackpot”. She won four awards: Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Singer-Songwriter of the Year, and Pop Recording of the Year. The success of her single helped her recently ink a deal with Disruptor Records under Sony Music Entertainment. View a list of winners below.

ALTERNATIVE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Wisers – It’s Safe, I’m Not Here

BLUES RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Debra Power – Even Red Heads Get the Blues

COUNTRY RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Jason Hastie and The Alibi – Feels Like Home

DJ/ ELECTRONIC RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Zach Taylor – “Johnny Hockey”

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jocelyn Alice

GROUP OF THE YEAR
The New Electric

JAZZ RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Al Muirhead – “Oop!”

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Drew Gregory

METAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Every Hour Kills – Every Hour Kills

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Cowpuncher – “Later On”

POP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Jocelyn Alice – “Jackpot”

RAP/ HIP HOP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
DJ Kav (ft. Kay L & Voyce) – “Raindrops”

ROCK RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Static Shift – “At Odds”

ROOTS/ FOLK RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Northern Beauties – The Northern Beauties

SINGER/ SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Jocelyn Alice

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Jocelyn Alice – “Jackpot”

Quebec’s Kaytranada Wins the 2016 Polaris Prize

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Quebec recording artist Louis Kevin Celestin, who records under alias Kaytranada, won the Polaris Music Prize of $50K for his debut album 99.9%. Born in Haiti, he emigrated to Canada shortly after birth and launched his music career in Montreal where he grew up. His music has been described as a mish-mash of electronic, hip hop, R&B, and house. The announcement followed a 3-hour showcase of performances by 7 of the 10 nominees, some accompanied by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He was presented the award by last year’s winner Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The Polaris Prize selects the album subjectively according to “artistic merit”. The winner from the short list of 10 albums is determined by a group of 11 judges made up mainly of media personnel. The nine runners up won $3,000 each for being shortlisted – Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, GRIMES, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, PUP, Andy Shauf, U.S. Girls, and White Lung. Interestingly, grand prize winner Kaytranada was one of the three nominees who did not perform at last night’s gala at the Carlu in Toronto. It was an event that included celebrity video endorsements of the nominees. Kaytranada was in one way endorsed by Madonna, as she picked him to open for her on a couple of dates on her Rebel Heart tour last year. His album 99.9% features a number of international guests including the UK’s Craig David, Sweden’s Little Dragon, and the UK’s AlunaGeorge.

Jess, Dean, Madeline, HV Performing at 2016 CCMA Gala

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The Canadian Country Music Association announced today that Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, High Valley, and Dean Brody will take the stage to perform at the 2016 CCMA Awards Show on Sunday, September 11. This will be the first time for the gala to be held in London. The program will air on CBC at 8 p.m. and be emceed by comedian Jessi Cruickshank.

Jess Moskaluke has won the CCMA award for female artist of the year for the past two years in a row. She is acclaimed as the first female Canadian country solo artist since Shania Twain to score a gold single with hit “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”. This year, she has landed two songs in the country radio top 10.

Winner of the 2015 CCMA Rising Star Award, Madeline Merlo, is nominated for the 2016 CCMA Female Artist of the Year Award. In April, she released her debut album, Free Soul which spawned Top 10 hit “Whatcha Wanna Do About It”.

Beginning as a trio, Alberta’s High Valley is now a duo and has score a pair of gold singles. HV won the 2015 CCMA award for Group or Duo of the Year.

The Sea Named “Polaris”

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The Polaris group recently announced the short-list of 10 nominated albums up for their annual naming of the year’s most artistic album. This short list was the result of the whittling down of the longer list of 40 albums announced earlier.

The winner will be revealed at a gala on September 19, 2016 in Toronto and receive a cash prize of $50,000. The nine other short-list nominees are guaranteed $3,000 prize money. The 10 nominated albums are BC’s Black Mountain for alternative work IV released April 1, 2016; Ontario singer-songwriter Basia Bulat for Good Advice released February 12, 2016; BC alternative pop artist Grimes for Art Angels released November 6, 2015; Emotion by BC pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen released August 20, 2015; Quebec R&B artist Kaytranada for 99.9% released May 6, 2016; Oh No by Ontario alternative artist Jessy Lanza released May 13, 2016; Ontario punk group Pup for The Dream Is Over released May 27, 2016; Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Andy Shauf for The Party released May 20, 2016; American soloist Meghan Remy under alias U.S. Girls for alternative album Half Free released September 24, 2015; BC punk group White Lung for Paradise released May 6, 2016.

