Nov 3 Releases: Johnny Reid, Marc Dupré, Jess Moskaluke…

New releases this week number at least 22 LPs and 5 EPs. Find at the end of this post a listing of the 27. Our year-to-date totals are 620 Canadian artist albums and 118 extended plays. Artists from Quebec have been the most industrious this year accounting for 40.6% of the albums, Ontarians 32.6%, and British Columbians 9.8%. Albums from groups (3 or more musicians) make up 34.4%, male soloists exactly the same (34.4%), female soloists 21.5%, and duos 9.0%. The remainder are various artist compilation discs. The genres of choice for recording artists in Canada, as we have determined before, are singer-songwriter/folk and alternative which together account for 45.8% of the works with the remainder spread fairly evenly among the other genres. At the end of 2017, we will provide a final and more detailed analysis of the stats. Before getting to the table of new releases, we wish to highlight six of them. Four of this week’s batch are Christmas albums which we will feature in a separate post closer to the holiday.

Andréanne A. Malette, releases a self-titled folk pop tour de force including her mega hit “Fou”. The Granby singer has a beautiful voice, and the vitamin-popped songs frolic along ever so charmingly. This is a wonderful album, Malette’s second.

Our acquisition from the United Kingdom, Johnny Reid of Brampton, Ontario, is a multiplatinum five-time JUNO winner and lays his latest on the banquet table – Revival. He goes for a David Clayton-Thomas’ retro sound with all the fusion adult contemporary trimmings.

Popular for his imaginative brand of alternative folk, Montreal’s Philippe Brach contributes Le silence des troupeaux in which he muses on the state of the world and offers some tips on how to deal with it. Find a little bit of blues and rock in the mix. The album is selling well.

With two gold albums achieved, Marc Dupré is back with another one worthy of the milestone – La vie qu’il nous reste. It is currently sitting comfortably in the iTunes Top 10. The disc is a very good pop album, one of the best releases this week, filled with catchy songs.

Just as great as Marc’s as far as pop goes is an EP from Halifax’s Ria Mae, My Love, featuring her current hit single “Bend”. The platinum JUNO nominee is a very good songwriter, and her brand of pop offers a nice fusion of flavours.

Country superstar Jess Moskaluke from Saskatchewan has a brand new EP out – Past the Past. The seven-track unit features her hits “Drive Me Away” and “Kill Your Love”. Jess is a JUNO winning, platinum recording artist.

Acts of Love Maylee Todd R&B ON
Andreanne A. Malette Andreanne A. Malette Folk Pop QC
Apatheia DJ Brace Rap MB
Cassiopee Mara Tremblay Alt Rock QC
Coconut Christmas The Lost Fingers Xmas QC
Consolez-vous De Temps Antan Folk QC
Les corps infinis La Bronze Alt QC
Deluxe La Famille Ouellette Pop QC
Long Hot Summer Days Jim Byrnes Blues BC
Lumieres d’hiver Emilie-Claire Barlow Xmas ON
Martin Valois Martin Valois Pop-Rock QC
Mercy Works Casper Skulls Alt ON
Murphy The Carn Davidson 9 Jazz ON
Nevahland Liam Corcoran S-S PE
Noel Ensemble Mario Pelchat & les Prêtres Xmas QC
Old School Yule! Matt Dusk Xmas ON
Le pain le pays la paix Benoît LeBlanc Folk QC
Revival Johnny Reid AC ON
Le silence des troupeaux Philippe Brach Alt Folk QC
To Love the Coming… The Deep Cove Alt Rock BC
Ubiquite M. Lizotte & M. Desy Classical QC
La vie qu’il nous reste Marc Dupre Pop QC
Hot Three (EP) Alex Pangman Jazz ON
Mark Times (EP) Mark Times Country AB
My Love (EP) Ria Mae Pop NS
Past the Past (EP) Jess Moskaluke Country SK
Wild Eyed Wanderer (EP) Alessia Cohle Country ON

Canadian Albums Turning 10 in 2017

2007 were trying times, especially in British Columbia. The domed roof of BC Place Stadium in Vancouver collapsed. At YVR airport, Robert Dziekański was tasered to death by the RCMP. In the suburbs, a high-rise apartment was the scene of the Surrey Six slayings. The first incident of a severed foot washed up on the BC coast. But it wasn’t all bad news. At a Calgary Flames game, young Cree singer Akina Shirt became the first to perform “O Canada” in an Aboriginal language at a major-league sporting event. Media magnate Conrad Black was convicted on three charges of fraud.

