New Releases: Remembrance Day 2016

collage-copy

Hailing from Trois-Rivières, QW4RTZ kicks off this week’s new albums with some fine a cappella pop covers on A Cappella 101. On Goodnight City, Montreal’s Martha Wainwright shows that she is continually reaching new heights of creative genius with her brand of alternative singer-songwriter ditties. For those kept awake by belly dancing zombies, do acknowledge that no dearth of ideas is present in Ottawa rapper Belly, as he unleashes his second 2016 studio album, Inzombia.

His song “Polaroid” has been dominating the Franco radio airwaves this year and also cleaning up in the sales department, and now Granby, QC’s Alex Nevsky launches solid electropop album Nos Eldorados. Guests on the disc include hip hop star Koriass and none other than Coeur de pirate. Montreal alternative rock band Chocolat returns to seduce us with Rencontrer Looloo. Triumph’s Rik Emmett says he wanted to bend it like Beckham, and the result is rock album Res9 with RESolution 9.

Also from Toronto, electropop group Dragonette gives us a shot of the Royal Blues in which they search for “Lost Teenagers”, a “Future Ghost”, and of course “Darth Vader”. Let’s “Let the Night Fall”, then shall we. For some beautiful classical vibes, Alexandre Da Costa plays his violin backed by the Vienna Symphony on Stradivarius à l’Opéra. The JUNO award winning musician is from Montreal. Last, but not least, platinum soul singer Bobby Bazini releases his third studio album, Summer Is Gone. Expect it to outsell most of the competition. If nothing else, track “C’est La Vie” is one of the best songs of 2016. There is also a track on the recently deceased legend Leonard Cohen.

Singles

A few significant singles debut this week. These include “St. Lucia” by Bernice (alias of Toronto’s Robin Dann). The alternative R&B song debuted at Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 program and The Fader and is released through label Arts & Crafts.

Internationally charting Brampton, ON pop star Alyssa Reid has released brand new track “Badlands”.

Finally, we are super grateful for a new song by the incomparable Keshia Chanté, “The Valley”.

You can grab a copy of these 3 delicious tracks from iTunes.

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Headlines and Footdots for 28 May 2016

Céline Dion Releases New Original Song

7782413482_celine-dion-amusee-quand-ariana-grande-reprend-l-une-de-ses-chansons-phares

Following her stellar performance and Icon trophy presentation at the Billboard Music Awards, Canadian singer Céline Dion has launched a new single, an original composition by France’s Jean-Jacques Goldman. For those unfamiliar with him, he can be thought of as perhaps the Corey Hart of France, i.e. a very big name. The new song is called “Encore Un Soir” and debuted in the iTunes Top 10. A Franco album from Céline is anticipated a little later.  iTunes

Dragonette Has a Lonely Heart

Dragonette

Multiplatinum JUNO-winning electropop group Dragonette is back with new music, a single entitled “Lonely Heart” which you can check out over at iTunes.

Drake’s Number One One Dance at Seven

Drake

Say what? Drake’s “One Dance” has spent seven consecutive weeks at #1 on the British Singles Chart, the longest reign for a track in nearly 9 years! The last song to accomplish this was Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” back in November – December 2007. The fact that “One Dance” is a variation of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz featuring British singer Kyla may have helped it work its way into the Big Ben psyche.

PNE Boasts Impressive Lineup

pne

The Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver boasts a stellar lineup of acts booked for the 2016 season. Flume on August 7 is already sold out. From August 20 – September 5, one can see Hedley, Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies, The Sheepdogs, Steve Miller Band, Simple Plan, Olivia Newton-John, Foreigner, Culture Club, Monster Truck, A Tribe Called Red, Dru Hill w/ Sisqo, Nokio Jazz & Tao, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Tim Hicks, The Monkeys, and Chris Isaak. For details visit the PNE website here.

Saddling Up for the Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

The 2016 Calgary Stampede has announced an impressive lineup of performers. At the Saddledome one can see the Zac Brown Band July 14 and Lady Antebellum July 15. From July 7 to 16 at Nashville North are Tim Hicks, The Dungarees, High Valley, Wes Mac, Aaron Pritchett, Tebey, John Conlee, Deric Ruttan, Cold Creek Country, Kentucky Headhunters, Washboard Union, Jojo Mason, and Madeline Merlo. Handling the Coca-Cola Stage from July 7-17 are Christian Hudson, JJ Shiplett, The Dudes, Walk Off the Earth, Coleman Hell, Classified, X Ambassadors, The Sheepdogs, Jocelyn Alice, Shawn Hook, Mother Mother, Dear Rouge, The Glorious Sons, Gord Bamford, and Simple Plan! For more info, visit the official Stampede website here.

