November 17, 2017 Releases: Rymz, BNL, Les Gars Du Nord

The number of weekly new releases is on the decline as we head towards the end of the year. We just have 11 albums and an EP this week. October has been the busiest month with over a hundred Canadian artist LPs.

They say that in the late 1970s in Britain record contracts flowed like water for any artists making punk music. It would seem that in the late 2010s in Canada the same is true for rap music. There are four new rap albums out this week. Christmas albums are less abundant, but there are a few of those.

Leading the pack is Mille Soleils from rapper Rymz which is outselling Tove Lo at iTunes and currently sits at #4.

Next, we have Fake Nudes from The Barenaked Ladies. There’s nothing fake about the band’s success – a diamond album award and eight JUNOs – much of it due to its knack for penning colourful lyrics.

The Acadians are coming! Four popular Acadian artists from New Brunswick have teamed up to make a folk Christmas album. The group and the album bear the title Les Gars Du Nord. The album is selling well.

Find these and more in the table below … but first, enjoy the brand new MV from Shawn Hook – “Never Let Me Let You Go”.

The Amber Room Maurice Moore R&B
Coach Fresh Maestro Fresh Wes  Rap
Fake Nudes Barenaked Ladies Pop
Les Gars Du Nord Les Gars Du Nord Christmas
Johnny Goldtooth/Chevy Casanovas  Kevin Breit  Guitar
Larme de guerrier Ampee Rap
Léveillée, entre Claude et moi Marie Denise Pelletier AC
Lux St. Andrew & St. Paul Church Choirs… Christmas
Marée haute Émile Proulx-Cloutier  Alt Pop
Mille Soleils Rymz Rap
A New Christmas (EP) Florence K Christmas



Shawn Hook Launches New Single Reminding Me with Vanessa Hudgens

The Ontario gents are cleaning up at iTunes at this writing. Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, and The Weeknd are #1, #2, and #3 respectively. But western Canada has a shot at joining the top ranks thanks to British Columbian platinum recording artist Shawn Hook. The Hook man has been busy since his smash hit “Sound of Your Heart” and choice sophomore album Analog Love working on his international advance. He inked a deal with Hollywood Records to release his music outside of Canada, a record label that is home to such notables as Demi Lovato and Sabrina Carpenter. Shawn Hook’s strong songwriting and piano skills have created a refreshing piano and keyboard dance-pop sound that provides a nice complement to The Weeknd’s R&B, Mendes’ guitar pop, Drake’s rap, and the Biebs’ party-hearty EDM.

Shawn Hook is releasing brand new single “Reminding Me” with Vanessa Hudgens, and it’s another winner. Vanessa is an American singer (and actress). In the United States, she has scored a gold album and gold single “Breaking Free” (#4). Besides the catchy pop song that “Reminding Me” is, the voices of Hook and Hudgens complement each other to the greatest extent we have heard in a very long time.  iTunes

Headlines and Footdots: 16 January 2016

New Certifications For Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes mall of america 2

Shawn Mendes has chalked up his second multiplatinum single. Previously “Life of the Party” had made the double platinum mark and now “Stitches” has done the same. In addition, his album Handwritten has been declared gold by Music Canada. “Stitches” is up to #2 on the UK singles chart threatening to bump Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” which has nested itself at #1 for six straight weeks.

Shawn Hook Gunning For States-Side success

shawn hook sound heart mv

Another Shawn is looking to see some chart activity in the United States in the midst of the Canadian invasion. A recent signing with Hollywood Records has given the platinum recording artist a shot at becoming the latest Canuck to shimmy up the charts in the United States. “Sound of Your Heart” was the #1 most added song to U.S. CHR radio among new artists last week. Team Hook knows it will take a lot of work to surmount the new artist threshold in the world’s biggest music market but are going to give it their all. At home, Shawn has released new single “Relapse” off his excellent album Analog Love.