 The highest grossing film of the year was Spider Man 3 followed by Shrek the Third. American Idol continued its reign at the top of Nielsen television ratings. Brian Melo won Canadian Idol. The Billboard Canadian Hot 100 debuted. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” and Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right” were huge hits internationally.

Two quadruple platinum Canadian artist albums appeared in 2007: Céline Dion’s Taking Chances and Michael Bublé’s Call Me Irresponsible. At double platinum were Avril Lavigne’s The Best Damn Thing, Feist’s The Reminder which won the Album of the Year JUNO, Céline Dion’s D’Elles, and Johnny Reid’s Kicking Stones. Also reaching the certification level were two duet albums: Anne Murray’s Duets, Friends, and Legends and Claude Dubois’ Duos Dubois.


Headlines and Footdots for the Ides of August, 2015

Nikki Yanofsky Is Something to Live For


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


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


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


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


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”:

2014 JUNO Awards Host Announced

juno-hosts copyIt all goes down in Winnipeg on March 30 – Canada’s biggest night in music. Most recent hosts of the party have been Michael Bublé, William Shatner, Drake, and Russell Peters. This year, there will be three co-hosts of the JUNO Awards: Serena Ryder, Classified, and Johnny Reid. It is the first time in a while that the hosts are not massive names internationally (which may be the point). The three represent diverse genres of music. Serena Ryder performs popular rock, Classified rap, and Johnny Reid is a soul singer who immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom when he was 13. All three are JUNO-winning, multiplatinum artists.

Brett Kissel, Dean Brody, Gord Bamford, Matt Mays, Robin Thicke, The Sheepdogs, Tegan and Sara, and Walk Off The Earth will be performing, and presenters will include Sarah McLachlan and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Gold Medalists in Women’s Curling. You can read more about the big night HERE.

2013 Christmas and Holiday Canadian Releases

quebec_city Christmas

Below is a selection of some of the new Christmas albums that have been recently released. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of Suzie McNeil’s This Is Christmas from last year, we highly recommend it. It is quite possibly the best pop/rock Christmas record ever to come out of Canada. Michael Bublé’s Christmas is an absolute must for those of you desiring more traditional vibes. As not everyone celebrates Christmas, we have thrown in some albums showcasing a wintry spirit of sorts. We have represented each album by a flavour of the season.

2013 Canadian Christmas Single

Kira Isabella - A country Boy For Christmas“A Country Boy For Christmas” by Kira Isabella. Ottawa’s fresh, young starlet blessed with the voice of an angel nabbed the coveted Female Vocalist of the Year award at this year’s Canadian Country Music Association gala. She also won a Canadian Radio Music Award and was nominated for a JUNO. Her awards and the success of her singles have recently led to a signing in Nashville to release her music in the United States. Kira’s Christmas single is a beautiful song well worth the purchase.  iTunes

2013 Canadian Christmas Albums

Johnny Reid - A Christmas Gift to YouThe Gingerbread Album: A Christmas Gift to You by Johnny Reid. This is the second Christmas album from the husky voiced import from Scotland and recently debuted at #6 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart. Although Johnny normally records country music, this album is more generic. The tunes (mostly covers) are very intense and emotionally powerful. Johnny is backed by a choir on most tracks, and the album was produced by Bob Ezrin. Peter Frampton appears on one of the songs, and Isabelle Boulay joins Johnny on a bilingual version of “Silent Night”.  iTunes

Maxime Landry - Noel BlancThe Cinnamon Album: Noël Blanc by Maxime Landry. Even if the Canadian education system failed to bilingualize you by high school graduation, Maxime’s mesmerizing voice will win you over to the Francophone side. In fact, it comes as no surprise that he was declared champion of the 2009 season of Star Académie, was nominated for a JUNO Fan Choice Award, and has scored a multiplatinum album. Noël Blanc debuted at #9 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart. The (Canadian) Tenors are featured on “L’enfant au tambour” (i.e. “The Little Drummer Boy”).  iTunes

paul daraiche - ces noels d'autrefoisThe Cranberry Album: Ces Noëls d’autrefois by Paul Daraîche. Paul is a country artist, and this is a country style Christmas album which features a few guests including Charles Aznavour, members of the Daraîche family, Shawn Barker, Marie-Michèle Desrosiers, Michel Rivard, and Tex Lecor. Paul’s studio album last year was certified platinum, and it sounds like he had fun making this Christmas record. He sounds great including on the lone Anglo track, “Blue Christmas”, and this album will fill the room with warmth and cheer especially to rural dwellers.  iTunes