Shawn Mendes Wants to Treat You Better

Shawn Mendes mall of america 2

Insatiability is the calling card of the fan. In an instant download slash streaming culture, the day after the release of an album comes an influx of queries about when the next will come out. This may certainly be the case for Shawn Mendes. No worries though because Shawn will be releasing a new single in under a week, June 3, “Treat You Better”. Shawn promises an upcoming second album.

Kira Isabella’s I’m So Over MV

We leave you with the new music video for Kira Isabella’s “I’m So Over Getting Over You” which is rolling its way up the country charts. Let’s see if it can remove Thomas Rhett’s number one T-shirt.

Headlines and Footdots for the Ides of August, 2015

Nikki Yanofsky Is Something to Live For

Felix_Nikki

Vancouver EDM maker Felix Cartal, best known to date for cut “Don’t Turn On the Lights,” has teamed up with multiplatinum artist Nikki Yanofsky in new single “Something to Live For”. He says the song was inspired by missing out on real life experiences due to heads buried in cell phones and social networking timelines. Nikki’s voice sounds superb as always, scraping the sky on the big chorus before a plundering of beats. The MV out later this month Felix says is a modern take on The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. His debut LP Life Online, via Universal Music, follows in the autumn.  iTunes

Johnny Reid Back in the Game

Johnny-Reid-2013

Another ace player frisbeeing out a new single this week is multiplatinum soul singer Johnny Reid. While known mostly for country, there are indications that he is veering over to the adult contemporary field, and that is where new song “A Picture of You” is framed. Johnny is even sporting a Dan Hill beard these days. After only two days, the song has broken into the iTunes Top 40. In the words of Chuck Berry, “Go Johnny go, go”.  iTunes

Francesco Yates’ Debut EP

francesco-yates

Hot, fresh teen star Francesco Yates has announced that his debut EP will be out September 11 and is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The 6-track, self-titled disc will include three previously released singles, “Call”, “When I Found You”, and Billboard Top 40 hit “Better To Be Loved”. Opening track “Honey, I’m Home” available now.  iTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Has Billboard Seeping in Emotion

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Billboard Magazine’s recent feature on Mission, BC pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen remarks on the progression she has taken from “the squeaky-clean, high-school-crush pop” of Kiss to “edgier, more mature alt-pop territory” on upcoming album Emotion. During the Manhattan (New York) interview, Carly stated, “There’s a stereotype idea of what a pop star is, and I don’t really fit into that. … The expectation that every song you’re putting out is doing well on radio — that’s stuff that you can’t control. To try would drive you insane.” Lead single “I Really Like You” went gold and reached #14 on the charts with little radio support. The pop artist took a detour from the mainstream to reel in indie specialists like Dev Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on the new album. “I wanted to be brave and [record] music that was really me rather than just putting out what I thought would sell. I would’ve regretted more not doing what I did — making a passion project come to life.” Emotion will be out August 21, 2015. The CMB will publish an early review in the next few days.

Drake Breaks Silence on Toronto Shootings

Drake

Toronto rapper Drake broke his silence regarding the two shooting deaths that occurred at the afterparty of his OVO Fest in Toronto. Bystander Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, was killed in outside crossfire after being refused a taxi ride home because of the short distance. Drake says he was caught in the dilemma of pressure for making a statement by Crime Stoppers, the victims’ families and public posts online and pressure against it by his PR team worried that misinterpretations would damage his public image. He decided to go with his heart and stated the following (it is unknown whether he came up with these words himself or they were written for him):

“I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

“My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

“Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

“I pray for better times and better understanding.”

Bring Down The House With Gold

dean brody

Country music A-lister Dean Brody has a new gold single. “Bring Down the House” received the certification by Music Canada just 8 weeks after release. It is his fourth single to be graced with a precious metal, the others being “Bounty” (gold), “It’s Friday” (gold), and “Canadian Girls” (platinum). Dean’s album Dirt has gone gold. In Canada, gold certification is given for sales reaching 40,000 units.