Saddle Up for the 2016 CCMA Award Nominations

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This year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards will be held in London, Ontario on Sunday, September 11, 2016. Today, the nominations were announced. During the late summer gala, hosted by funny lady Jessi Cruickshank, eight of the awards will be given out. British Columbia bred Dean Brody and Alberta’s Brett Kissel lead the nominations with five each. The Washboard Union has the most for a group or duo at four, while the leading female is Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke with three.

Regarding the latter, we are moved to share Jess’ reaction which she shared earlier today on social media:

“When I was about 14 years old, I sang at my first ‘solo gig’. … I remember later that day telling my mom that someday I wanted to have my very own backup singer. … Well, here I am almost 12 years later and I have a backup singer. In fact, I have 3. And 3 guitar players. And a bass player. And a drummer. And a sound guy. And 3 managers. 2 labels. Agents. Publicists. Radio trackers. Web designers. Publishers. Producers. A ton of other support staff. Not to mention I have fans. And now, today, I have … THREE CCMA Award nominations. …”

Below are the artist nominees. Find musician, radio, and industry nominations at the Official CCMA Website. You can vote for the Fans’ Choice award HERE.

FANS’ CHOICE
Dean Brody
Brett Kissel
Johnny Reid
Dallas Smith
Yoan

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Edge Of The Storm – Wes Mack
Hearts On Fire – Chad Brownlee
I Got This – George Canyon
Tin Roof – Gord Bamford
Tougher Than Love – Bobby Wills

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lindsay Ell
Kira Isabella
Madeline Merlo
Jess Moskaluke
MacKenzie Porter

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Gord Bamford
Dean Brody
Brett Kissel
Johnny Reid
Dallas Smith

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
High Valley
The Road Hammers
The Washboard Union

ROOTS ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Lovelocks
Jessica Mitchell
Lindi Ortega
The Washboard Union
The Western Swing Authority

RISING STAR
Alee
Cold Creek County
David James
River Town Saints
The Washboard Union

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Airwaves – Brett Kissel
Bring Down The House – Dean Brody
Cheap Seats – Dallas Smith
Don’t Let Her Be Gone – Gord Bamford
Won’t You Be Mine – Bobby Wills

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Bring Down The House – Dean Brody
Hearts On Fire – Chad Brownlee
Kiss Me Quiet – Jess Moskaluke
Maybe It’s The Moonshine – The Washboard Union
Our Town – Cold Creek County
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Chad Kroeger, Meghan Patrick
Song: Bow Chicka Wow Wow (Performed By: Meghan Patrick)
Dean Brody
Song: Bring Down The House (Performed By: Dean Brody)
Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman
Song: Came Here To Forget (Performed By: Blake Shelton)
Gord Bamford, Wade Kirby, Phil O’Donnell
Song: Heard You In A Song (Performed By: Gord Bamford)
Matt Johnson, Michael Pyle, Bobby Wills
Song: Won’t You Be Mine (Performed By: Bobby Wills)

INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Leah Daniels
Tim Hicks
Brett Kissel
Wes Mack
Jess Moskaluke
Dallas Smith

2016 MMVAs: The Winners

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The 2016 MMVAs went down in Toronto on Father’s Day, June 19, 2016. The outdoor spectacle was hosted by supermodel Gigi Hadid and featured performances by British Columbian pop band Hedley, British roots specialist James Bay, teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes, U.S. rapper Desiigner, Toronto alt-rock outfit July Talk, Calgary synth pop duo Tegan & Sara, Brampton sweetheart Alessia Cara, U.S. R&B group Fifth Harmony, pop superstar Shawn Hook with U.S. newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, American rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and U.S. pop machine Nick Jonas. In keeping with MMVA tradition, the red carpet arrivals sported some flashy vehicles. Tegan and Sara pulled up in a double-decker London-style bus, Marianas Trench in a golf cart, Nick Jonas in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible, and Fifth Harmony on an Inkas Sentry APC assault vehicle. Drake was the big winner taking home four awards. Find a complete list of nominees below with the winners bolded in red. But first we need some choice animated gifs. Find more photos and videos at the MMVAs website.