Christmas in Canada - Gord BamfordThe Eggnog Album: Christmas in Canada by Gord Bamford. Gord sure is working hard. He just recently released his sixth studio album, has topped the country radio charts, donated $100,000 to children’s hospitals across the country, and now he launches his first Christmas album. Albertans will adore the opening track and all Canadians will love the seventh. Like many country artists, Gord pens delightful lyrics on the album’s original tracks. This is a playful work that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Anna Maria Kaufmann joins him on “The Christmas Song”.  iTunes

604 Records - Get Back to ChristmasThe Mint Album: Get Back to Christmas by 604 Records. The Vancouver record label has established somewhat of a tradition by releasing Christmas albums every year with tracks by their signed artists. The latest Christmas record contains six tracks, plus a bonus radio version of one of them, by Cassica, Paige Morgan, Kieran Mercer, AJ Woodworth, Kate Kurdyak, and Autumns Cannon. All the tracks appear to be original songs and sound fantastic. You can check out all the label’s Christmas albums with the search term “604 Records” in iTunes Canada.  iTunes

Janvier and Breau - Noel a deuxThe Plum Pudding Album: Noël à deux by Marie-Eve Janvier and Jean-François Breau. She is from small town Québec (Roxton Pond), and he is from big city Ontario (Hamilton). This sweet duo has scored two gold albums. Their new Francophone Christmas album is mostly covers delightfully reworked into 1950s doo-wop, boogie-woogie, and vintage rock n’ roll and sung in duet. The album seems to have struck a chord, as it is currently among the iTunes Top 20 albums. Chuck Berry would be impressed.  iTunes

2013 Canadian Classical Albums For the Season

gino quilico - serata d'amorePanettone and Struffoli: Serata d’amore by Gino Quilico, OC. Gino is a Canadian baritone of Italian descent who was born in New York. He is the son of world-famous Louis Quilico and pianist Carolina Pizzolongo. Gino released a Christmas album back in 2002 that went gold. This new album is a collection of famous Italian love songs. Italian really is the ideal language to sing songs in any genre. His exquisite voice is backed by the musicians of TrioSphère (piano, cello, and violin) as well as a guitarist and accordionist. The album received a feature on CBC Music.  iTunes

nelson page - vie et souvenirsThe Chocolate Fondue: Vie et souvenirs by Nelson Page. This is not a Christmas album but one that can certainly be enjoyed during the season. Nelson Page is a classically trained pianist, singer, author, composer and arranger straight from the Conservatory of Music and Laval University. Beautiful and passionate instrumental music abounds on this disc. All tracks are original compositions from this talented artist showcasing a piano and string quartet and feature prestigious Australian artist James Morrison.  iTunes

Update: 2014 Christmas releases are here.

2013 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Award Winners

Gord Bamford kira isabella ccma 2013

The CCMA gala was held in Edmonton today during which the final lot of awards for the year’s best in country music were announced. Below is a list of nominees for all major awards with the winner bolded in red. A list of further CCMA awards is HERE.

It’s Friday – Dean Brody feat. Great Big Sea
Jumped Right In – Dallas Smith
Leaning On A Lonesome Song – Gord Bamford
Main Street, 1979 – Deric Ruttan
Show Some Respect – Bobby Wills

Classics II – George Canyon
Is It Friday Yet? – Gord Bamford
Jumped Right In – Dallas Smith
Roll – Emerson Drive
Small Town Pistols – Small Town Pistols

A Little More Work – Kira Isabella
Hope & Gasoline – Beverley Mahood
I’m Movin’ On – Terri Clark feat. Dean Brody
Leaning On A Lonesome Song – Gord Bamford
Maybe You Remember Me Now – Hey Romeo