Mia Martina at Virgin Radio Beach Ball

Mia Martina Virgin Radio Beach Ball

New Brunswick empress of EDM, Mia Martina was on the West Coast recently to perform at a summer Beach Ball hosted by Vancouver’s number one CHR station Virgin Radio 94.5 (formerly The Beat). During a televised interview on CTV Morning Live, she revealed plans in the works to release a Franco album with a team of Francophone writers and producers. Fluently bilingual, she wishes to make a contribution to the Franco realm in honour of her Acadian roots. We look forward to it. Martina joined Shawn Hook, Dragonette, and Trevor Guthrie at the concert which was held at classic venue The Commodore Ballroom.

Dear Rouge Tongues

We leave you with the latest MV by synthrock duo Dear Rouge for “Tongues”:

Ice Conduit to the 2013 JUNOs: DANCE RECORDING Nominees

2013 JUNO Dance Recording Nominees

Last year, Dragonette broke Deadmau5’s winning streak in this category, thanks to their addictive smash “Hello”, a collaboration with France’s Martin Solveig. Dragonette has received a nomination this year for their album Bodyparts. All other entries in the category are singles by Anjulie, Felix Cartal, Tricky Moreira, and Vita Chambers.

You and I by Anjulie

Anjulie - You and IThis is the Oakville native’s second JUNO nomination. She was nominated last year in the same category for her platinum single “Brand New Chick”. “You and I” is produced by Italy’s Benny Benassi who was ranked by DJ Magazine as one of the Top 30 DJs in the world. It debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 on September 26, 2012, and spent 21 weeks on the chart (until February 13, 2013). It reached its peak position at #25 on December 12. “You and I” pays homage to 1970s dance music while still remaining distinctively fresh and modern. It begins in a simple vein on acoustic guitar strums and builds into a star-soaring, beat thumping chorus, complete with revving keyboard riffs. This was one of 2012′s precious treasures, named by the Canadian Music Blog as one of the 20 best tunes of the year.

Music Video     iTunes     Anjulie’s Website 

Bodyparts by Dragonette

Dragonette - BodypartsThe Torontonian three-piece outfit won the JUNO in the same category last year for their appearance in Martin Solveig’s “Hello”. Bodyparts is the only album appearing is this JUNO category this year, the rest being singles, and is the band’s third studio album. Prior to its release, “Let It Go” was a #23 hit single. Following the album’s release, “Live in This City” was a single that made it to #67 on the Canadian Hot 100. Martina Sorbara, Dan Kurtz, and Joel Stouffer are experts at creating summery optimistic tunes that lift your spirits and get your feet shuffling. This is party music at its best.

Bodyparts’ “Live in This City” MV     iTunes     Dragonette’s Website  

Don’t Turn on the Lights by Felix Cartal ft. Polina

Felix Cartal ft Polina - Don't Turn On the LightsThis is the Vancouver DJ/producer’s first JUNO nomination. He is associated with Dim Mak Records and began his professional career by remixing songs by the likes of Dragonette and Britney Spears. Prior to that, he played bass in his New Westminster high school punk/hardcore band, Dysfunctional. “Don’t Turn on the Lights” is a track off his album Different Faces which made the Top 10 of iTunes electronic charts. The song mustered its way up to #86 on the Hot 100 on November 14, 2012. Polina is a Russian-American singer who has vocalized tracks for a number of DJs including Tiesto and Kaskade.

Music Video     iTunes     Felix Cartal’s Website

Hello Hello Hello by Tricky Moreira

Tricky Moreira - Hello Hello HelloThis is the Toronto DJ’s first JUNO nomination, though he has won a number of other prestigious awards, including one for his remix of Jully Black’s Top 20 hit “Sweat of Your Brow”. Moreira is one of the hardest working in the business, playing at grassroots and national events all over the world: Canada, U.S., the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. He also hosts his own radio show called This House which is broadcast internationally. Tricky is also the founder of Blue Elephant Recordings. “Hello Hello Hello” is a soulful house track and contains a rap segment.