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Video of the Year

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta

Best Post Production

Kaytranada, “Lite Spots,” Directed by Martin C. Pariseau
Majid Jordan, “Every Step Every Way,” Directed by Common Good
Naturally Born Strangers, “Jameson Ave,” Directed by RT!
PUP, “Dark Days,” Directed by Jeremy Chandler
Purity Ring, “Heartsigh,” Directed by Cecil Frena and Alex Fischer

Best EDM/Dance Video

DVBBS, “White Clouds,” Directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg
Grandtheft, “Quit This City,” Directed by John ‘JP’ Poliquin
Keys N Krates f. Katy B, “Save Me,” Directed by Adam Beck
Thugli, “Sic Em,” Directed by slavelabour.co
Zeds Dead f. Memorecks, “Collapse 2.0,” Directed by Kyle Davison

Best Director

Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
Majid Jordan, “Something About You,” Directed by Common Good
Kalle Mattson, “Avalanche,” Philip Sportel
Young Empires, “The Gates,” Amos LeBlanc

Best Pop Video

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads,” Directed by Coleman Hell and Ben Knechtel
Hedley, “Lose Control,” Directed by Lisa Mann
Shawn Hook, “Relapse,” Directed by Alon Isocianu
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta

Best Rock/Alternative Video

City and Colour, “Wasted Love,” Directed by Director X
Metric, “The Shade,” Directed by Lauren Graham
Monster Truck, “Don’t Tell Me How To Live,” Directed by Davin Black
The Sheepdogs, “I’m Gonne Be Myself,” Directed by Sean Cartwright
The Strumbellas, “Spirits,” Directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg

Best Hip Hop Video

Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Jazz Cartier, “The Valley/Dead or Alive,” Directed by Kyle Sanderson
John River, “Get Down,” Directed by Abstrakte
SonReal, “Whoa Nilly,” Directed by Peter Huang

Best MuchFact Video

Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Humans, “Water Water,” Directed by Peter Ricq
Majid Jordan f. Drake, “My Love,” Directed by Common Good
SonReal, “Whoa Nilly,” Directed by Peter Huang
Young Empires, “The Gates,” Directed by Amos LeBlanc

iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year

Adele, “Hello”
James Bay, “Let It Go”
Nick Jonas, “Close”
Rihanna, “Work”
Selena Gomez, “Hands To Myself”
Sia, “Cheap Thrills”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”
Ariana Grande, “Dangerous Woman”
Kanye West, “Only One”

Most Buzzworthy Canadian

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Drake, “Hotline Bling”
Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Shawn Mendes, “Stitches”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group

Adele, “Hello”
Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”
Hailee Steinfeld, “Rock Bottom”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Nick Jonas, “Close”
Rihanna, “Work”
Selena Gomez, “Hands To Myself”
Sia, “Cheap Thrills”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”

Best New Canadian Artist

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads”
Dan Talevski, “Knock Me Off My Feet”
Jazz Cartier, “When It’s Over”
Ria Mae, “Clothes Off”

iHeartRadio International Duo or Group

Coldplay, “Adventure Of A Lifetime”
Disclosure, “Magnets”
Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”
Jack U, “Where Are U Now”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Major Lazer, “Powerful”
One Direction, “Drag Me Down”
Tame Impala, “Let It Happen”
The Chainsmokers, “Roses”
Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”

iHeartRadio Canadian Single of the Year

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads”
Justin Bieber, “Sorry”
Shawn Mendes, “Stitches”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

Fan Fave Artist Or Group

Drake, “Hotline Bling”
Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Shawn Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”
WILDCARD – Alessia Cara, “Here”

Fan Fave Video

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
WILDCARD – Hedley, “Lose Control,” Directed by Lisa Mann

Fan Fave International Artist Or Group

Adele, “Hello”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”
WILDCARD – Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”

Fan Fave Vine Musician

Ruth B.
Marks Records
Jeffrey Miller
Rajiv Dhall
WILDCARD – Kenzie Nimmo

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List

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The Polaris Prize is still afloat, and organizers have announced the 2016 long list of nominees for best Canadian album. Whether intentionally or not, the tool of controversy has been used to juice up the loadstone resulting in jacked up attention and thus increased sponsorship. The result is that the initial 2006 prize money of $20,000 has fattened up to the current sum of $50,000. Criticism of the prize has centered mainly around questions of representation balance when it comes to artist attributes and musical genre. Country, jazz, and others are often left out. If anything has been set in better balance with this year’s 40 nominees, it may be that between the indie and the mainstream. In the past, good music equated simply to music that was different. It seemed there was no such thing as different music that was bad to Polaris panel ears. We have more familiar pop albums present this year to indicate a bit of a change in thinking. A regular shoe-in of the nominations—Drake—is there again this year, and his big hits have not been original compositions but a reworking of other songs, a further indication that originality is no longer seen as the prime requisite. The JUNO winning album of the year, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness, is included. Critically acclaimed pop albums that the JUNOs ignored, Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion and Grimes’ Art Angels, are there. Other welcome nods are to Justin Bieber’s wonderful electronic pop album Purpose, folk pop group The Strumbellas’ Hope, and Coeur de pirate’s exquisite bilingual pop album Roses. On the alternative music side, there’s a lot there, so no worries for the indie enthusiasts.

