3 Canadians Break into iTunes Top 10 with New Songs

If a member of generation x out of touch with current music took a look at the iTunes Top 10 right now, he might get excited declaring that there is a brand new song by The Cure called “Lady Gaga”. The big news last week was the battle of Britain in which Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times” attempted to unseat fellow Englishman Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. Now we have fellow Canucks placing new songs in the elite deck. Shawn Mendes has released a deluxe version of his 2016 album Illuminate. New track “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is selling like hotcakes. Justin Bieber is still hot since album Purpose and his collaborations with the crafters of EDM. His latest venture is as a featured vocalist in “Despacito”. It is a remix of a song from Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee. And, no Despacito was not recorded in Canada’s other official language. It’s a Spanish language song. Fonsi and Yankee are from Puerto Rico. So, how are the new tracks doing? Well Shawn Mendes is as of this writing at #8 and the Biebs is #1. But if your eyes don’t deceive you, there’s something else going on around here. The Weeknd? Yes. He is featured in a brand new song by Lana Del Rey called “Lust For Life” and it’s at #6. “Stay” by Alessia Cara and Zedd is holding at #10.

Selected New Releases 25 November 2016

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The main question this week is … who was brave enough to release an album the same day as The Weeknd? Quite a few actually, both newcomers and legends.

Speaking of the latter, Montreal’s Jean-Pierre Ferland releases album Chansons jalouses. As the title suggests, this is a covers album of songs he wished he had written. The man is now in his 80s and still going strong.

Next, we have two rap albums both from Quebec based Franco artists Infrak‘s La chute de l’ange is filled with heavy beats and twirly keys while Disstrick11‘s Délit de fuite is more vocal heavy.

From Roberval, QC is 4-piece puck-handling garage rock band Les Dales Hawerchuk, and the album is Désavantage numérique for those who like their music cranked and adrenaline eliciting.

Beaubassin East, NB’s George Belliveau gives us an array of delightful bop-rock jingles on new album Drop l’aiguille.

For those who pine for old school jazzy, funky R&B, a treat for you is Pain & Bliss, the new LP from Montreal’s The Brooks.

Multiple JUNO award winner Daniel Bélanger is back with excellent album Paloma which is not surprisingly giving the Weeknd a run for his money on the charts. The album is one of expertly sculpted rock filled with details and flourish.

The Weeknd‘s Starboy, at the summit of the iTunes charts, is arguably his best yet. Though a collaboration with Lana Del Rey is wasted on a brief interlude track and “Secrets” gives up invention by sampling from Tears for Fears and borrowing from The Romantics, the Torontonian deserves credit for keeping good music going through this entire double album which is not easy to do.

Legendary classical / new age pianist André Gagnon knows how to capture the spirit of winter as he proves once again on instrumental work Les voix intérieures.

More piano music can be found on various artists’ album Doux moments pour Philou (not pictured above). The artists include Florence K, Coral Egan, and Stephan Moccio. This album completes a trilogy. The first two won Félix awards. Each artist is asked to contribute either an original piece or a cover and record it on piano. All proceeds from the sale of the album will be donated to the Center Philou which helps families who have children with severe disabilities.  iTunes

Headlines and Footdots: 16 January 2016

New Certifications For Shawn Mendes

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

2015: Canadians Get Covered Plentifully

Being a big year in Canadian music, artists around the world were eager to cover the big maple hits. Some of them did wonderful jobs at it. What’s even more remarkable is that Canadians even covered … each other! We have embedded our three favourites below. First up, UK electronic outfit Chvrches, who released a fine album this year, did an impressive cover of Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean”. We could listen to Lauren Mayberry’s vocals all day long.  The second video is from down under. Aussie group Art of Sleeping may not be a big name yet in the Great White North, but this video shows how impressive its musicians are as they slay in their cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. Finally, Walk Off the Earth teams up with new gold recording artist Scott Helman in a sumptuous cover of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face”. Enjoy these delicacies.

2 and 2 in Britain; 4 and 4 in the States

Adams and Bieber 2 and 2 in Britain

On this week’s official UK charts, Canadians Bryan Adams and Justin Bieber both debut at #2. Last month, they played together in Germany (see it here). Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” debuts at #2 on the British Singles Chart behind “Hello” by England’s Adele. Bryan Adams, on the other hand, debuts at #2 on the British Albums Chart with Get Up behind Sounds Good Feels Good by Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer.

