New Releases: Matthew Good, Tenille Arts, and More!

We have new albums this week from 3 JUNO winners and an additional 4 nominees, one multiplatinum artist, one platinum, and one gold. At the bottom of this post find a listing of 17 LPs and 6 EPs/mini albums for your enjoyment. We wish to highlight a few of these.

For those who like to get jiggy wid it, Orangeville, ON EDM duo DVBBS presents full-length album Blood of My Blood. The lads landed a JUNO nomination and struck platinum with previous single “Tsunami” which also went all the way to #1 on the British charts. The album is a bit more urban flavoured for those who dig it.

Toronto’s Carol Welsman has yet to win a JUNO for her exquisite vocal jazz, scoring six nominations over the years. Her new album is entitled For You. Find her interpretations of such classics as “Close to You” and “My Funny Valentine”.

Rock man Matt Mays of Dartmouth, NS is back with an album that is selling well, Once Upon a Hell of a Time. In 2014, Matt’s album Coyote won the JUNO for Rock Album of the Year.

Toronto’s very popular Tenille Arts introduces her debut LP, Rebel Child. There are many emerging country artists, and she is leading most with her energetic delivery and splendid vocals.

Multiplatinum 4-time (2 as a soloist) JUNO winner Matthew Good of Coquitlam, BC gives us his latest effort which is Something Like a Storm. It leads the week’s releases at iTunes (currently #4). Matthew likes to craft rock with a hint of new wave.

Alternative folk comes by way of Toronto’s Skydiggers. The band won a JUNO for Most Promising Group of the Year way back in 1993. It’s good the outfit is still making music. The latest work of art is Warmth of the Sun.

Drummondville, QC’s Andy St-Louis (female) contributes a delightful 4-track EP of beautiful adult contemporary tunes worth checking out; Chez Moi is doing quite well on the Musique fracophone charts.

Finally, something of a treat, St. John’s Kim Stockwood joins jazz pianist Bill King with an easy listening EP, Sometimes the Moon. It feels like watching a classy old-time movie. Very nicely done. Kim was nominated for a JUNO in 1996 (Best New Solo Artist).

A number of new singles and music videos are out this week as well. We’d like to highlight “Darts in the Dark” from multiplatinum group MAGIC! The band has gone for a little more of an electronic sound on this, and it sounds nifty.

One of the best songs of the year off one of the best albums gets a music video. We’re talking about “Moonlight Shadow” off album Young Mopes from British Columbia’s Louise Burns. View it below, and find underneath a listing of some of the week’s Canadian artist LPs and EPs.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE AWARDS
Adieu Veracruz Cherry Cherie Alt Rock  
L’alphabet des animaux Natasha St-Pier Children’s 1JN; G
Blood of My Blood DVBBS EDM 1JN; P
Break Andre Bisson  Blues  
Le demon normal Oktoplut Metal  
For You Carol Welsman Jazz 6JN
Morose Les Poules à Colin Folk  
Nothing Else Matters ViVA Trio EL  
Nouveau depart! Jacques & Geneviève AC  
Once Upon a Hell of a Time Matt Mays Rock 1JW
Rebel Child Tenille Arts Country  
Rever plus fort Thierry Bruyere Alt Rock  
Rivers Mark Martyre S-S  
Sanza Soul Laetitia Zonzambé World  
Shame Tough Age Alt Rock  
Something Like a Storm Matthew Good Rock 4JW; 2xP
Warmth of the Sun Skydiggers Alt Folk 1JW
Chez moi (EP) Andy St-Louis AC  
Downtown Kids (EP) David James Country  
Etre social (EP) Émilie Landry AC  
Low Light (EP) Lydia Persaud S-S  
Sometimes the Moon (EP) Kim Stockwood EL 1JN
Yugen (EP) Gazoline Alt  

KEY:
JN – Juno Nominations
JW – Juno Wins
G – Gold (highest certification on a recording)
P – Platinum (highest certification on a recording)
2xP – Double Platinum (highest certification on a recording)
EL – Easy Listening
AC – Adult Contemporary
S-S – Singer-Songwriter

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Selected New Releases 17 June 2016

collage copy

Bluesy folkster Adam Karch follows up his well-received 2014 album with 2016’s Moving Forward, continuing to impress with his Stetson quality vocals and sensitive playing. He covers Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” nicely and does a fine stripped down version of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”.