The Long List was revealed today from the abandoned telegraph lines and gold nugget pouches in Whitehorse, Yukon. In total, 183 titles, released in the eligibility period of June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016, made the first ballots of the 192 member jury. This year’s list features 19 returning and 21 new nominees.

The 10 album Short List will be announced on July 14 in Toronto.

Eleven people are to be selected from the larger jury pool to serve on the Grand Jury. They will convene the night of the Polaris Gala to choose the 2016 Polaris Music Prize winner who will receive $50,000. Each of the nine other short listed artists will receive $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music. The gala will be held September 19 at The Carlu in Toronto and streamed live by CBC Music.

Did your favourite Canadian album make it? Have a look at the list below.

The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Long List

Art Bergmann — The Apostate
Justin Bieber — Purpose
Black Mountain — IV
Jean-Michel Blais — II
Basia Bulat — Good Advice
Daniel Caesar — Pilgrim’s Paradise
Tanika Charles — Soul Run
City and Colour — If I Should Go Before You
Coeur de pirate — Roses
Dead Obies — Gesamtkunstwerk
Destroyer — Poison Season
Dilly Dally — Sore
Drake — VIEWS
Essaie pas — Demain est une autre nuit
Fred Fortin — Ultramarr
FOXTROTT — A Taller Us
Grimes — Art Angels
Half Moon Run — Sun Leads Me On
Veda Hille — Love Waves
Jazz Cartier — Hotel Paranoia
Carly Rae Jepsen — E•MO•TION
Junior Boys — Big Black Coat
Kaytranada — 99.90%
Jessy Lanza — Oh No
Majid Jordan — Majid Jordan
Michelle McAdorey — Into Her Future
Nap Eyes — Thought Rock Fish Scale
Safia Nolin — Limoilou
Operators — Blue Wave
Peaches — Rub
PUP — The Dream Is Over
Daniel Romano — Mosey
Andy Shauf — The Party
The Strumbellas — HOPE
Suuns — Hold/Still
U.S. Girls — Half Free
Un Blonde — Good Will Come To You
The Weeknd — Beauty Behind the Madness
White Lung — Paradise
Donovan Woods — Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled

2016 SOCAN Songwriting Prize Contenders

Now into its 11th year, the prestigious SOCAN Songwriting Prize is set to award $10,000 plus some musical instruments to each of the two winners: one for an Anglo song and one for a Franco. The ten finalists in each language group have been unveiled by the organization. These were arrived at by 15 music industry professionals asked to nominate two songs from any genre from emerging songwriters. Emerging is defined as those who have released a maximum of just two LPs to date. Music fans can listen to and vote for their favourite song among the two batches once a day at the following online pages: FRANCO ANGLO. The winning songs will be announced in mid-July. The French language songs are particularly good, we might add.

FRANCO FINALISTS

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“Avalanches” written and performed by Félix Dyotte

“Avant de disparaître” – written and performed by Claude Bégin

“Crystel” – written and performed by Philippe Brach

“Igloo” – written and performed by Safia Nolin

“Les coûteaux à beurre” – written by Melanie Boulay and Jean Sebastian Houle; performed by Les sœurs Boulay

“Les échardes” written and performed by Charlotte Cardin

“Olympe” – written and performed by Rosie Valland

“Placebo” – written by Alexe Gaudreault and John Nathaniel; performed by Alexe Gaudreault

“Rêves d’été” – written and performed Laurence Nerbonne

“Saratoga” – written by Chantal Archambault and Michel Olivier Gasse; Performed by Saratoga

ANGLO FINALISTS

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“Black Body” – written by Benjamin Addy, Renee Wisdom; performed by Spec Won

“Dead or Alive” – written by Jahmarie Adams, Michael Lantz; performed by Jazz Cartier

“Desire” – written by Kathleen Monks, Benjamin Reinhartz, James Rowlinson, Elizabeth Ball; performed by Dilly Dally