Baby I Know It (written by Caeland Garner/Johnny Reid; performed by Johnny Reid feat. Carolyn Dawn Johnson)
Bob Marley (written by Dean Brody; performed by Dean Brody)
Cool (written by Jason Blaine/Deric Ruttan; performed by Jason Blaine)
It’s Friday (written by Dean Brody; performed by Dean Brody feat. Great Big Sea)
Leaning On A Lonesome Song (written by Gord Bamford/Buddy Owens/Ray Stephenson; performed by Gord Bamford)

Gord Bamford
Dean Brody
George Canyon
Terri Clark
Johnny Reid

Terri Clark
Jaida Dreyer
Kira Isabella
Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Michelle Wright

Gord Bamford
Dean Brody
Chad Brownlee
Dallas Smith
Bobby Wills

Emerson Drive
Hey Romeo
High Valley
Small Town Pistols
The Stellas

Clayton Bellamy
Shane Chisholm
The Heartbroken
Corb Lund
Lindi Ortega

Autumn Hill
Tim Hicks
MacKenzie Porter
Bobby Wills

Terri Clark
Leah Daniels
High Valley
Codie Prevost

CCMA Hall of Fame Inductee – Rita MacNeil
CCMA Discovery Award – Wes Mack
Top Selling Album of the Year – Red by Taylor Swift
Top Selling Canadian Album of the Year – Fire It Up by Johnny Reid

Toque Dynamos of 2012

Lily C.

Lily COpting to dabble in the realm of adult contemporary / easy listening which offers us music that is delicate, sweet, light, and fun is new Toronto singer-songwriter Lily C. (the C stands for Cheng). Lily began her musical career on a trip to east Asia undertaken to get in touch with her ancestral roots. She began writing and performing her songs drawing large audiences, released an independent album, Perfect Moment, and worked as a DJ and TV host. When ill health struck her family, she returned to Canada in 2007 touring Ontario and writing new songs. In 2012, Lily released her first album in Canada, Reaching for Sunlight, which was featured on the CBC. “Take Your Shoes Off” was the most popular track while “I Am a Bee” was named by The Canadian Music Blog as one of the ten best songs of 2012.

Johnny Reid

Johnny ReidJohnny is a naturalized Canadian adult contemporary singer originally from Scotland. He has won several JUNO awards. Although he has scored a number of hit singles on the country charts, he has done best in terms of sales in the albums department. All of his last 5 LPs have been certified platinum or better. His first album, Another Day, Another Dime came out in 1997. He began receiving attention with his second self-titled work with radio airplay. It was his third album, Born to Roll, in 2005 and lead single “You Still Own Me” (later covered by Emerson Drive) where things took off. Reid released Fire It Up in 2012, three of its tracks making an appearance on the Canadian Hot 100. The album itself went platinum making it one of the most successful Canadian albums of the year. 2015 album What Love Is All About debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts.


MassariTrilingual Massari is a very talented Canadian R&B singer from Ottawa known for his culturally rich sound. His debut, JUNO-nominated, self-titled 2006 album was certified gold and spawned several hit singles including “Be Easy”. But before that Massari had started out in the early years of the new millennium releasing singles. “Spitfire” was aired on radio stations in Ottawa. Massari’s songs have been popular internationally many recorded under local record label CP Records. In 2012, Massari released new single “Brand New Day” which came within a hair’s breadth of the Top 40 (#41 on the Canadian Hot 100). Massari has collaborated with label mates Belly and Mia Martina.

Les Trois Accords

Les Trois AccordsDrummondville, Québec’s alternative rock band Les Trois Accords have scored a number of big hit singles; to date eight have appeared in CKOI’s year-end Top 50. They have been nominated for 19 Félix awards winning 4 of them and been nominated for a JUNO twice. The band has always emphasized art over logic adding dashes of humour and idiosyncrasy bordering on the absurd. Their debut studio LP was released in 2003 and then re-released as Gros mammouth album turbo the following year with 2 bonus tracks. It was a platinum album. In 2005 it was nominated for a JUNO and won the Félix for Best-Selling Album of the Year, the band being named Group of the Year. Les Trois Accords’ second album went gold and won the Félix for Rock Album of the Year. Their fourth album secured their second JUNO nomination in 2010. The band released its fifth studio album, J’aime ta grand-mère, in 2012. It pays tribute to some indie and garage rock, punk, and British new wave. As well, country legend Renée Martel makes an appearance on one of the tracks.  The album’s title track made the weekly Canadian Hot 100 at the end of December. Album Joie d’etre gai followed in 2015.