Céline Dion Loses Another Loved One

celine daniel dion

Just two days after her husband and manager René Angélil passed away from cancer, Céline Dion’s brother Daniel Dion, one of her 13 siblings, has died from brain, throat, and tongue cancer at the age of 59. Céline who grew up in a very closely knit Canadian family was busy preparing for her husband’s funeral when her brother passed. Daniel’s funeral will take place in his hometown of Charlemagne, Québec.

MS Relapse For Billy Talent Drummer

Aaron Solowoniuk billy talent

A few Canadian artists have been slapped with cruel health challenges recently. Last week Kim Mitchell suffered a heart attack and is now recuperating. Billy Talent’s drummer Aaron Solowoniuk has announced that he is stepping away from the multiplatinum punk band from Mississauga. Aaron has had multiple sclerosis for a number of years. The disease went into remission, but he is now experiencing a relapse. Wishing Aaron success battling this unkind illness.

Avril Lavigne’s Complicated MV Hits 100 Million Views

Avril Lavigne

To attract 100 million views for a music video is so complicated that Vevo awards certification to any MV that makes that milestone. Avril Lavigne’s latest MV to do so is that of her breakout hit “Complicated”. It is her eighth music video to reach the number the others being “Here’s to Never Growing Up”, “Hello Kitty”, “Smile”, “Girlfriend”, “Wish You Were Here”, “What the Hell”, and “When You’re Gone”. Both “Let Me Go” (99 million) and “Hot” (97 million) are at the cusp of hitting the certification level. The Canadian artist to hold the highest number of Vevo certifications for MVs is Justin Bieber with 24.

The Weeknd Nominated For an Oscar

earned it shot the weeknd

Whether or not The Weeknd can act, he is nominated for an Academy Award. His song “Earned It” from the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack has received an Oscar nomination for Original Song. The Weeknd co-wrote the song with Canadian songwriter Stephan Moccio. The Weeknd’s latest single “In the Night” has just been declared gold by Music Canada.

Meaghan Smith to Play with Edmonton Symphony

meaghan smith

Neo-trad pop recording artist Meaghan Smith will be performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on January 22. The concert will be part of a series sponsored by Air Canada with an ESO seat sale of $24. The native of London, ON is a Billboard Hot 100 charting recording artist thanks to the title track off latest album Have a Heart.

Old Man Canyon Is Back to the Start

Vancouver’s Old Man Canyon dabbles with delicious classic analogue synthesizer sounds on newly released soulful, melancholy album Delirium. Track “Back To the Start” will give you a taste. See the picture still MV below.  iTunes

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”:

Headlines and Footdots for Early August 2015

YTV Summer Beach Bash SURFING Up

ytv beach bash

A few months back, youth channel YTV announced it would not be holding a Next Star singing competition this year. It will however be hosting something cool in the pop star realm next weekend, August 8, 2015. Television viewers can tune in at 7 p.m. to see performances and fun from Canada’s Wonderland Splash Works in Vaughan, Ontario. Headlining the event will be gold-certified pop star Shawn Hook (“Sound of Your Heart”) and newcomer Francesco Yates (“Better To Be Loved”). They will be joined by Jamaica’s OMI (“Cheerleader”), Disney actress and singer Sabrina Carpenter, and more! Further info on the bash can be found here.

Collaboration of the Year: Brandt and Moskaluke

brandt moskaluke

Triple platinum, 8-time JUNO winner Paul Brandt has teamed up with the freshest superstar of Canadian country, CCMA Female Artist of the Year reigning queen Jess Moskaluke in new single, “I’m An Open Road”. Moskaluke is the first female country artist to score a gold single since Shania Twain. A keynote statistic on Brandt, who has been at the game for a while, is that, thanks to songs “I Do” and “My Heart Has a History”, he became in 1996 the first Canadian male artist since Hank Snow in 1974 to score Top 5 hits on the American country charts. We await an MV with great anticipation. But for now, check out the new song on iTunes. 

Trevor Guthrie Rides the Gold Soundwave

soundwave guthrie

Former SoulDecision frontman Trevor Guthrie made a huge comeback when he joined forces with Dutch EDM master Armin van Buuren in “This Is What It Feels Like”. It struck double platinum sales in Canada and hit the Top 10 in Britain. Trevor’s followup single “Soundwave” was recently certified gold in Canada for sales in excess of 40,000 copies.