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Bieber Performs on the Graham Norton Show

Justin Bieber performed “What Do You Mean” tonight on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show. In the cute interview that followed, the host commented, “That song, ‘What Do You Mean’, I like it. It’s your little cry from the heart to the women of the world, ’cause you don’t know what they mean. Is that the thing?” Justin replied, “I never know what they mean.” Norton returned, “But all boys don’t know what girls mean.” And Justin said, “Yeah, that’s why we needed an anthem.”

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Four Canadians in Top 4 U.S. Billboard Spots

For the first time in U.S. Billboard Hot 100 history, four Canadian artists own the top four spots on the chart. The Weeknd is at #1 with “The Hills”, Drake is #2 with “Hotline Bling”, Justin Bieber is at #3 with “What Do You Mean”, and Shawn Mendes is at #4 with “Stitches”.

US Billboard Hot 100 - 7 Nov 2015

Mendes and Cara MAKE Billboard’s Hot PRE-21

Billboard magazine recently listed its picks for the 21 hottest stars under the age of 21. The list includes two Canadians: Shawn Mendes (ranked 4th) and Alessia Cara (ranked 11th). The latter’s hit “Here” entered the U.S. Hot 100’s Top 20 this week. She will be releasing her debut album Know It All November 13. You can view the article here.

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Headlines and Footdots for October 1, 2015

States-Side Canadian Invasion

Canadian Invasion States-side

All top 4 hits on this week’s U.S. Billboard Hot 100 are from Canadian artists: “The Hills” by The Weeknd #1, “What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber #2, “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd #3, and “Hotline Bling” by Drake #4. Drake is now one of only four artists to have landed 100 tunes on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The Weeknd’s recent success has helped his previous album Kiss Land to be certified gold in Canada. We’ll see what we can do to get a Canadian invasion going in Britain as well.

Anik Jean Releasing Anglo Album

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Superb, JUNO nominated Canadian rocker Anik Jean will be following up her acclaimed Franco album Schizophrène with a brand new English language album entitled Lost Soul. The album will be out October 30. For those who prefer rock in the French language, we are super excited that Andie Duquette will be releasing her debut album Ton problème October 16. We will continue to list all new Canadian releases through the month of October to help you find music you like.

David Foster’s Miracle Gala Raises $6.5 Million

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Skylark keyboardist turned super producer David Foster held his Miracle Concert and Gala in Toronto recently, an event that raised $6.5 million for his foundation which supports families with children who are in need of organ transplants. Among the big names in attendance were Gordon Lightfoot, Kiesza, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, and Peter Cetera.

LIGHTS Raises $50 Thousand for MusicCounts

LE-UFC-LightsRecording Artist LIGHTS recently teamed up with Kiehl’s Canada. She designed the cover art for Ultra Facial Cream, 100% of the net profits going towards organization MusicCounts to help keep music education in schools and assist children with music instrument costs.

Love Will Light the Way

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Toronto’s Roveena has recorded a new version of “Love Will Light the Way” from her 2012 EP Perfect World to raise awareness on lymphoma. Net proceeds from the sale of the single will go to Lymphoma Canada in search of a cure to this terrible disease. Roveena’s vocals are simply beautiful and the song is exquisite. You can watch the MV hereiTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Greases Up

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Having given us one of the best albums of 2015, Carly Rae Jepsen will be returning to her other love, acting. This time she will appear in a televised live musical of Grease. Carly will be cast as Frenchy, the role played by Didi Conn in the original Hollywood feature film. The U.S. network Fox will premiere the special on January 31, 2016.

2016 JUNO Submissions Now Open

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A reminder that submissions for the 2016 JUNO Awards to take place in Calgary are now open. There have been a few rule changes to take note of, a key one being a change in definition between LP and EP. More details can be found here.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Michelle Thibodeau

Moncton, NB’s Michelle Thibodeau (now based in Toronto) has released a brand new MV for “Hey Hitchhiker” which is definitely worthy of a placement in the CMB! You can grab a copy of the new single on iTunes.

Headlines and Footdots for Mid-September 2015

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Carly Rae Jepsen will be signing autographs and performing an acoustic set at HMV at 363 Oxford Street in swinging London September 18 to celebrate the UK release of her album Emotion. The vintage shop has been there since 1921. One week after, Carly’s Canadian brother will hit London as well.