Find Haitian Canadian progressive Franco rap on the new album from Montreal-based Bullet Ghost, entitled Comme dans un rêve. If the government ID card pictured on the front cover is accurate, he was born when Funky Four Plus One performed on Saturday Night Live, in 1981.

The much anticipated sixth studio album from JUNO winning, multiplatinum Winnipeg adult pop champ Chantal Kreviazuk CM drops. Bearing the title Hard Sail, it reminds us of her second to none songwriting ability. As radio climate has veered into tropical house territory as of late, it is a long shot that the album will spawn any bit hits, but she has already been there and done that. “Before You” made it to #2 in the 90s.

For those who like the rush of a rampage, has Canada got an album for you: Bad Water from Montreal punk band Dig It Up. Be very careful that your speakers don’t melt from the fire they will vent from this!

Montreal singer-songwriter JF Robitaille drops the gorgeous album Palace Blues. Kick your feet up and be soothed by this little gold nugget.

While electronic R&B is not hard to come by these days, one of the best acts worldwide is Toronto’s River Tiber (alias of Tommy Paxton-Beesley) who makes it all sound very fresh. Indigo is his new album.

Immediately topping the iTunes albums chart upon release, which isn’t surprising, is new studio album Man Machine Poem from Kingston rock band The Tragically Hip. Fans were delighted to learn recently that the final hometown concert of the band’s cross-Canada summer tour will be aired by the CBC on August 20.

Kooky alternative pitch-bend rock drawing comparisons to The Pixies flourishes on the self-titled album by Toronto’s Weaves. Check out slower song “Eagle” for a grin-inducing track.

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs is a various artist children’s album to keep the little ones happy.

Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan delivers EP Unmake and Montreal multiplatinum R&B specialist Karl Wolf with his new Victoria BC record label presents sumptuous mini album The Export, Vol 1, more than worth checking out. Salomé Leclerc follows up her critically acclaimed alternative album 27 fois l’aurore with EP Live au Treatment.

As always, a number of new singles are out. They include “Rollercoaster” by Alyssa Reid, “Flowerchild” by Coleman Hell, and “Red Dress” from upcoming album Primary Colours from MAGIC! the MV of which we have embedded below.

Video Party: Magic, Jepsen, Kissel, Helman, Yates

MAGIC!’s Nasri was recently interviewed by QMFM DJ Olivia Jones. It is one of the funniest interviews we have seen in some time. Nasri talks about new single “Lay You Down Easy” and the reggae pop group’s upcoming studio album. QMFM was recently crowned the most listened to radio station in Metro Vancouver.

In high school chemistry we learn(ed) about covalent bonding and ionic bonding. But perhaps the most glorious type of all of them is … male bonding? Scott Helman sat behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Beetle Dune to pick up his fellow singers Franseco Yates and Brett Kissel on their way to the JUNOs. The car has a Knight Rider feature with a voice that sounds much nicer than KITT’s. Brett Kissel was very impressed that his intro by Wikipedia was accurate.

This video is a few months old but it is so worth checking out. Follow Carly Rae Jepsen to the sweetest bakeries in the beautiful country of Japan. Fresh off her recent, successful concert tour of sakura land, Carly will be joining Hedley and the aforementioned Francesco Yates on tour across Canada through April and May. Things kick off in St. John’s, NL at Mile One Stadium on April 7. The final show will be May 20 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Canada Day 2015 Parliament Hill Performances

While a number of recording artists performed at various cities across the country to celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday, the main televised extravaganza took place in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. It was a beautifully done affair with Francophones and Anglophones, women and men all sharing the stage together, something we need to see more often. Most performers played three songs, and a single group of professional musicians backed them all. We took some screen shots posted below with notes on each performer. You can watch a condensed version of the concert here with just one or two songs per artist.