ElisapieThe northern third of Québec is known as Nunavik, 90% of whose inhabitants are Inuit living in some 14 villages around the coast. The second northernmost of these is Salluit, on the Sugluk Inlet, with a population of about 1,350 and apparently rapidly growing. It is not accessible by road, only by air. This is where Canadian recording artist Elisapie Isaac grew up. Her mother was Inuk and father from Newfoundland. Adopted at birth, she was raised by an Inuit family and was no doubt enriched by learning this beautiful culture. She is now based in Montréal. The press has commented that, although from the icy north, she has a voice and a stage presence that succeeds in melting the hearts of her audience. Elisapie first appeared in a duo with Alain Auger called Taima whose self-titled (and only) album won the JUNO for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2005. Her solo debut, trilingual, jazzy folk album, There Will Be Stars, was released in 2009 and sold 25,000 copies which was enough to attract attention south of the border. For her second work, Travelling Love, in 2012, Elisapie decided to move to a more pop/rock sound while retaining some of her folk roots. Track “The Love You Gave” was named by iTunes as “single of the week”.

Karl Wolf

Karl WolfKarl is a naturalized Canadian (originally from Lebanon) based in Montreal. He sings, composes, and produces as well. He began his musical odyssey as backup singer for Felix award winning band Dubmatique and then went on as the new lead singer for popular band Sky. His debut solo album Face Behind the Face was released in 2006 and 3 subsequent LPs came out thereafter, including 2012’s Finally Free. He has been nominated for 3 JUNO awards. Thus far, his greatest success has been in the singles department. He has scored 4 gold songs, and his 2008 reworking of Toto’s “Africa” was certified triple platinum. In 2012, Karl Wolf’s “Mash It Up” was the 94th biggest hit of the year.

100th Grey Cup to Feature Canadian Superstar Singers

The CFL has announced that the 100th Grey Cup, taking place in Toronto on November 25th, will feature a lineup of some of the biggest superstars in Canadian music.  Yes, belieb it!  Scottish import of country music Johnny Reid and the legendary Burton Cummings will headline a special kickoff show.  The halftime entertainment will feature Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Gordon Lightfoot, and Marianas Trench.  At last year’s Grey Cup halftime show, Nickelback performed.

The CFL has not indicated that they have invited any Francophone performers.

CRJ is Rocketing Forward in the USA

Carly Rae Jepsen’s United States radio tour is paying off.  “Call Me Maybe” (which is back at #1 in Canada this week – its 3rd week at the top spot) has debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 within the Top 40!  She has the 38th biggest song in that country this week.

While Carly is taking the U.S. by storm, her Canadian sister Alyssa Reid is the latest craze in Britain.  “Alone Again” (her reworking of Heart’s classic “Alone”) is at its 5th week in the U.K. Top 20.  It is the most successful Canadian single so far this year in Britain, having peaked at #2 on the charts there.

Fans of Celtic / new age music are no doubt delighted at Loreena McKennitt’s latest release, a live album of some of her classics, called Troubadours On The Rhine.  Johnny Reid, Ian Thornley’s Big Wreck, and Gord Bamford have new releases out in just a couple of days.

With all the tours going on and about to begin, we are pleased to announce that LIGHTS will be touring the land down under for the very first time.  Her album Siberia released last year is up for JUNO pop album of the year, and she will now be showcasing her dazzling electronic rock sound live in Australia.  Perhaps she can bring a little Canadian snow with her.

East-Asia, Edmonton, and Americanization (2007-2009)

The most significant event that occurred in the latter years of the first decade of the new millennium was that, for the first time in music history, a Canadian of east-Asian descent scored a radio hit. Canadians of Asian descent make up over 12% of the population but have seen little representation in the music industry. Maple Ridge B.C.’s Elise Estrada, born in the Philippines, recorded the R&B hit “Unlove You” which peaked at #11 on the singles chart.

This period also witnessed the 3rd best-selling Canadian single of all-time internationally, after Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” sold 7.3 million copies worldwide.

Edmonton, which had been left off the map in terms of churning out significant recording artists, contributed two during this time: Kreesha Turner and the Stereos.