Music Video      iTunes      Tricky Moreira’s Website

Fix You by Vita Chambers

Vita Chambers - Fix YouVita Chambers was born in Vancouver and spent part of her youth growing up in Barbados. This is her first JUNO nomination. By posting performances of some songs she had written on YouTube, her powerful voice and composition skills attracted the attention of New York’s SRP Records production company who signed her and she was onboard with Universal Motown in 2009 (later Universal Republic). Her first single “Young Money” appeared in 2010 followed by 5-track EP, The Get Go. Vita toured with Justin Bieber the same year. In mid-December 2012, Chambers released the song “Fix You” while working on her debut album. The MV hit YouTube on Jan 10, 2013 and has garnered over 450,000 views to date. “Fix You” entered the Hot 100 on February 27, 2013, and is currently moving up the charts.

Music Video     iTunes     Vita Chambers’ Website

Dragonette’s Bodyparts in the Year of the Dragon

Toronto’s JUNO-winning trio of electronic dance-pop specialists have released their third studio album, Bodyparts, in the year of the dragon, 2012. This is fitting given that Martina Sorbara, Dan Kurtz, and Joel Stouffer operate under the moniker of Dragonette. Not only are they famous for their collaborative work with French DJ Martin Solveig (“Hello” and “Big in Japan”) but they have scored some Top 30 radio hits on their own: “Pick Up the Phone” in 2009 and this year’s hit of summertime fun “Let It Go”. Torontonian artists are perhaps the best at creating sunshine cheerleading, optimistic tunes that lift your spirits and get your feet shuffling whether we’re talkin’ M+M, The Parachute Club, Len, or the city’s latest contribution to the genre, Dragonette. This is party music at its best.

Check out…

Dragonette’s Official Website     Bodyparts on iTunes

Dragonette’s “Let It Go”

Following their extensive work with French DJ/musician Martin Solveig, Toronto’s JUNO-winning dance-electronic trio Dragonette has released their own song which will appear on their next studio album.  Nothing is more fitting for Martina Sorbora, Dan Kurtz, and Joel Stouffer than to give us some new music in the Year of the Dragon.  “Let It Go” has only been in the Hot 100 for 5 weeks and has already broken into the Top 40 (#37 this week).  Dragonette follows in the footsteps of the great sunny pop of Toronto bands like M+M, The Parachute Club, and Len.  For your convenience, we’ve embedded the new music video for “Let It Go” below.

Check out Dragonette’s Official Website

“Let It Go” iTunes

2012 CRMA Winners Announced

2012 Winners of the Canadian Radio Music Awards have been announced and there were no real surprises.  Fefe Dobson was the big winner with three awards; Dragonette and Alyssa Reid picked up two each.  The awards are given primarily to first-time charting Canadian artists.  We previously listed the nominations with info on the awards which you can find HERE.  Below is a repeat listing of the nominees with the winner bolded in red.  As well, are announcements of the biggest chart topper and breakthrough artist.  Congratulations to the winners as well as all the nominees.  The awards are a nice lead up to the JUNO awards which will be televised on the 1st of April.

CHART TOPPER
FEFE DOBSON

FACTOR BREAKTRHOUGH ARTIST
ALYSSA REID

ROCK
BLEEKER RIDGE – SMALL TOWN DEAD
JONAS & THE MASSIVE ATTRACTION – BIG SLICE
THE REASON – THE LONGEST HIGHWAY HOME
THE SHEEPDOGS – I DON’T KNOW
USS – N/A OK

CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
ANJULIE – BRAND NEW CHICK
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
RAGHAV – FIRE
THESE KIDS WEAR CROWNS – JUMPSTART

DANCE / URBAN / RHYTHMIC
DEADMAU5 – SOFI NEEDS A LADDER
KRISTINA MARIA – LET’S PLAY
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
MIA MARTINA – LATIN MOON
SUNLOVERZ FEAT. ROSETTE – FIRE

HOT AC (Adult Contemporary)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
KRISTINA MARIA – LET’S PLAY
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
NEVEREST – ABOUT US
RAGHAV – FIRE

MAINSTREAM AC (Adult Contemporary)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
JESSE LABELLE – EASIER
JUSTIN NOZUKA – HEARTLESS
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
NEVEREST – ABOUT US

COUNTRY
GOMIE – EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT
KIRA ISABELLA – LOVE ME LIKE THAT
MARLEE SCOTT – BEAUTIFUL MAYBE
RYAN LAIRD – I’M YOUR MAN
THE STELLAS – PERFECT

FANS CHOICE
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
FEFE DOBSON – STUTTERING
HEDLEY – INVINCIBLE
JRDN – LIKE MAGIC
SHAWN DESMAN – ELECTRIC