1. Dance music superstar Kiesza opens the event with double platinum “Hideaway” and two more songs:

01 - Kiesza

2. The large crowd cheers for Kiesza. One man held up a sign asking her to marry him:

02 - Parliament Hill Crowd

3. Beautiful fresh, young talents and two of our finest vocalists Francesco Yates and Andee welcome all to the event:

03 - Francesco Yates and Andee

4. JUNO winner Karim Ouellet performs a string of his hits. We were very lucky to acquire him from Senegal:

04 - Karim Ouellet

5. Gord Bamford gets us countrified with hits including #1 radio smash “When Your Lips Are So Close”:

05 - Gord Bamford

6. The sun begins to set in Ottawa:

06 - Sunset

7. Cassidy Mann reps The Peg and charms us with her sweet songs:

07 - Cassidy Mann

8. Jonas and the Massive Attraction rocks out equally well in both official languages:

08 - Jonas and the Massive Attraction

9. Andee showed us just how incredible her vocals are, performing Top 40 hit “Never Gone” and other delights:

09 - Andee

10. Francesco Yates proved he has natural performance talent flowing through his arteries:

10 - Francesco Yates

11. Marc Dupré no doubt had the ladies swooning with his magnetic delivery:

11 - Marc Dupre

12. MAGIC! capped things off with three including new single “Sunday Funday” getting beach balls going in the crowd.

12 - Magic

13. The night wouldn’t have been complete without a stellar fireworks display:

13 - fireworks

Headlines for Mid-April 2015

Salome Leclerc1

A Host of Celebrities Praise Avril Lavigne for “Fly”

A number of celebrities have taken to Twitter to express praises to Avril Lavigne for her new song and music video “Fly” released in support of the Special Olympics. These celebrities include country band Rascall Flatts, pop stars Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, The Backstreet Boys and Nick Carter, and actress Eva Longoria. “This video gives me chills @AvrilLavigne,” tweeted Britney Spears, “So beautiful what you’re doing for @SpeicalOlympics”. Avril replied, “Thanks @britneyspears I’m glad you like my video for FLY xo lots of love”. Nick Carter tweeted, “I’m loving @AvrilLavigne new song Fly … good job girl!”

Diana Krall Finds a Gold Wallflower

Music Canada has certified Diana Krall’s latest studio album Wallflower a gold disc. It is the third Canadian album released in 2015 to receive the distinction. Diana’s most successful album to date was 2001’s The Look of Love at 7x platinum.

Anjulie Greets 100 Million Boys

The music video for Nicki Minaj’s “The Boys” has been Vevo certified for 100 million views. Nicki may not be Canadian but the song was composed for her by a Canadian artist – Oakville, Ontario JUNO winner Anjulie.

No Next Star for YTV

YTV annual talent search show that helped launch the careers of Victoria Duffield and Alyssa Reid has announced that it has been placed on hiatus for 2015. It encouraged young talents to keep practising their singing and continue following its social network accounts for news concerning previous winners. Last year Jory Zechner won the competition.

MAGIC! is in Jeopardy!

Reggae group MAGIC! found itself in a question on game show Jeopardy hosted by Canadian Alex Trebek. The answer of the $2,000 “Hit Songs” category in the double jeopardy round was ‘THIS GROUP! GOT “RUDE” & PRESTO! HAD A HIT IN 2014!’ The contestant provided the correct question: “What is MAGIC!?”