Canadian music embraced further diversity. For the first time in a while, Canada gave the world a new male teen international superstar. A couple new electronic artists achieved success. Rock trio Metric released the single “Help, I’m Alive” which peaked at #21 on the singles chart in early 2009. LIGHTS, a female singer-songwriter, won the best new artist JUNO after her electronic pop song “Drive My Soul” became a Top 20 hit. Much of this diversity, however, involved taking on American styles of music, like R&B and rap. This coincided with Billboard magazine’s taking over the Canadian singles and albums charts in 2007.


In the late 2000s, a large portion of Canadian music began to emulate styles popular south of the border. A number of new Canadian artists began performing rap and R&B music. Relatively-speaking, such music did not sell well domestically. Most of these American-style artists arose from Toronto and were heavily promoted by Toronto-based MuchMusic. Although many of them were of Jamaican ancestry, they did not perform reggae music.

While it is true that Canadian artists like Avril Lavigne, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Raine Maida were busy writing and producing songs for American idol winners like Kelly Clarkson, and, in so doing, somewhat Canadianizing American pop, the American influence on Canadian music was much more apparent.

Artists who continued to perform Canadian styles of music began shedding their Canadian pronunciation, adopting American accents. And bad grammar became trendy. By the end of the decade these tendencies had become quite standard.

We can only speculate as to the motivations behind such a trend. Perhaps with the advent of digital music and the looming threat of rampant online piracy, record labels were pushing Canadian recording artists to tailor their music and accents to American styles in order to maximize chances of being successful in the world’s largest market for music. Ironically, many of the artists who did this did not end up making names for themselves in the republic. The most successful Canadian artists during the latter years of the decade were those who made music that was very Canadian: Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback. The only new artists to sell many records during this period were Feist and Justin Bieber.


Although the year was heavily dominated by pop-punk superstar Avril Lavigne, the Juno gala held the following year gave all three major awards (song, album, and artist of the year) to a folk-pop singer from Amherst, N.S. called Feist. She had received some attention in 2005 for her cover of the Bee Gees’ song “Inside and Out”. Juno-winning The Reminder was certified double-platinum. Feist’s song “1234” was a Top 10 hit in Britain and the U.S. and made it to #3 at home. In the late 2000s, Feist was the most successful new artist at the Junos, winning eight of 11 nominations.

Five-piece, Vancouver-based, punky grunge band State of Shock scored a Top 10 hit called “Money Honey”. They managed three songs in the year-end Top 100 charts by the end of the decade. They were one of the few male-female combo bands.

Toronto’s Jully Black also made the Top 10 with her cover of the 1960s song “Seven Day Fool”. In Québec, female rocker Anik Jean enjoyed the hit “Oh mon chéri” and Jonathan Painchaud scored with “Pousse, Pousse”. But it was rocker Marie-Mai, Star Académie finalist who shone the brightest. She won four Félix awards, released gold and platinum albums, and recorded songs with David Usher (Moist) and Simple Plan. Although she did not see any hit singles, Peterborough, Ontario’s indie folk singer Serena Ryder scored a pair of gold albums and was honoured with the JUNO for best new artist.

With the handover of the official Canadian charts going to Billboard magazine, there was no year-end chart for the year, and we do not have access to the weekly singles charts for the first half of the year. Nevertheless, we have attempted to piece together data on some of the hits this year which you can find HERE. In brief, besides the new artists mentioned above, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback / Chad Kroeger, Nelly Furtado, Finger Eleven, Michael Bublé, Bedouin Soundclash, and Céline Dion enjoyed big hits.


Like R&B singer Jully Black, Toronto’s Kardinal Offishall (born Jason Harrow) is of Jamaican ancestry. His singles have done much better than his albums. This year, he scored the international hit “Dangerous” (11th biggest of 2008) with American Akon which won the Juno for song of the year. The two collaborated again in “Beautiful” and “Body Bounce” in subsequent years. In 2011, he recorded the song “Ghetto Love” with Montreal’s Karl Wolf, a rap-reggae version of Peter Cetera’s “Glory of Love”. Kardinal Offishall has won 3 JUNO awards.