Alessia Cara Blows Away Jimmy Fallon

alessia cara1

Alessia Cara who popped up out of nowhere to score Top 40 hit “Here” is now gunning for a breakthrough in the United States. The R&B teen sensation recently performed her song on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. To use an in-vogue expression, she killed it. Alessia’s debut EP Four Pink Walls is due out August 28.

Tyler Shaw To Debut Yesterday

tyler shaw - yesterday

JUNO nominee and gold certified recording artist Tyler Shaw will be releasing his debut album, Yesterday, on September 4. It will contain 13 tracks including his previous hits and is already available for digital pre-order.  iTunes

Eminence’s First MV Attracts a Quarter Million Views

Canadian EDM duo Eminence (Dillon Wong and Mathew Kazmierowski) has struck a chord with the populace, as the MV for “Knock Me Out,” featuring the fine vocals of Toronto’s Anna Cyzon, has attracted over 285,000 views. Have a look below.  iTunes

2015 Is Awash in Rookie Power!

The year’s best-selling Canadian album is an artist’s debut and a total of seven singers have scored their first major hits: two Francophone artists have made the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time and five Anglophones have broken into the Top 40. It would appear that 2015 belongs in large degree to the rookies, although some have been at it for a while and seen previous success in other ways and regions. This post will introduce you to this fine, fresh Canadian talent. Who are these stars? What is their story? Where do they come from? What is their style of choice?


It’s always exciting to see a teen star. The new single “Here” from Toronto’s Alessia Cara has smashed into the Billboard Top 40. While the song contains a vibe that will bring Portishead to mind, this R&B singer is flooring most with her vocal talent. Is she Canada’s answer to Ariana Grande? A younger version of The Weeknd? However you may wish to think of her, this girl has talent seeping through her veins and is set to conquer the masses with her upcoming album. This summer she will be giggin’ it States-side and playing shows in the UK after that.


coeur-de-pirateWe can hardly call Beatrice Martin a.k.a. Coeur de Pirate a rookie. The native of suburban Montreal has scored platinum albums and big hits internationally, but 2015 saw her make the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time thanks to single “Carry On”. She has also released a Franco version, “Oublie-Moi”. All indications point to her vaulting over to the mainstream in Canada. She has a new album in the works. Coeur de Pirate made her mark performing stripped down piano and voice only tracks but is beefing things up for a full-blown CHR sound.


Francesco-YatesGotta love that hair. It’s either natural or he has an ace stylist. Francesco is another teen star from Toronto and shared emcee duties last Canada Day with Andee in the nation’s capital. His raw talent has impressed Pharrell Williams who said he’s going to be a huge star and was … happy … to produce Yates’ debut album which is scheduled to drop August 21. His groovy 70s style track “Better To Be Loved” cracked the Billboard Top 40. Francesco is featured in an upcoming single by German deep house DJ Robin Schulz called “Sugar”.


jocelyn aliceThe Calgary electropop artist recently broke into the Top 40 with the year’s biggest offbeat hit “Jackpot”. Release of her album Summer Life has been postponed. Hopefully it will come out by summer’s end, else she’ll have to change the title. On the other hand, rumour has it that the big record companies are all fighting over her: Island Records, Universal Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Sony Music Canada, Disruptor Records, and Fontana North. She gets to auction her talent off to the highest bidder while working on her next single!


kevin bazinetKevin is soul superstar Bobby Bazini’s little brother. He was off to a good start releasing an album in 2009 which opened some doors in France. EMI was interested in him but of course the record label folded, and things were thrown into chaos. Kevin took time out to get into meditation, make attempts to tackle anxiety, and he quit smoking. He hoped to get back in the game by participating in The Voice this year, and … he won! Kevin released the single “Jusqu’ou tu m’aimes” which made it into the weekly Billboard Hot 100.


scott-helmanOur third Toronto teen star made the Billboard Top 40 with “Bungalow”, and the single was declared gold certified just this morning by Music Canada. Scott was one of the performers at this year’s Much Music Video Awards, his being nominated for an award. He’s just 19 years old and released mini album Augusta this year, named after the street on which he played his first shows and wrote many of his songs. With Warner Music, he worked with producer Thomas “Tawgs” Salter who has worked with a number of artists including LIGHTS.