Music Release Day Switching to Friday Worldwide

The IFPI recently released its annual Digital Music Report which did not contain too many eyebrow raisers. However, one significant change announced is summarized best by Music Canada in the following statement. “The Digital Music Report also covers plans for Global Release Day, which is the industry’s decision to synchronize the release schedule for all markets, allowing consumers to access new music on the same day worldwide. Beginning July 10, 2015, Friday will become the new release day, reducing the risk of piracy by shortening the release gap between markets, and providing new marketing opportunities for record labels over the weekend.” Currently, in Canada, music is usually released on Tuesdays. As a rule, music is released at a much later date in the United Kingdom. The industry hopes the change will be for the better.

Salomé Leclerc Walks in the Paths of the Shadow

The sophomore LP from extraordinary singer-songwriter Salomé Leclerc made the year-end best of album lists of many entities including ours. We leave you with the brand new MV for track “Les chemins de l’ombre”.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Single of the Year Nominees

Single of the Year copy

Nominated for Single of the Year are “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Toronto’s Drake featuring Majid Jordan; “Crazy For You” by Abbotsford, BC’s Hedley; “Hidaway” by Calgary’s Kiesza, “Rude” by Toronto’s MAGIC!, and “We’re All In This Together” by Montreal’s Sam Roberts Band. All five songs encompass a different style under the pop-rock umbrella: R&B, pop, dance, reggae, and rock respectively.

Drake leads the pack in terms of the number of charting singles on the Hot 100. As the main artist alone, he has scored 24. Hedley has 20, Kiesza 2, MAGIC! 4, and Sam Roberts (Band) 4. All five artists have platinum certification or higher for either a single or album. Hedley managed a triple platinum single with “Kiss You Inside Out”. MAGIC! accomplished the same with nominated “Rude”. Drake’s Take Care was a double platinum release. Kiesza’s nominated “Hideaway” went platinum. Sam Roberts’ We Were Born In a Flame was a platinum album.

In terms of the nominated songs, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” was a platinum single. It peaked at #5 in 2013 on the Hot 100 and made the year-end charts for both 2013 (#42) and 2014 (#49).

“Crazy For You” has not yet been certified. It reached #7 and finished 2014 as the 22nd biggest song.

“Hideaway” as mentioned hit platinum. It peaked at #5 making it the highest charting CanCon single of 2014, and it finished the year as the 29th most popular song in Canada.

“Rude” attained triple platinum sales, reached #6, and was the year’s biggest CanCon hit at #5 on the year-end chart for 2014.

“We’re All In This Together” did not reach gold sales. It did make the Hot 100 peaking at #70. This is considered high for a rock song.

Both “Hideaway” and “Rude” were significant international hits in 2014. Both topped the British charts and finished the year as the 15th and 13th biggest songs respectively in the United Kingdom. “Hold On We’re Going Home” was #31 on the UK year-end chart for 2013.

The JUNOs do not necessarily give the award to the most successful song. (Remember when The Sheepdogs won the category a few years ago?) We will still predict that “Rude” will take the award.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Breakthrough Artist/Group of the Year Nominees

BreakthroughToronto EDM spin wizard Glenn Morrison definitely broke through. Track “Goodbye” became a platinum single, reaching a peak position of #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke broke through by becoming the first female country artist since Shania Twain to score a gold single. Calgary’s Kiesza made history when her debut single “Hideaway” debuted at #1 on the UK Singles chart. At home, it was the highest charting single of the year and attained platinum sales. Debut single from Toronto teen sensation Shawn Mendes became a Top 10 hit and went gold. As for Edmonton’s Mac DeMarco, we’re not sure in what way he broke through without a hit single or gold album. His music is pretty good, and he’s doing something a little different but perhaps a nomination in another category would have made more sense. It goes to show that titling an album with a Shakespearean expression gives one credit.

Kiesza will probably take the award, though Shawn Mendes has a shot at it. He now has 2.75 million Twitter followers.

Regarding Breakthrough Group, Adventure Club made the Top 40 with “Wonder”. Three tracks from MAGIC!‘s debut album made the Top 40 including international, triple platinum smash “Rude”. Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) landed two tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of them went gold. “Lost You” became Zeds Dead‘s first charting single. As for Alvvays, we’re not sure how the band broke through without a hit single or gold record. Perhaps it’s a matter of never underestimating the charm of the Rankins.