“How Could You Babe” – written by Tobias Jesso Jr; performed by Tobias Jesso Jr

“Julia” – written by Matthew McLeod; performed by Fast Romantics

“No hurry” – written by Terra Lightfoot; performed by Terra Lightfoot

“Paradise” – written by Ashton Simmonds, Matthew Burnett, Jordan Evans, Alexander Sowinski, Matthew Tavares, Leland Whitty, Chester Hansen, Keaven Yazdani; performed by Daniel Ceasar

“Pen to Paper” – written by Sean Graham, Thomas Salter; performed by Modern Space

“Spirits” – written by Simon Ward, Jeremy Drury, Jonathan Hembrey, Darryl GJ James, Brian Leigh Pickett, David Ritter, Joanne Setterington, Isabel Cunningham Ritchie; performed by The Strumbellas

“Wendell Walker” – written by Andy Shauf; performed by Andy Shauf

Toxic Exclusiveness Continues in Country Music

Country-Music

The CMT Awards in the States left many country music fans scratching their heads. It featured performances from rock band Cheap Trick, rapper Pitbull, British R&B singer Leona Lewis, as well as Pharrell Williams and Fifth Harmony. Even Candace Payne, the “Chewbacca Mom”, made an appearance. It seems the industry still hasn’t been able to embrace the right kind of inclusiveness, and realize that welcoming artists from other genres does not justify its recent downplay of female artists and its chronic lack of involving Canadian country musicians. The latter did graduate a notch from a complete shunning to tokenism, as Calgary’s Lindsay Ell was nominated for Social Superstar of the Year.

Speaking of regional/ethnic cleansing in country music, the Canadian Country Music Association recently announced a Spotlight Contest where one country music artist will win a performance spot at Country Music Week. The association reached out to provincial music associations to select one artist from the province to participate in the contest. One would expect to find ten artists representing all 10 provinces, but alas there are only nine: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, …, NB, NS, PE, and NL. The CCMA does not offer an explanation as to why it left out Canada’s second most populated province — Quebec — a region that has spawned a host of platinum certified stars of country music.

MMVAs Announce Further Performers and Presenters

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The annual MMVAs shall pump good sounds into the ears and pretty faces into the eyes. Much Music announced today additional performers and presenters designed to make hearts skip beats. On the performance stage, British Columbian band Hedley, British roots specialist James Bay, teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes, U.S. rapper Desiigner, and Toronto alt-rock outfit July Talk will join previously announced Calgary synth pop duo Tegan & Sara, Brampton sweetheart Alessia Cara, U.S. R&B group Fifth Harmony, pop superstar Shawn Hook with U.S. newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, American rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and U.S. pop machine Nick Jonas.

Presenting the trophies besides the already announced Amber Rose and Lilly Singh are Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, Canadian recording artists Alx Veliz and SonReal, and U.S. celebs Cameron Dallas, Hailey Baldwin, and Sofia Carson.

The year’s biggest block party happens June 19 in Toronto, hosted by Gigi Hadid.

2016 MMVAs: Here Are the Nominees

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The 2016 MMVAs will get the CN Tower swinging on June 19 at Much headquarters. Pulling hosting duties is model Gigi Hadid. Confirmed presenters are actress Amber Rose and YouTube comedian Lilly Singh. While the awards themselves attract a host of talent, it is arguably the performances (and perhaps extravagant red carpet arrivals) that serve as the main draw for viewership. Confirmed performers are synth pop duo Tegan and Sara, pop superstar Shawn Hook, R&B singing group Fifth Harmony, actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld, R&B teen sensation Alessia Cara, pop star Nick Jonas, and rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Find a list of nominations below.

Video of the Year

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta

Best Post Production

Kaytranada, “Lite Spots,” Directed by Martin C. Pariseau
Majid Jordan, “Every Step Every Way,” Directed by Common Good
Naturally Born Strangers, “Jameson Ave,” Directed by RT!
PUP, “Dark Days,” Directed by Jeremy Chandler
Purity Ring, “Heartsigh,” Directed by Cecil Frena and Alex Fischer

Best EDM/Dance Video

DVBBS, “White Clouds,” Directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg
Grandtheft, “Quit This City,” Directed by John ‘JP’ Poliquin
Keys N Krates f. Katy B, “Save Me,” Directed by Adam Beck
Thugli, “Sic Em,” Directed by slavelabour.co
Zeds Dead f. Memorecks, “Collapse 2.0,” Directed by Kyle Davison

Best Director

Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
Majid Jordan, “Something About You,” Directed by Common Good
Kalle Mattson, “Avalanche,” Philip Sportel
Young Empires, “The Gates,” Amos LeBlanc