Shawn HookShawn is from small town BC. He released album Cosmonaut and the Girl with EMI. It spawned a couple of minor hits. With the changeover to Universal, he began working with new co-writers and producers. “Million Ways” was the single that got the buzz going, but it was “Sound of Your Heart” that secured his breakthrough. It made it up to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold. His second album Analog Love came out recently. Shawn is a highly skilled pianist and solid songwriter. His main style of choice is electropop.


YoanYoan was last year’s winner of The Voice and has a stunning baritone. His self-titled country album is the year’s best-seller from a Canadian, now at 100,000 copies and platinum certified. The album contains songs, many of which are covers, in both official languages, mostly English, as well as duets with high profile artists Brett Kissel and Isabelle Boulay. It is remarkable for a debut album to outsell works from the veterans, especially given the lack of cross-Canada radio airplay, but his voice is so delicious and refreshing, we can see why.

Headlines for Late June 2015

We start with some cuteness from Mia Martina. Awwww!



Napanee, ON rock superstar Avril Lavigne appeared on Good Morning America to talk about frustrations over getting decent medical attention for Lyme disease. She broke down in tears. However, once she got that off her chest she was all smiles as hubby Chad Kroeger is unable to talk after receiving vocal cord surgery to remove a cyst (similar to what Victoria Duffield had to go through last year). Avril teased, “Husbands not allowed to talk !!! (vocal rest) Hahahah lol. Shhhh. Best day ever??!!??” Avril will be performing at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics on July 25 with a host of stars including Cody Simpson and Stevie Wonder.

Chavril cruisin


Mission, BC pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen has released her third album Emotion in Japan first, and it is doing very well. At one point, the album was at the top of iTunes Japan. Currently it sits at #2 behind Japanese group GReeeeN (as super as a Ruby Rhod spiel). The Japanese market, though 2nd in the world, is a tough nut to crack for Anglo music, so Carly deserves much credit. Carly was impressed by Japan’s proclivities for adding plush cuteness to interview backdrops.

carly japan plush


Also from beautiful British Columbia, Shawn Hook has inked a deal with Republic Records in New York to promote and distribute his music States-side. We’re not sure what colour the ink was, but the label has signed a number of colourful Canadian characters: Bahamas, Drake, Nickelback, and The Weeknd. Shawn will be busy over the next little while striving to bring his fine works to the attention of American ears. We wish him the best.

shawn hook republic records


Many recording artists will be performing in events across the country in various cities celebrating Canada Day. The flagship televised event at Parliament Hill in Ottawa will feature performances by … are you ready? Andee, Cassidy Mann, Francesco Yates, Gord Bamford, Jonas and the Massive Attraction, Karim Ouellet, Kiesza, Marc Dupré, MAGIC!, and The Jerry Cans! Oh my goodness! And if that’s not enough, ad hoc events at Jacques Cartier Park in the Gatineau will see Brigitte Boisjoli and David Myles, as well as Shad rippin’ things up in Major’s Hill Park! Below: Andee and her squadron of dancers rehearse for the big performance.

Canada Day rehearsal Andee

We leave you with the brand new MV for Top 20 hit (#3 in the UK!) “Where Are U Now” by the Dipster and Skrillster featuring The Biebs. Love the artwork blends!

Headlines for Mid June 2015

Shawn Hook Strikes Gold

British Columbian pop star Shawn Hook has scored his first gold single as “Sound of Your Heart” hit the 40,000 purchase mark. Shawn’s new album Analog Love is out now, and he will be presenting at the MMVAs this weekend.

shawn hook - sound of your heart gold copy

Ed Sheeran Surprises a Young Singer at West Edmonton Mall

British superstar Ed Sheeran emerged from a record shop at West Edmonton Mall when he heard 13-year-old Sydney Bourbeau singing one of his songs on stage. He stunned her when he walked onto the stage and joined her. Ed will be co-hosting the MMVAs this weekend in Toronto.