MAGIC! will probably take the award.

Music First, March Second

I Really Like You, Carly

carly rae jepsen - i really like you

Carly Rae Jepsen has released her much anticipated new single, “I Really Like You”, the lead off her upcoming third studio LP. At this writing, it is Top 20 on iTunes Canada. Carly performed the super catchy and excellent tune on Good Morning America this morning and will do the same on Jimmy Kimmel March 5. It has a faster tempo than her hits “Bucket”, “Tug of War”, “Call Me Maybe”, and “Curiosity”, and was written by Carly along with Jacob Kasher Hindlin and Peter Svensson. Billboard mag says that with the song, “Jepsen has put in her bid to rule the spring of 2015”.  iTunes

Jack Ü Gets Canadianized

Jack U

American EDM specialists Diplo and Skrillex have solicited the help of Canadian singers on their surprise album Jack Ü. Kiesza is featured in track “Take Ü There” while Justin Bieber handles vocals on “Where Are Ü Now”.  iTunes

Bienvenue, Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes Paris

Shawn Mendes is busy promoting his music in Europe and today was in Paris. Here he is at the Eiffel Tower.  iTunes

This Hour Has 22 Ariane Moffatts

Ariane Moffatt billboard

Platinum JUNO winner Ariane Moffatt will be releasing a new album on March 10. Her last synth driven spectacular, MA, debuted at #2 on the Billboard albums chart. The title of the new work is 22h22. Debut single “Debout” is doing exceptionally well. Here’s a bus billboard announcing her April 16 show at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  iTunes

Tyler Shaw’s House of Cards Is Solid

Tyler Shaw - queen of hearts

Tyler Shaw recently wrapped up his cross-Canada radio tour promoting new single “House of Cards”. He had a photo taken holding up the queen of hearts in each city. Here he is at the Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver with the Olympic Cauldron.  iTunes

Dan Talevski

DAN TALEVSKI - Guilty as sin

Toronto R&B whiz Dan Talevski has written songs for Shawn Desman, Danny Fernandes, and Keshia Chante and is now beginning to make his own music. “Guilty As Sin” is his first single with eOne Music Canada and is moving up the BDS charts. You can watch a lyric video here.  iTunes

Yes Way, Yes!

We leave you with the brand new MV for MAGIC!’s “No Way No”, the fourth single from the reggae group’s album rapidly moving up the charts.  iTunes

More JUNO Performers Confirmed: Alanis, deadmau5, LIGHTS, and the SRB!

JUNOs 2015 Performers1

The JUNO Awards confirmed additional performers today. Joining Arkells, Hedley, Kiesza, MAGIC!, and Shawn Mendes at the March 15 gala in Hamilton will be double diamond alt rocker Alanis Morissette, EDM wizard deadmau5, electro pop specialist LIGHTS, and Montreal’s the Sam Roberts Band! Are we stoked yet? Holy smokes!

This year’s JUNO Fan Fare event (March 14) will be split into four signing session tables, loosely based on genre, with each attendee limited to one, allowing for more participants. Table 1 (rock) has Arkells and the Sam Roberts Band. Table 2 (pop/R&B) has Shawn Mendes, Nikki Yanofsky, JRDN, and Melanie Durrant. Table 3 (dance/electro) has Kiesza, LIGHTS, Glenn Morrison, Trevor Guthrie, and Zed’s Dead. And Table 4 (country) has Dallas Smith, Kira Isabella, MacKenzie Porter, Paul Brandt, and The Road Hammers. Tickets for Tables 2 and 3 have already sold out. You can purchase tickets here.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Pop Album of the Year Nominees

Pop Album Nominees copy

Avril Lavigne is a diamond recording artist from Napanee, ON. Since her debut in 2002, she has sold over 30 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide. Her self-titled album is her fifth studio LP. Avril Lavigne has won 7 JUNO Awards to date.