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Yes, The Weeknd will be guesting on Britain’s The Graham Norton Show along with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Peter Capaldi on September 25! It is the season opener of the comedy chat show on BBC One. Other Canadian recording artists to have appeared on the show include Michael Bublé, Alanis Morissette, Arcade Fire, and Justin Bieber.

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The latter celeb was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the youngest male artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100. He was presented with a plaque in honour of the achievement. In Canada, the #1 hit “What Do You Mean?” was certified gold just one week after its release.

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Also going gold is “3-2-1” from Flat Lake, AB’s Brett Kissel. It is his first certified recording. Brett was one of the winners at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards this past weekend. The big winner of the evening, scoring a cowboy hat trick, was Gord Bamford. A list of all the winners can be found here.

jess moskaluke kiss me quiet

Immediately after the broadcast, CMT announced the release of the brand new music video for “I’m and Open Road” by Paul Brandt featuring two-time CCMA Female Artist of the Year winner Jess Moskaluke. It is beautifully shot, worthy of inclusion on our year-end best MVs list, and we have embedded it below. Jess has a new EP coming out on September 25 called Kiss Me Quiet.

Beauty Behind the Roses: New Releases 28 August 2015

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We begin this week’s choice releases with Outremont, QC platinum artist Coeur de pirate (Beatrice Martin). Known for her piano and voice folk songs, she goes for a more robust pop sound on new bilingual album Roses following up her first charting single “Carry On”. It’s a treat and is #2 on iTunes albums. Vancouver JUNO nominee Destroyer contributes the mellow, jazzy baroque pop album Poison Season. JUNO award winner Elage Diouf, originally from Senegal, is back with Melokaane. The world music is wondrous, and Johnny Reid guests on the album!

Highly praised and award winning Montreal singer-songwriter Katie Moore releases her exquisite fourth work, Fooled By the Fun. The Voice finalist Rémi Chassé debuts with an awesome rock album of original tunes, Debout dans l’ombre, containing his big hit single from last year “Une armée dans ma voix” and new one “Sans adieux”. Topping iTunes upon release is highly anticipated album Beauty Behind the Madness from Toronto’s reigning king of R&B, The Weeknd. For those eager for something fun, Halifax’s Wordburglar gives us comedic hip hop album Rapplicable Skills, chock full of Canadiana.

Five EPs are out this week. Rising R&B teen star Alessia Cara who seemingly came out of nowhere to land Top 40 hit “Here” launches her debut EP Four Pink Walls. London Ontario’s Bryce Jardine (and the Parlour Birds) has a beautiful singer-songwriter work with Lean Years. Along the same vein is debut, self-titled EP from Toronto’s East of Avenue whose music was used in a holiday campaign for Wal-Mart! We can all get rocking with Dear Sahara from Winnipeg’s Hearing Trees. More rock comes to us from Calgary thanks to Nadia Kazmi whose EP Lamb precedes her debut album expected next year.

Hopefully at least one of these works or a few tracks from these will hit the spot for you. Enjoy the new music!

BEAUTY BEHIND THE MADNESS

The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

In the UK, they say “at the weekend” which does make sense as in “at the end of the week”. In Canada, we say “on the weekend” which also makes sense as in “on Saturday and Sunday”. But when it comes to Beauty Behind the Madness, we are WITH The Weeknd (minus the third ‘e’ of course). While JB has topped iTunes singles with “What Do You Mean”, Toronto’s Abel Tesfaye is king of iTunes albums with his new LP. Both Justin Bieber and The Weekend will be representing Canada at this year’s MTV Video awards on Sunday.

The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye’s stage name) was an unlikely candidate for superstardom. R&B had not been Canada’s specialty and was not nearly as popular in the dominion as in the republic. Furthermore, the reclusive figure decided not to make mainstream R&B, venturing over to the hazy darkness of its alternative side. With little hope of ever becoming a household name, Abel released three experimental albums for free online. Word of mouth spread through the underground, and The Weeknd gradually became somewhat of a cult figure. He even had the requisite mad hairdo. Eventually, he was discovered by Drake who featured him on his album Take Care. The Republic Records A&R department from the States sent one or their agents on a mission to track him down in Toronto and convince him to sign up. Abel was not interested. With further sweet talking, a deal was agreed upon, and the three demo albums were released together as Trilogy, a package that, with the push of the press, hit double platinum sales.