Jess Moskaluke and Wes Mack Open for Shania Twain in Winnipeg

Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke, CCMA recipient of female artist of the year, surprised country fans in Winnipeg when she joined Alberta’s Wes Mack opening for superstar Shania Twain. The latter still holds the record for the best-selling country music album of all time, Come On Over. Her shoes are going to be difficult to fill, but we believe Jess can do it.

wes mack jess moskaluke winnipeg shania twain

Mia Martina Tops CanCon BDS Top 40

Mia Martina’s latest single “Beast” is the top CanCon single on Top 40 radio, at #9 this week. Mia will be performing at the MMVAs this weekend, and her second album (self-titled) is out now. Generally speaking, Canadian broadcasters have been cold-shouldering Canadian female recording artists in 2015, so Mia’s accomplishment is that more incredible.

Mia Martina ca

The Weeknd Owns the Top 3 CanCon Singles on the Hot 100

With his new single, “Can’t Feel My Face” debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at #13, the Weeknd owns the top 3 CanCon spots on the chart, the other two being “Earned It” (#15) and “The Hills” (#17). The Weeknd will also be performing at the MMVAs.

the weeknd

We leave you with the brand new music video from Elliot Maginot for track “Still Alive” from excellent album Young Old Everything In Between released back in February.

Shawn Hook’s Love is of the Analog Kind

Shawn Hook - Analog LoveShawn Hook was one of the artists with EMI who got absorbed into the Universal Music family. With the former label, the South Slocan BC native launched his debut, 2012 album Cosmonaut and the Girl. Electropop singles “Every Red Light” and “So Close” made the Canadian Hot 100 and earned him a JUNO nomination. With Universal, he applied his talents into dance, pop, R&B, soul, funk, and electronica, making for a bigger, all-encompassing sound. “Million Ways” which he co-wrote with Grammy winning songwriter Victoria Horn, generated the buzz required for threshold surmounting momentum. It scaled up to #44 on the Hot 100. Followup single “Sound of Your Heart” did even better earning a placement at #23 helped mostly by sales (it got its foot into the iTunes Top 10).

The latter two songs join a batch of charmers on Shawn Hook’s sophomore album, Analog Love. Besides the flashy dance pop, he gives us an acoustic version of opener “In Over My Head” reminding us of his killer piano skills. You will hear a few EDM sparkles, especially in a remix of “Million Ways”. The album is a mini one – just seven original tracks, and it definitely whets our appetite for more music from Shawn Hook. At the present time, Analog Love easily stands as pop album of the year; don’t pass this one by!  iTunes

Selected New Releases, 9 June 2015

new releases 9 jun 2015 copy

This week’s releases are excellent! We begin with album number 2 from BC JUNO nominee Shawn Hook, Analog Love, a fabulous pop album. It contains his charting single “Million Ways” plus current Top 40 hit “Sound of Your Heart”. The rest of the album is fantastic too, so much so that Perez Hilton has compared him to Justin Timberlake! Mac Demarco’s cohorts under Walter TV release the quirky Blessed. Seoul hails from Montreal; album I Become a Shade is easily one of the year’s best alternative works – smooth vibes, catchy writing, lush electronic arrangements.

In the realm of R&B, while the Weeknd is receiving all the attention, it is 5-time JUNO nominee (and a Grammy nominee too apparently) Tamia from Windsor, Ontario who has completely floored us with her latest album, Love Life. Even if R&B is not your cup of tea, we are confident that the amazing songwriting and delivery on this will knock your socks off. Shoegazers will dig More Faithful from Montreal’s No Joy. London, Ontario’s Ivory Hours did really well on the CBC Searchlight competition; the pop-rock band releases album Morning Light.