SOCAN SONG OF THE YEAR
ALONE AGAIN
Songwriters: Alyssa Reid / Jamie Appleby / Raynford Humphrey / Thomas Kelly / Billy Steinberg
Recorded by: Alyssa Reid
HELLO
Songwriters: Martin Solveig / Martina Sorbara
Recorded by: Martin Solveig & Dragonette
JET LAG
Songwriters: Pierre Bouvier / Chuck Comeau / Beatrice Martin / Ryan Petersen / Nolan Sipe
Recorded by: Simple Plan
LET’S PLAY
Songwriters: Kristina Maria / Negin Djafari / Kristian Lundin
Recorded by: Kristina Maria
STUTTERING
Songwriters: Fefe Dobson / Claude Kelly / Michael Mentore / Jonathan Rotem
Recorded by: Fefe Dobson

Goings-On with 6 Talented Canadian Artists

Sarah McLachlan, while busy recording her new studio album, has announced a symphony orchestra tour around Canada and the United States. The tour includes a VIP package for the best seats and meet and greets, proceeds of which will be donated to her School of Music for children and youth in Vancouver. This special tour will begin in Toronto on June 22. You can get more info at Sarah’s website HERE.

Ariane Moffatt is becoming a bigger name since her new album MA debuted on the Canadian Billboard album chart at No. 2, just behind Adele. She is performing in New York and Paris. Despite its popularity, the MA CD is not being stocked at HMV stores in western Canada. We contacted HMV last week asking them to provide an explanation, and after a couple of assurances that they would respond within 1 or 2 days, they have not. The Canadian Music Blog feels that MA is a strong contender for 2012 Canadian album of the year. Yes, it’s that good!

On March 23, Canada’s new international superstar Carly Rae Jepsen will be a guest on The Ellen Show, a popular chat show in the United States hosted by comedian Ellen DeGeneres.  “Call Me Maybe”, the song that catapulted her to superstardom has broken into the Top 30 in the U.S. – at #24 this week (Billboard Hot 100), and it has been sent to radio in the United Kingdom.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Brits will love it as much as we do.  Meanwhile, at home, single “Curiosity”, title track of her new EP, has been added to the playlists of various radio stations in Canada.

Dragonette is going to be hopping around Northern America this year of the dragon with a tour of selected cities and towns, all beginning in two days in Austin, Texas, USA. Check it out at their website HERE.

Canadian indie singer-songwriter, Josh Reichmann, from the Etobicoke area of Toronto, has come out with a music video for “Burning Books” off After Live released last year. You can watch the video HERE. He is also finishing an album with band mate Sebastien Grainger titled Death From Above 1979.

Finally, Gitar is a trio from Toronto who will be releasing an LP called Seen as Unclean in the spring. The first single is a cover of Neil Young’s “Hippie Dream”. The band incorporates some urban, electro, and rock and roll elements in their unique style. Gitar is Mikhail Galkin, Tai Lee, and drummer Dan Rios. Check out their website HERE.

Canadian Radio Music Award Nominations, 2012

For those of you having trouble waiting for the JUNO nominations next month, a nice prelude to them (especially in terms of new artists) are the Canadian Radio Music Awards. The CRMAs are holding their 15th annual gala luncheon, this year at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on March 23. The awards look at first-time top-charting Canadian artists, with the exception of the Fans Choice Award and SOCAN award. The categories are based on the different radio “formats”. In spite of the advent of digital music, the radio is still the biggest confirmation for a new artist and the first major milestone on the road to superstardom. It is possibly the most exciting aspect of a recording artist’s career to hear, for the first time, his or her song being played on the radio. The nominations for the 2012 gala are as follows:

CRMA 2012 NOMINEES

ROCK
BLEEKER RIDGE – SMALL TOWN DEAD
JONAS & THE MASSIVE ATTRACTION – BIG SLICE
THE REASON – THE LONGEST HIGHWAY HOME
THE SHEEPDOGS – I DON’T KNOW
USS – N/A OK

CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
ANJULIE – BRAND NEW CHICK
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
RAGHAV – FIRE
THESE KIDS WEAR CROWNS – JUMPSTART

DANCE / URBAN / RHYTHMIC
DEADMAU5 – SOFI NEEDS A LADDER
KRISTINA MARIA – LET’S PLAY
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
MIA MARTINA – LATIN MOON
SUNLOVERZ FEAT. ROSETTE – FIRE