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There was much anticipation for The Weeknd’s first formal album, Kiss Land, but it saw less success. Its only charting single “Wanderlust” peaked at #45. This prompted reassessment. With no Top 40 hit he could call his own, the strategy was to hook him up with a hot A-lister and feature a second song in a blockbuster Hollywood feature film. Hitmaker Max Martin was brought in. Abel teamed up with Italian American singer Ariana Grande in “Love Me Harder” which became his first big hit, scaling up to #10 on the charts in early December 2014. Fifty Shades of Grey was to be the motion picture to launch The Weeknd’s own smash hit; “Earned It” made it to #8 in March 2015 and struck double platinum.

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Beauty Behind the Madness was heralded primarily with single “Can’t Feel My Face”, to date the biggest Canadian hit of 2015. The song sits at #2 at home, topping the U.S. charts, and reaching #3 In the UK. The track along with “In the Night” from the new album were produced by Martin. Guests include Labrinth, Lana Del Rey, and Ed Sheeran. The mishmash of R&B, characterized mostly by its quirky vocal warbling style, pop, and alternative is an honest presentation of The Weeknd’s persona. While he admires American pop giants of African descent like Prince and Michael Jackson (The Weeknd’s maternal roots lie in Ethiopia), he is also a fan of creepy, psychotic cinema like the films of David Lynch. Beauty Behind the Madness has debuted at #1 on iTunes. It is available in both explicit and clean versions.  iTunes

Canadian Urban Artists Slay in The USA

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If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Toronto rapper Drake has become the first 2015 album to sell 1 million copies in the United States. R&B star The Weeknd, from the same city, has topped the Billboard American Hot 100 this week with “Can’t Feel My Face”. The song has peaked at #2 domestically, thus far unable to dethrone OMI’s reggae anthem “Cheerleader” which has perched itself on top for 8 weeks. At end of June, Nielsen confirmed that the Drake album was the 6th best-selling of the year at home and second most successful from a Canadian artist, outdone only by the debut album from country star Yoan. In the UK, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” and The Weeknd’s “Earned It” are the year’s most successful Canadian singles to date, achieving peak chart positions of #3 and #4 respectively.

Headlines and Footdots for August 5, 2015

Avril Lavigne TO VOICE Snow White

Charming Cast copy

Rock queen Avril Lavigne announced today that she will be the voice of Snow White in the upcoming Hollywood animated feature Charming. The film is being produced by John H. Williams who was behind the Shrek series. Charming will bring classic princess protagonists together: Snow White (Avril Lavigne), Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.). The latter is the stage name (standing for Get Everybody Moving) of Hong Kong pop superstar Gloria Tang. Coincidentally, G.E.M. was first discovered by the music industry in 2006 at a singing competition, the name of her self-penned song performed being “Sleeping Beauty”. Demi Lovato will voice the lead character of Lenore in the film. The plot revolves around all princesses being engaged to Prince Charming who has not yet been cast. With singers taking on the roles, we can expect the animated comedy to break out into song. This should be a fun film for all ages to enjoy in 2016.

Michael Bublé in Upcoming Elvis Presley Album

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Sony Music will be releasing album If I Can Dream October 30 in which Elvis Presley’s music is given an orchestral makeover thanks to the Royal Philharmonic. Included will be duets with operatic group Il Volo on track “It’s Now or Never” and Burnaby, BC’s Michael Bublé on “Fever”.  iTunes

The Weeknd First Performer Confirmed at VMAs

MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

The Weeknd has announced that he will be performing at this year’s MTV video awards on August 30, 2015. He is the first performer to be confirmed. The R&B star from Toronto has dominated the singles charts in 2015 with double-platinum certified “Earned It” and current #2 smash “Can’t Feel My Face”. His album Beauty Behind the Madness will be out on August 28.

Raghav Lyric Video Surpasses Half a Million Views

After only its first week of release, Calgarian JUNO nominee Raghav has attracted over half a million views for the lyric video of his latest single “Until the Sun Comes Up” which features American RnB A-lister Nelly and Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan. The formal music video will be out August 12 and showcases the introduction of electricity and light to a locale in Africa, a humanitarian project with which Raghav has become involved. We have embedded the teaser trailer below. In an interesting note, Raghav stated during a recent BBC interview that when Canadian radio program directors were faced with a choice between versions of the song with Hindi versus English intros and outros, they all chose the Hindi version, a sign of the Canadian broadcast industry’s maturation in the midst of one of the most multicultural countries in the world.