Beautiful singer-songwriter LP, They Killed Us, with strong emphasis on acoustic piano, comes from Waterloo, Ontario’s Will Currie and the Country French. Salmon Arm, BC’s Dan Bremnes follows up his earlier EP with full-length Where the Light Is. Dan’s genre of choice is inspirational or “contemporary Christian” pop. The music is very beautiful and uplifting with great writing and vocal delivery. Montreal’s Toast Dawg contributes an EP with Brazivilain, Vol. 2. While classified as “hip hop”, there is not much rapping on this. It is more of an instrumental electro work with lots of beats and is great for adding some atmosphere.

Best music week of the year!

Headlines for Mid May 2015

Chavril Does Vacay, Eh

Getting over her battle with Lyme disease and launching her super song “Fly” in support of the Special Olympics, Avril Lavigne and hubby Chad Kroeger took a much needed break to the warm, sunny climes of Florida. She shared the fun loving photo of the power couple below.

Chavril Miami

Kiesza’s Getting Stronger

Some of you may remember the 2004 motion picture Finding Neverland starring Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp. Beginning today, Finding Neverland the Broadway musical will be launching its run, and an official soundtrack is coming out on June 9. Contributing a song to that is our own Kiesza. Track “Stronger” is already available for download.

Shawn Hook No Longer a Rookie

It took a few songs but Shawn Hook is finally now an official Top 40 artist thanks to “Sound of Your Heart” reaching #33 on Billboard this week. The song is being featured in television series Rookie Blue, and Shawn will be releasing his sophomore album Analog Love on June 9. The album will include his previous hit “Million Ways”.

Walk Off the Steve

Walk Off the Earth’s “Home We Go” has received treatment from American electro house producer Steve Aoki. The collaborative version of the track included on the latter’s Neon Future II album is now a Top 10 single on iTunes!

Steven Tyler Idolizes Suzie McNeil

American Idol may not be Canadian, but a number of Canucks have been involved especially in terms of writing and contributing songs to the winners. Those who tuned in to the finale of the 14th season may have seen a familiar face, as Mississaugan super girl Suzie McNeil performed with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler on the show.

Eva Avila Going from Dim Sum to Torch Bearing

Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila has been busy as of late performing at 6-star hotel lobbies in beautiful Hong Kong. She recently announced that she will be a torch bearer for the Pan Am Games. We’re hoping they don’t make her carry it all the way from Hong Kong back to the Americas!


Anjulie has written theme song for Universal Pictures’ remake of Jem called “Young Blood”. The JUNO Award winning singer-songwriter says that Jem was a big influence behind the look of her “Brand New Chick” MV and is happy to be a part of the remake.


Following up her new MV release for “Same Sea”, LIGHTS has announced a collaboration with EDM wizard Borgeous. Their track “Zero Gravity” is due out June 22.

MMVA Performers

MuchMusic has announced the first batch of performers at the 2015 MMVAs. It’s 100% ManCon with Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and international artists Nick Jonas, Jason Derulo, and Ed Sheeran. The latter will be co-hosting as previously announced. More performers as well as presenters will be confirmed in the coming weeks leading up to the June 21 show.

Headlines for Early May 2015

Shawn Hook Tops iTunes CanCon

shawn hook sound heart mv

Shawn Hook is enjoying strong momentum. Following buzz-generating single “Million Ways”, his latest “Sound of Your Heart” has broken into the iTunes Top 20 becoming the top CanCon single. It has a good chance of becoming his first Top 40 Billboard hit. You can grab a copy of the single on iTunes here.

Carly Rae Jepsen Debuts at #3 in Britain

Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” was released only recently in the United Kingdom debuting at #3 on the official charts. Given that it peaked at #14 in Canada and #39 in the States, the song seems to have resonated most with British ears. Carly will be performing the song tonight on Dancing with the Stars.

Justin Bieber Dazzles at Met Gala

justin bieber met gala

The annual fashion showcase fundraiser put on by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute saw a host of celebrities don magnificent attire. This year’s theme is China: Through the Looking Glass. Justin Bieber was done up in black, save for a jacket with gold dragons designed by the House of Balmain in Paris.