Down With Webster is a multiplatinum sextet from Toronto debuting in 2007. Since then, nine of its singles have charted on the Hot 100. Party For Your Life is the group’s 4th studio album. DWW has not yet won a JUNO from 6 nominations to date.

Little Machines is the third studio album from Toronto’s LIGHTS. Her previous two LPs have achieved gold certification. Like DWW, she has landed 9 songs on the Hot 100. LIGHTS’ only JUNO Award thus far is for 2009’s New Artist of the Year.

New reggae group MAGIC! from Toronto released its debut album Don’t Kill the Magic last year spawning three hit singles including triple platinum “Rude”, the biggest Canadian song of the year. The band leads the 2015 JUNO nominations with 5.

Jazz-pop sensation Nikki Yanofsky from Montreal voiced one of the most successful Canadian singles of the digital era: quadruple platinum “I Believe”. Quincy Jones produced Little Secret is her 3rd album. Nikki has not yet won a JUNO of 4 nominations to date.

The process of determining the five nominees and winner is the following, as stated by the JUNO Awards:

The five (5) nominees will be determined by a combination of sales and judges voting, equally weighted on a 50/50 basis. Calculations will be performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The nominees will then appear on the online voting website sent out to all CARAS Academy Delegates in late January. The votes of CARAS Academy Delegates will determine the winner.

All five of these magnificent albums are different in flavour. Avril Lavigne includes both pop and rock tracks. Party For Your Life is pop/rock with rapping. Little Machines is a synth pop effort. Don’t Kill the Magic is reggae pop, and Little Secret is jazz pop. Predicting a winner in this category is difficult. Avril Lavigne was the most successful of these albums, both in terms of the hit singles it spawned as well as sales of the album. However, the JUNOs will want to reward MAGIC! for its international breakout success. The JUNOs also like the idea of a Canadian singer attracting a heavyweight American producer; thus Little Secret may attract some votes, especially since it carries with it a fresh and unique style. Like Nikki, Down With Webster has not yet won a JUNO, and they may feel it is time for the group to do so. Synth pop is in vogue thanks to Tegan & Sara (and Taylor Swift), and given LIGHTS’ overcoming writer’s block to deliver a wonderful synth pop album, she has much going for her as well. Good luck to all these amazing Canadian talents!

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: JUNO Fan Choice Nominees

The 10 nominees for JUNO Fan Choice are listed below. The selection of nominees is determined according to the following statement from the JUNO Awards:

“The top 20 selling Canadian artists are determined based on album and singles sales from January 1-December 31 of the previous calendar year. The results are then reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Official Ballot Accountants of The JUNO Awards. Next, the top 20 selling artist are evaluated by Next Big Sound, which uses online music analytics and insights to measure growth and popularity of artists and bands across social networks and streaming services. Finally, each artist receives a rank after combining album sales and online media buzz to determine the top 10 artists – The 2015 JUNO Fan Choice nominees!”

Unfortunately, the result of the selection is that no Canadian female soloist appears this year. Régine Chassagne is the only Canadian female (via Arcade Fire) included in this year’s JUNO Fan Choice nominations. Two entries are partially Canadian acts.

We have assembled some statistics on the ten nominees (see below): the origin of the artist, the year of the artist’s debut, the number of Billboard Canadian Hot 100 singles as the main artist (note that the artist may have scored more hit singles prior to mid-2007 when the chart was launched), the number of studio albums the artist has released to date, the number of those studio albums that have been awarded gold or higher certification from Music Canada, and the number of JUNO awards the artist has won to date. We did not include stats for other projects in which the artist has been involved in the past (e.g. Harmonium stats for Serge Fiori).

Below the list, check out the previous winners of the JUNO Fan Choice Award since it was established in 2003. You can vote for the JUNO Fan Choice Award here.