Grimes MAKES THE COVER OF Fader Magazine

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Vancouver raised electronic artist Grimes (Claire Boucher) is the cover story in the August/September issue of New York based Fader magazine which specializes in cutting-edge music, fashion, style, and culture. In a piece of trivia, The Fader was the first print publication to be launched through iTunes and has been credited with giving exposure to artists prior to mainstream success, including Drake. You can view the full article on Grimes here 

Drake’s OVO Fest 2015 Marred By Two Shooting Deaths

On to some bad news. OVO Fest is an annual concert hosted by Canadian rapper Drake in Toronto, which began on August 2, 2009, and is held during the civic holiday long weekend. Although the timing coincides with Toronto’s Caribana festival which celebrates Caribbean culture, OVO Fest features artists more inclined towards American urban music than Caribbean soca, calypso, zouk, and reggae. OVO Fest is named after Drake-created record label OVO (October’s Very Own) Sound.

2015’s two-day OVO Fest, headlined by acts such as Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, was marred by an after-party shooting that killed Duvel Hibbert, 23, of Brampton and Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, of Toronto. As of late, Drake’s public squabbles with American rapper Meek Mill, whether staged or genuine, have resulted in an upsurge of record sales for both parties. Police have some leads in the murders, but no arrests have been made thus far in the investigation. We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the two young victims.

New CSHF Song Inductees

Back to the good news, The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) recently inducted two classics. “When My Baby Smiles at Me” was composed by Montrealer Billy Munro. The song made big band leader Ted Lewis an international star and inspired the eponymous 1948 Oscar-nominated film that starred Betty Grable. This ragtime piece has been recorded many times by such notables as Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller.

“Vivre en Amour” was Luc Cousineau’s first hit as a soloist. He co-wrote the song with lyricist Roger Magnan. It was released in May 1976 and championed the Franco radio charts. It was awarded by SOCAN in 1995 for achieving 25,000 spins.

Jill Barber freshens up these two vintage pieces for a modern audience. We have embedded the two videos from CBC music below.


Headlines Late July 2015

The Weeknd Dethrones OMI’s Cheerleader

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It’s not too often we see a homegrown artist hit #1 in iTunes Canada’s Top Songs, but dethroning OMI’s “Cheerleader” today is none other than The Weeknd. We sincerely hope that he can feel his face now. Hollywood actor Tom Cruise recently performed an impressive lip sync to “Can’t Feel My Face,” and he called it “the song of the summer”.

Halifax’s Ria Mae Is One to Watch

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Shooting up the radio charts is song “Clothes Off” by Halifax’s Ria Mae, and the artist received a feature in this week’s Nielsen newsletter. She has already won at the East Coast Music Awards. Though released last year, the single charmed the folks over at Sony Music Canada and has been re-released through them with mightier force.

Justin Bieber Launching New Single

justin bieber - what do you mean

Justin Bieber, as revealed during a recent interview with American radio host Ryan Seacrest, will be releasing a new single August 28 called “What Do You Mean?” He explains that the title is a reference to his frequently encountering people who say one thing but mean something else. He often has to clarify by asking, “What do you mean?” Bieber has landed more songs on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 than any other homegrown artist — 47 including his 2015 platinum collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo, “Where Are U Now”.

Rule the Gold Bungalow

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Music Canada has confirmed gold certification for Scott Helman’s “Bungalow” as well as Walk Off the Earth’s “Rule the Word”. They are the 6th and 7th 2015 singles involving Canadian artists to receive gold/platinum certification. For Canada, a single (i.e. digital download) must achieve 40,000 purchases to go gold.

Shawn Mendes Dabbling in TV Acting

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While Shawn Hook’s songs are being featured in TV series Rookie Blue, Shawn Mendes will be testing out his acting skills by appearing in the Season 3 premiere of series The 100. All we know at this point is that he will be playing a scrappy young Ark survivor who gets into a tricky situation and has to use his talents to get out of it. Mendes recently performed a duet with actress Hailee Steinfeld for his current hit single “Stitches”. We hope she gave him some acting tips.

Hit and Run at YYZ

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From the city that supposedly rhymes with piranha, dance duo YYZ has garnished excellent third single “Hit & Run” with an MV. Check it out below and if you like what you hear you can grab a copy of the track on iTunes.