Celine Dion Presenting at BBMAs

While only a few Canadians are nominated at this year’s Billboard USA Music Awards, including Drake, Justin Bieber, and MAGIC!, Celine Dion will be presenting an award at the May 17 gala. The show will be televised on American network ABC.

CBC Searchlight Settles on Top 10

The CBC Searchlight competition to find Canada’s “best new artist” pared down its list of 23 regional finalists to the Top 10 national contenders. They are Winnipeg’s Mika-Dawn, Windsor’s Ivory Hours, Vancouver’s Shy Sharity, Toronto’s Devan and Khalid, St. John’s Kellie Loder, Quebec City’s Orange O’Clock, Ottawa’s Lost Cousins, Montreal’s The Fall Line, Iqaluit’s Scary Bear Soundtrack, and Halifax’s Hillsburn. You can vote for your favourite(s) here.

Exco Levi Receives JUNO Statuette

Exco Levi juno award

Canadian reggae A-lister Exco Levi finally received his JUNO Award in the mail and snapped a photo in celebration to show us what it looks like in the box.

Maple Music Girds Its Loins

MapleCore Ltd. and affiliated MapleMusic Recordings are set for 15th anniversary celebrations launching a big rebranding campaign to highlight past achievements and renew focus in signing and developing new artists. You can read more about it at FYI Music News here.

New inductees into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame

The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame recently inducted two songs: “As the Years Go By” by Mashmakhan and “Câline de blues” by Offenbach. The former was a #1 hit in 1970 and the same year’s 10th biggest song. See an acoustic cover performed by A*Star below.

Shawn Hook Unleashes One of the Best Songs of 2014

Shawn Hook - Million WaysAs far as pop/rock male soloists go, Shawn Hook is one of our finest talents. The JUNO nominated singer + songwriter hails from beautiful British Columbia and has thus far scored three Hot 100 charting singles. His latest, “Million Ways” is a strong contender for 2014’s song of the year, an instantly likeable, infectious pop gem. Shawn has revealed the story behind the song. It all began when he had a session lined up with Jeff Trott who co-wrote many of Sheryl Crow’s biggest hits.

Shawn flew all the way down to Los Angeles. He showed up at Trott’s studio who told him, “I’m so sorry but I have to cancel because my kid’s got soccer practice.” (Shawn had to return to Canada the next day.) However, Jeff suggested Shawn hook up with gifted, Grammy-winning songwriter, Victoria Horn. Shawn called her out of the blue and asked for a session apologizing for the short notice. She accepted and the two wrote and recorded “Million Ways” in six hours. Check out the lyric video below. Shawn Hook’s absolutely brilliant “Million Ways” is available on iTunes.

“Soldier” by Shawn Hook for Remembrance Day

Just 2 hours ago, British Columbian recording artist Shawn Hook put up a video on YouTube for his 2006 song “Soldier” just in time for Remembrance Day.  Lyrics and video embedded below.  If Canada ever needed a song for Remembrance Day, this is it.  Absolutely beautiful.  Thank you Shawn!

Some people say I’m a fighter
some people hate what I do
but I stand for my country
I stand for you

I’ve got a family that loves me
they respect what I do
try telling your child you’re leaving
believe me, it’s a hard thing to do

so If I die don’t judge me
cause I will not Judge You
and if I die please accept it
cause I would die for you

we have our reasons
rules morals and beliefs
I won’t slander your opinion
I’m just searching for peace

so If I die don’t judge me
cause I will not Judge You
and if I die please accept it
cause I would die for you
I would die for you

“So Close” by Shawn Hook

It’s not because he has the same name as me that we present this MV to you.  It has more to do with the fact that “So Close” by BC’s Shawn Hook jumped 15 positions up the Canadian Hot 100 this week and landed in the Billboard Hot AC Top 10!  Shawn is now up to #7 on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart.  He is exceptionally talented, and it would do us credit to get behind him, especially those of us in British Columbia.  After blinkin’ out the wicked “Every Red Light”, this new single “So Close”, off his debut album Cosmonaut and the Girl, is another winner.  Let’s get this baby to the top of the charts.

iTunes    Official Website