Edmonton-born Kreesha Turner, whose mother is Jamaican, started her career by performing 70s-style R&B and scored the Top 10 hit “Don’t Call Me Baby”. South of her, in Calgary, Andrew F became a one-hit wonder (so far) with his punky song “The End”. Marie-Pierre Arthur scored the Quebec hit “Pourquoi” as did Yann Perreau with “Beau comme on s’aime”. Gypsy jazz band The Lost Fingers, from Quebec City, scored a platinum album called Lost in the 80s.

Montreal’s pop pianist Béatrice Martin, under the stage name Coeur de Pirate, released her debut album this year. It was certified platinum and was nominated for Francophone album of the year at the JUNOs.

LIGHTS is not a band but a female singer-songwriter based in Toronto. She became one of the most successful electronic pop musicians in the late 2000s, winning the Juno award for Best New Artist. Her “Drive My Soul” was the 70th biggest song of 2008.

Vancouver’s Phillipine-born beauty contest winner Elise Estrada scored the hit “Unlove You” which finished in the Top 100 year-end chart of 2008. As far as we know, she is the first Canadian of east-Asian descent to score a hit on the radio in Canada, a remarkable achievement.

Mission, B.C.’s Faber Drive were signed onto Chad Kroeger’s label 604 Records and performed mainstream pop. “When I’m with You” made the year-end Top 100 and the following year their “Get Up and Dance” was the 48th biggest song of the year.


Many new artists emerged this last year of the decade.

Lebanese-born Montrealer Karl Wolf began performing R&B and his cover of Toto’s “Africa” was the biggest song of the year by a Canadian artist, finishing the year in 9th spot.

A Canadian rapper had a huge hit south of the border. “Best I Ever Had” was the 22nd biggest song in the U.S. (79th in Canada) thanks to Toronto’s Aubrey Drake Graham, known simply as Drake. He started out as an actor playing the character Jimmy Brooks on the television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. Drake’s father is an African American from Memphis, Tennessee, and his mother is Jewish Canadian. He started out by collaborating with American rap artists like Kanye West, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne, signing onto the latter’s record label. Drake’s album Thank Me Later managed to go platinum in Canada.

Outselling Drake was a youngster from Stratford, ON named Justin Bieber who managed one platinum and two double-platinum albums. “One Time” and “One Less Lonely Girl” were big hits this year. He became successful by uploading videos of his songs onto Youtube. This led to a recording contract. Although primarily a pop artist, some of his songs feature rap segments from American artists.

Besides Nelly Furtado and Shawn Desman, another Portuguese-Canadian popped out of obscurity; in fact, he is Desman’s younger brother, Danny Fernandes. His “Fantasy” was a big hit this year.

Born in Scotland, naturalized Canadian soul singer Johnny Reid, despite no hit singles, put out an album that went double-platinum this year: Dance with Me. Divine Brown was yet another Toronto R&B singer to arise, though she did not score any significant hits until she teamed up with Nelly Furtado and performed “Sunglasses” (#22).

Toronto’s Suzie McNeil had entered a CBS reality show called Rock Star: INXS to find a new lead singer for the band. She was the last female singer to be eliminated from the competition, having gained by then considerable respect. She relocated to Los Angeles to develop her career. Her “Supergirl” made the year-end Top 100 this year.

Also from Toronto was Melanie Fiona, whose parents immigrated to Canada from Guyana. Her “Give It to Me Right” also made the Top 100 of 2009.

Besides Kreesha Turner, Edmonton produced the band the Stereos who scored two big hits this year: “Summer Girl” (#2) and “Throw Your Hands Up” (#3). The Stereos made a kind of music that blended all the current popular styles: grunge, dance, and rap.

Originally from Trois-Rivières, Québec, The New Cities set up base in Montréal and released their debut LP this year. Gold single “Dead End Countdown” was a big new wave hit, 69th of the year.

Links to Related Posts

Lists of Canadian Songs in the Top 100 of 2008 and 2009 in Canada are HERE.

Mini profiles on semi-major artists Feist, Marie-Mai, State of Shock, Faber Drive, Drake, The Stereos, and LIGHTS are HERE.

Major profile on Elise Estrada is HERE.

Major profile on Justin Bieber is HERE.

A list of Juno and Félix song of the year nominees and winners for the decade 2000-2009 is HERE.

A list of best-selling Canadian albums 2000-2009 is HERE.

A list of best-selling Canadian singles 2000-2009 is HERE.