JUNO Fan Choice

PAST JUNO FAN CHOICE AWARD WINNERS:

2003: Shania Twain
2004: Nickelback
2005: Avril Lavigne
2006: Simple Plan
2007: Nelly Furtado
2008: Michael Buble
2009: Nickelback
2010: Michael Buble
2011: Justin Bieber
2012: Justin Bieber
2013: Justin Bieber
2014: Justin Bieber

What the Stars Have Been Up To, Jan 2015

The holiday season behind us and a new year unfolding, here’s what the stars have been up to as of late.

Avril Lavigne reindeer copy

Avril Lavigne may be our reigning dear, but she also likes to strike a pose. Given that she really is as beautiful as her music, any pose will do for us.

Victoria Duffield skating copy

Victoria Duffield not only gives us some of the best dance moves, she can skate too! Perhaps Kurt Browning will join her one day.

Eva Avila in Hong Kong copy

Eva Avila really was meant to fly; during the holidays, she flew all the way to gorgeous Hong Kong! We wonder if she’ll release a Canto-pop single in the future.

Wanting Qu Kauai, Hawaii copy

Perhaps tired of the cold growing up in Harbin, China as well as living in Canada, Wanting Qu decided she needed some nice warm weather and swung down to Kauai, Hawaii.

MacKenzie Porter and Kira Isabella copy

Kira Isabella was feeling rather chilly, so she decided to begin chillin’ with MacKenzie Porter.

The Weeknd Sam Taylor-Johnson copy

Chillin’ with British director Sam Taylor-Johnson? The Weeknd earned it. HIs Fifty Shades of Grey single is out now. The movie must be a hit given the packed theat…oh dear.

Lights chapel

What looks like a chamber from a video game is real. But it looks so much better when graced by the presence of the goddess of LIGHTS.

MAGIC and Taylor copy

Finally, it appears some Canadian gents are putting on the magic charms to woo Taylor Swift, or perhaps it was the other way around. Some might call it “Rude”, but you can always “Shake It Off”, eh.

Maple Blazers of 2014

Andee

andee3Hailing from Quebec City suburbs; touring Asia as member of all-girl group Akasha; performing with Lionel Richie and finishing in the Top 5 of talent show Star Académie; drawing comparisons to Adele; featured on double platinum and platinum compilation albums; appearing in the bilingual versions of Hedley’s “Kiss You Inside Out” and Shawn Desman’s “Dum Da Dum”; getting signed by Universal Music Canada; teaming with Simple Plan songwriter and producer Sébastien Lefebvre; launching her career in English; contributing track “We Are Gold” to the CBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi; seeing her formal debut single, “Never Gone” reach the Billboard Canadian Hot 100’s Top 40; touring with Demi Lovato; and co-writing “Sorries” with Pink; Andrée-Anne Leclerc, now known as Andee, is all set for an illustrious career.

A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called RedThis Ottawa trio created new genre of music “powwow step” by combining modern electronic dance music with Aboriginal chants and drumming. With a passionate, growing fan base and popularity on the club circuit, the group’s second album Nation II Nation saw its renown skyrocket. A Tribe Called Red declined entry into the JUNO Aboriginal Album department for 2014 taking the risk of going straight for mainstream category Breakthrough Group of the Year, normally heavily dominated by White popular rock bands. Needless to say, the group won.

Crystal Shawanda

CCrystal Shawandarystal Shawanda was born in the Wikwemikong Native Reservation which is situated on Manitoulin Island (Lake Huron, southwest of Sudbury). She is of proud Ojibwa heritage. Signed in 2007 to RCA/Sony (Nashville), she launched a career in country music. Her debut album Dawn of a New Day entered the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart at #16 becoming the highest charted album by a full-blooded Canadian First Nations country artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era. The album landed four songs on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. Crystal’s album Just Like You won a JUNO Award. In 2014, she switched genres releasing a stunning blues album, The Whole World’s Got the Blues.