Best Pop Video

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads,” Directed by Coleman Hell and Ben Knechtel
Hedley, “Lose Control,” Directed by Lisa Mann
Shawn Hook, “Relapse,” Directed by Alon Isocianu
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta

Best Rock/Alternative Video

City and Colour, “Wasted Love,” Directed by Director X
Metric, “The Shade,” Directed by Lauren Graham
Monster Truck, “Don’t Tell Me How To Live,” Directed by Davin Black
The Sheepdogs, “I’m Gonne Be Myself,” Directed by Sean Cartwright
The Strumbellas, “Spirits,” Directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg

Best Hip Hop Video

Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Jazz Cartier, “The Valley/Dead or Alive,” Directed by Kyle Sanderson
John River, “Get Down,” Directed by Abstrakte
SonReal, “Whoa Nilly,” Directed by Peter Huang

Best MuchFact Video

Belly f. The Weeknd, “Might Not,” Directed by Belly and Shomi Patwary
Humans, “Water Water,” Directed by Peter Ricq
Majid Jordan f. Drake, “My Love,” Directed by Common Good
SonReal, “Whoa Nilly,” Directed by Peter Huang
Young Empires, “The Gates,” Directed by Amos LeBlanc

iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year

Adele, “Hello”
James Bay, “Let It Go”
Nick Jonas, “Close”
Rihanna, “Work”
Selena Gomez, “Hands To Myself”
Sia, “Cheap Thrills”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”
Ariana Grande, “Dangerous Woman”
Kanye West, “Only One”

Most Buzzworthy Canadian

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Drake, “Hotline Bling”
Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Shawn Mendes, “Stitches”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

Most Buzzworthy International Artist or Group

Adele, “Hello”
Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”
Hailee Steinfeld, “Rock Bottom”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Nick Jonas, “Close”
Rihanna, “Work”
Selena Gomez, “Hands To Myself”
Sia, “Cheap Thrills”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”

Best New Canadian Artist

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads”
Dan Talevski, “Knock Me Off My Feet”
Jazz Cartier, “When It’s Over”
Ria Mae, “Clothes Off”

iHeartRadio International Duo or Group

Coldplay, “Adventure Of A Lifetime”
Disclosure, “Magnets”
Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”
Jack U, “Where Are U Now”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Major Lazer, “Powerful”
One Direction, “Drag Me Down”
Tame Impala, “Let It Happen”
The Chainsmokers, “Roses”
Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out”

iHeartRadio Canadian Single of the Year

Alessia Cara, “Here”
Coleman Hell, “2 Heads”
Justin Bieber, “Sorry”
Shawn Mendes, “Stitches”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

Fan Fave Artist Or Group

Drake, “Hotline Bling”
Justin Bieber, “What Do You Mean?”
Shawn Mendes, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”
WILDCARD – Alessia Cara, “Here”

Fan Fave Video

Alessia Cara, “Here,” Directed by Aaron A.
Drake, “Hotline Bling,” Directed by Director X
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Directed by Ryan Pallotta
Grimes, “Flesh Without Blood,” Directed by Claire Boucher
WILDCARD – Hedley, “Lose Control,” Directed by Lisa Mann

Fan Fave International Artist Or Group

Adele, “Hello”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Downtown”
Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood”
ZAYN, “Pillowtalk”
WILDCARD – Fifth Harmony, “Work From Home”

Fan Fave Vine Musician

Ruth B.
Marks Records
Jeffrey Miller
Rajiv Dhall
WILDCARD – Kenzie Nimmo

A Prism Prize Avalanche

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MV director Philip Sportel has won the 2016 Prism Prize for Kalle Mattson’s cleverly wonderful “Avalanche”. With it, he receives a trophy and a cash award of $10,000. The Grand Prize was announced on Sunday May 15, 2016 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The MV sees a set recreation of 35 classic album covers with Kalle quickly changing gear to insert himself and strike an appropriate pose in place of the artist in the original cover. It also does a play on the album titles and artist using variations of his name. We previously featured Kalle Mattson’s “Avalanche” MV. For your convenience we embed it once again.

The Prism Prize Audience Award, based on thousands of online votes, was presented to director Eva Michon for Death From Above 1979’s “Virgins”.

Director X was in attendance to accept the Prism Prize Special Achievement Award which honours a Canadian music video artist for artistic achievements and exceptional contribution to music video art on a world stage. Kristof Brandl was given the Arthur Lipsett Award in recognition of an innovative and unique approach to music video art.

Find more information at prismprize.com.