HOT AC (Adult Contemporary)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
KRISTINA MARIA – LET’S PLAY
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
NEVEREST – ABOUT US
RAGHAV – FIRE

MAINSTREAM AC (Adult Contemporary)
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
JESSE LABELLE – EASIER
JUSTIN NOZUKA – HEARTLESS
MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE – HELLO
NEVEREST – ABOUT US

COUNTRY
GOMIE – EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT
KIRA ISABELLA – LOVE ME LIKE THAT
MARLEE SCOTT – BEAUTIFUL MAYBE
RYAN LAIRD – I’M YOUR MAN
THE STELLAS – PERFECT

FANS CHOICE
ALYSSA REID – ALONE AGAIN
FEFE DOBSON – STUTTERING
HEDLEY – INVINCIBLE
JRDN – LIKE MAGIC
SHAWN DESMAN – ELECTRIC

SOCAN SONG OF THE YEAR
ALONE AGAIN
Songwriters: Alyssa Reid / Jamie Appleby / Raynford Humphrey / Thomas Kelly / Billy Steinberg
Recorded by: Alyssa Reid
HELLO
Songwriters: Martin Solveig / Martina Sorbara
Recorded by: Martin Solveig & Dragonette
JET LAG
Songwriters: Pierre Bouvier / Chuck Comeau / Beatrice Martin / Ryan Petersen / Nolan Sipe
Recorded by: Simple Plan
LET’S PLAY
Songwriters: Kristina Maria / Negin Djafari / Kristian Lundin
Recorded by: Kristina Maria
STUTTERING
Songwriters: Fefe Dobson / Claude Kelly / Michael Mentore / Jonathan Rotem
Recorded by: Fefe Dobson

UPDATEFind the winners HERE.

Established Artists Whose Popularity Intensified in 2011

There were a number of established artists we have not yet profiled whose popularity continued to grow in 2011. Marc Dupré was awarded the Félix for pop-rock album of the year thanks to his Entre deux mondes. Ricky J is a popular dj/rapper from Montréal. His single “Whatta Night” was certified gold in December. Pop pianist Pierre La Pointe released a new album this year called Seul au piano which peaked at #2 on the Canadian albums chart. Hamilton’s The Arkells, who won the JUNO for group of the year in 2010, released their second LP this year, Michigan Left, and it made it to #5 on the albums chart. Below, in reverse alphabetical order, are mini-profiles on some of the bigger names whose success continued to burgeon in 2011.

Vincent Vallières

The popularity of this native of Sherbrooke, Québec just keeps on growing. After coming in second place at a 1996 regional talent show in his hometown, he released his debut album way back in 1999, when he was 21, but his first Félix-nominated songs came off his fourth LP, Le repère tranquille, released in 2006. Le monde tourne fort came next, in 2009, and its “En attendant le soleil” was nominated; however, at the Félix gala in October, 2011, it was “On va s’aimer encore” that won the coveted award for song of the year as well as music video of the year. In December, the album was certified platinum.

Fred Pellerin

Fred is from the quaint little town of Saint Élie de Caxton, in the lake-dotted foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. As a folksinger, he tells intriguing stories and first released an album with his brother Nicolas in 2007. His first release as a soloist came in 2009 and was titled Silence. It was massively successful, going platinum. It was nominated for four Félix awards and won two including Folk Album of the Year. His second release followed in 2011. C’est un monde went gold only a month after it was released, an impressive accomplishment for a Francophone album in Canada. It was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2012 JUNOs. In 2014, Fred released album Plus tard qu’on pense.

Nadja

If you search the net with this, you may find references to a Canadian doom metal band. The Nadja that we are talking about could not be farther away from such pursuits. She is an R&B singer (reminiscent of soul music from the 50s and 60s) from Saint-Félicien, Québec, and already has two gold albums under her belt. While studying accounting in Montréal, she sang in piano bars around the city and was soon invited to join a group. This led to a deal performing at a five-star hotel in Taiwan. She left for 3 months and ended up staying for 6 years. Her reputation grew through Asia and she performed for a number of dignitaries. In 2005, she returned home and toured throughout Canada. She attracted the attention of famous singer Mario Pelchat who signed her with his label. She released her debut self-titled album in 2009. “Hound Dog” was a hit on the adult contemporary charts and the album went gold. This year, she released two albums: Everything’s Going My Way and Christmas album Noël which was certified gold in December.