Kiesza

KieszaCalgary’s Kiesza topped the UK Singles chart before most Canadians had heard of her. Retro 90s dance charmer “Hideaway” eventually hit platinum in Canada helped in part by a concept music video of bustin’ moves on Brooklyn streets, shot in one take. “Giant In My Heart” and an EP quickly followed, and by the end of the year, Kiesza’s debut album Sound of a Woman, hit record shops. Live performances of dancing while singing without running out of breath on Letterman, the MMVAs, and other spectacles anchored her credibility.

MAGIC!

MagicAfter songs he produced won Grammy awards in the U.S., Canada’s Nasri Atweh (of production duo The Messengers) formed reggae pop band MAGIC! with his Toronto buddies. Debut single “Rude” became the biggest Canadian song of 2014 globally. It was discovered first in Australia and climbed the charts to #3 before most Canadians knew they had a new band. “Rude” topped the charts in both the U.K. and U.S. At home, it was certified multiplatinum and became only the 3rd song from a home-grown artist to spend over a year on the Hot 100. With the release of the band’s debut album, two further songs made the weekly Top 40. Album Primary Colours followed in 2016 which spawned further hits for the group.

Serge Fiori

Serge FioriIn the 1970s, Serge Fiori was lead singer of multiplatinum progressive rock band Harmonium. After the band split in 1978, he teamed up with Richard Séguin on an album. In the 80s he began writing songs for other artists, most notably Diane Dufresne and Nanette Workman and released his own solo album in 1986. He also penned the theme song for internationally renowned Canadian comedy production Just For Laughs. In the 90s, Serge began scoring movie soundtracks and also dabbled in new age music. In 2014 he made a huge comeback releasing a self-titled LP that struck platinum and placed a track in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. It was voted Album of the Year via a poll conducted by the CBC.

Shawn Mendes

Shawn MendesThis breakout sparkly-eyed teen sensation from Pickering, ON posted a six-second video on Vine that turned him into a household name. He won Ryan Seacrest’s (American DJ) Best Cover Song competition and was signed to Island Records. Shawn’s debut single, “Life of the Party,” reached #1 on iTunes on the night of June 25-26 and became a Top 10 hit on the Canadian Hot 100. In the United States, Shawn became the youngest artist to debut in the top 25 with a first song on the Billboard Hot 100. With millions of Twitter followers, a 2015 tour with American superstar Taylor Swift, and a debut LP that topped the album charts and spawned further hit singles, he is on his way to a big career. In 2016, Shawn released second album Illuminate with further global hit songs. He performed at a number of international awards shows.

Tanya Tagaq

Tanya TagaqRegarded by many as one of the world’s most talented voice musicians, Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq has worked with Iceland’s Björk. She hails from Cambridge Bay, NU and released her 4th album in 2014, Animism, chock full of eclectic instrumentation. The critically acclaimed album nabbed the Polaris Music Prize given to the year’s most artistic work. Her mesmerizing performance at the gala, given in conjunction with scrolling names of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, brought down the house. Tanya is a multiple JUNO nominee.

Gold/Platinum Certifications July – August 2014

Certifications from 2014 -  07 - 21

For both albums and digital singles released from May 1, 2008 onwards, definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold, Platinum = 80,000 units sold, Double Platinum = 160,000 units, Triple Platinum = 240,000 units, etc.

Nothing Rude About a Hat Trick in the UK

Canada has scored a hat trick in Britain, as a 3rd Canadian act tops their official singles chart in 2014. The first to accomplish this was DVBBS (“Tsunami”) with a little help from Borgeous and Tinie Tempah. “Hideaway” the breakout debut from Calgary’s Kiesza hit #1 in the UK before charting anywhere else. And now, Toronto’s MAGIC! has crowned the chart with reggae-pop treasure “Rude”. The United Kingdom is the world’s 3rd largest music market (after the U.S. and Japan) while Canada ranks 7th. Thus, a Canadian artist doing well in the motherland is certainly a blessing. We hope this invaluable British support for Commonwealth music of the maple persuasion continues!

Rude Magic Number One in the UK