Born and raised in Toronto, Henry Lau learned piano to level 10 and won the gold medal for level 10 violin from the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music. He also studied various forms of dance. Lau was one of only two people of 3,000 chosen in South Korea’s SM Entertainment global auditions held in Toronto in 2006. Relocating to Korea, he became a member of popular singing group Super Junior-M. In addition to Mandarin Chinese and his native English, he became fluent in Korean. In 2013, he released solo album Trap in two versions: a Korean version and a Chinese version. Both albums contained a few English songs. The album peaked at #2 on the South Korean weekly albums chart and its title-track became a Top 20 single on the US Billobard K-Pop charts. EP Fantastic followed in 2014.
Aside from being a recording artist in his own right, Marc composes songs for other artists. He started out collaborating with Céline Dion. In 2013, he became one of the four coaches on the Canadian version of The Voice (La Voix). Prior to 2013, three of Marc’s songs had charted on The Billboard Canadian Hot 100. This year, he launched album Nous sommes les mêmes which, by year end, had been certified gold by Music Canada. Its title track vaulted itself all the way up to #47 on the Canadian Hot 100, a remarkable achievement for a Francophone work. It was named Song of the Year at the ADISQ Félix Awards gala at the end of October. Marc released album La dans ma tete in 2014.
At its core, this Toronto-formed electronic rock band consists of Emily Haines and James Shaw. In order to augment its concerts, the group picked up Americans Joshua Winstead (bass) and Joules Scott-Key (drums). Metric’s popularity and success steadily grew since its debut release in 2003. Gold record certifications followed in 2006 and platinum awards in 2009. Album Fantasies gave Metric its first JUNO awards and spawned first major hit “Help, I’m Alive” (#21, Canadian Hot 100). The band released JUNO-winning album Synthetica in 2012, its first album to reach significant chart positions internationally (#12 US Billboard, #21 Australia’s ARIA). In 2013, “Breathing Underwater” from the album peaked at #22 on the Canadian Hot 100 and made the year-end Top 100 at #77. Album Pagans in Vegas came out in 2015.
Born in Peterborough and raised in Millbrook, this Ontario artist launched her recording debut in 1999 and picked up her first JUNO award in 2008. Her massive breakthrough came this year after releasing album Harmony in 2012. “Stompa” was the 14th biggest song of 2013 (highest position for a CanCon single) and within the year was certified triple platinum. Platinum-certified “What I Wouldn’t Do” also made the year-end chart, and Serena Ryder was the top Canuck on Billboard Canada’s Top Hot 100 Artists of 2013. Her album Harmony attained platinum sales through the year.
Walk Off the Earth
Forming in Burlington in 2006, WOTE currently consists of five members: Gianni Luminati, Sarah Blackwood (not to be confused with the British vocalist of Dubstar), Ryan Marshall, Mike Taylor, and Joel Cassady. The band is known for its clever and creative music videos and came to prominence upon covering Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” by all five members playing it on one guitar. The Walk Off the Earth version attained platinum sales. The group released its own song “Red Hands” off album REVO which earned multiplatinum status in 2013. Billboard named Walk Off the Earth the Top Emerging Canadian Artist of the Year. Album Sing It All the Way appeared in 2015 spawning the hit “Rule the World”.