Carly Rae Jepsen

The Mission, B.C. native finished in third spot on the 5th season of television reality series Canadian Idol. She struck a deal with Fontana/Maple Music and released her debut album in 2008, Tug of War. The album spawned two top 40 gold singles: the reggae-styled “Bucket” and the title-track. She received two JUNO nominations. 604 Records in Vancouver signed her next, and she wrote the song “Call Me Maybe”.  At the end of 2011, the song was picked up by mainstream radio and began climbing up the charts. In 2012, it topped the charts and became the best-selling domestic Canadian single in history.  Carly was signed by Justin Bieber’s management team. The song was released internationally, topping the charts around the world and became the best-selling song of the year on iTunes.  Carly’s EP Curiosity was released on Valentine’s Day 2012.  Hits “Curiosity” and “Good Time” with Owl City followed. The latter topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Carly released LP, Kiss.  Jepsen won 3 JUNO awards in 2013 wherein “Call Me Maybe” was named Song of the Year and Kiss Album of the Year. Critically acclaimed album Emotion with gold single “I Really Like You” came out in 2015.

Dragonette

This Toronto synth-pop outfit consists of singer-songwriter Martina Sorbara, drummer Joel Stouffer, and bassist Dan Kurtz. The latter was responsible for producing Feist’s first (independent) album. Feeling that Canada was not the best place to launch their careers, they relocated to electronic-dance friendly Britain to record their debut album in 2007. While there, they backed up New Order, Basement Jaxx, and the Sugarbabes. Dragonette scored its own Top 30 hit in 2009 called “Pick up the Phone”. “Hello”, on which they collaborated with France’s electronic music disc jockey and producer Martin Solveig, finished the year 2011 as the 11th biggest song of the year in Canada and received the highest certification for a digital downloadable single—double platinum. “Hello” stayed on the charts for over 40 weeks.  In 2012, their biggest hit was “Let It Go” which peaked at #23 on the weekly chart and was the 73rd biggest song of the year.

Richard Desjardins

Richard has been around a long time. He was born in 1948 in Rouyn, QC. In addition to his music career, he has directed several films and has also scored music for cinematic productions and documentaries. He debuted musically in 1981 in conjunction with the group Abbittibbi. His albums have sold well, 1990’s Tu m’aimes-tu being his first platinum-certified disc. 1998’s Boom Boom went gold. And, in 2011, his L’existoire was a gold album. Desjardins is an environmental activist especially in terms of speaking out against overactive deforestation.

Coeur de Pirate

One of the Francophone performers to make some inroads into English Canada is Béatrice Martin who operates under the stage name Cœur de Pirate. She has been playing piano since she was 3. Her (self-titled) debut came out in 2009, was certified platinum, and was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the JUNOs. As she became a big name in Europe, she won the Félix for Québec artist having the most success outside the province. Her second album, Blonde, was released in 2011, debuting at #5 on the albums chart. Her work was acknowledged by the CBC’s Q radio show who named it as the 12th best album of 2011, a notch ahead of Adele’s 21. It was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2012 JUNOs. Coeur de Pirate released biliingual album Roses in 2015 and made the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time with single “Carry On”/”Oublie Moi”.

City and Colour

City and Colour is not a band but an individual from St. Catharines, ON named Dallas Green, Dallas being a city and Green being a colour. He was previously the lead singer of the band Alexisonfire and now plays a style of melodic indie rock. His released his first album, Sometimes, under his moniker in 2005. Both it and his second album were certified platinum. In 2011, Little Hell, was his third and went platinum in early 2012. He has not yet fared as well in the singles department; however, his song “Waiting” peaked at #32 on the weekly singles chart in early 2008. In 2014 Dallas teamed with American artist Pink in duo You + Me and released a folk album. Album If I Should Go Before You reached #1 in 2015.

George Canyon

George is one of the more popular Canadian country artists. He grew up in Nova Scotia but relocated to High River, Alberta. He held many interesting jobs to support his dream of becoming a professional singer. He worked as a law enforcement officer and a slaughterhouse beef inspector. Ironwolf was his first album, released in 1996. 2004’s One Good Friend, his third, secured his breakthrough, going gold and winning Country Recording of the Year at the JUNOs. His followup release, Somebody Wrote Love, reaped the same award. His second gold album came out in 2011, Better Be Home Soon.