10+1 Anticipated Albums Out Before September 2015

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As future Canadian works come into focus, we are super stoked for what’s about to drop prior to the shallow-angle sun rays of September!

Burlington, Ontario rock band, known for radio staples like “Paralyzer”, draws five crooked lines with finger eleven to spell out a new album release set for July 31! August 7 will see another one surfed up by Edmonton blue wave jangle popper Mac Demarco as well as a dose of faded gloryville by exquisite Toronto country superstar Lindi Ortega! Holy smokes! But that’s not all…

Led by sumptuous female vocals, hard rock enthusiasts are pining heavily for the new release by Toronto’s Diemonds, Never Wanna Die, out August 14! Wow! But brace yourselves! One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Emotion, by Mission, BC superstar Carly Rae Jepsen graces August 21 in addition to Hideaway from Winnipeg’s marvellous JP Hoe! And if that’s not exciting enough…

Slated for launch on August 28 are a batch of mouth-watering delicacies! Toronto urban wizards k-os and The Weeknd BOTH churn out respectively Can’t Fly Without Gravity and Beauty Behind the Madness! Oh my freaky-deaky gosh! Even more, Vancouver alt-rock master Destroyer takes us into Poison Season, while Outremont, QC’s Coeur de Pirate will have everything comin’ up roses! How about one more?

Plus, rumoured for an August 21 release is the debut album by superb young hot shot Francesco Yates!

Consider us completely floored!

Headlines for Early July 2015

THE WEEKND SCORES FIRST MULTIPLATINUM SINGLE OF 2015

Toronto’s The Weeknd becomes the first Canadian artist to see a 2015 single earn multiplatinum status, as “Earned It” strikes double platinum for sales in excess of 160,000 copies. Other certified 2015 singles are “I Really Like You” from Carly Rae Jepsen and “Sound of Your Heart” from Shawn Hook, both gold. “Where Are U Now” which features Canadian artist Justin Bieber has gone gold as well. “Something Big” by Ontario’s Shawn Mendes, though released in November 2014, peaked on the charts this year and has gone platinum.

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WANTING QU MAKES HERSTORY

Vancouver based recording artist Wanting Qu now has scholarships named in her honour by The Art Institute of Vancouver. Launched on Canada Day, the college is now accepting applications for the Wanting Qu Rising Star Scholarship ($20,000) and the Wanting Qu Most Dedicated Artist Scholarship ($10,000). Qu was a 2007 graduate of the college with a Certificate in Electronic Music.

Wanting is featured on various artists album Herstory with Mayday. The latter is a very popular rock band based in Taiwan. The album is a compilation of some of the band’s greatest hits all covered by female superstars like Fish Leong and Sandy Lam. Wanting voices the opening track, “There Is An Absolute In Life”. See the MV below.

DISNEY AND DEADMAU5 PATCH THINGS UP

Things appear to be settled now on a long-running dispute between Disney and deadmau5 regarding his mau5 head. The EDM superstar had already trademarked his gear in 30 countries but was unable to do so in the United States because Disney objected saying that it bore too close a resemblance to Mickey Mouse ears. Deadmau5 retorted by demanding Disney stop using his track “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” in a remix featuring Mickey. The two parties seem to have realized that working together rather than being at odds would be more mutually profitable.

deadmau5 disney

KIRA ISABELLA SET FOR THE STAMPEDE

Ottawan country superstar Kira Isabella will be performing July 11-12 with American artist Jason Aldean during the Calgary Stampede this year. With two stupendous albums under her belt, we do wonder why they would not have Kira headline her own show to a sold out Saddledome crowd, but the country music broadcast scene is in “bro mode” these days. In related news, the Calgary Stampede will not be serving cockroach pizza as originally planned because the critters were barred entry to Canada at the border. Last year, scorpion pizza was apparently a big hit!

kira

HEDLEY TWO SHOES

BC band Hedley has created its own brand of shoes. They do look kinda nifty. Whether you use them to bowl, dance, or peddle bicycles is up to you.

Hedley shoes

CARLY RAE GRACES THE COVER OF ELLE

Elle magazine has decided to feature Carly Rae Jepsen on the front cover, looking super cool:

Carly Rae Jepsen Elle Magazine

As promised, we leave you with Wanting Qu’s cover of Mayday’s “There Is an Absolute in Life”.

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!

AnJEMie

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.

Gorgeous

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.