Fact #1: One of the nominations is an album; the rest are singles.
Fact #2: Only one of the nominees has previously won at the JUNOs
This Is What It Feels Like ft. Trevor Guthrie (North Vancouver, BC)
As a soloist, this is Trevor’s first JUNO nomination. Platinum band soulDecision which he previously fronted received three in 2001. The band eventually folded as, for whatever reason, it received little support from the Canadian music industry. Hooking up with renowned Dutch EDM master Armin van Buuren, Trevor wrote and sings this song about his neighbour who had a brain tumour. Making it up to #6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, it was certified double platinum and finished the year as its 19th biggest hit.
Album Title Goes Here by deadmau5 (Niagara Falls, ON)
Platinum EDM force Joel Zimmerman, as deadmau5, is one of the top Canadians on social media and has already won four JUNO awards. He became the first Canadian to sell out the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is his sixth studio album and the only LP nominated in the Dance Recording category this year. It peaked at #2 on the Canadian Albums Chart and has been certified gold. Two charting singles were spawned from the album, the most successful of which, “The Veldt”, reached #24 on the Canadian Hot 100.
Tsunami by DVBBS (Orangeville, ON)
A successful marketing scheme hyped this song by keeping the artist a secret. Many assumed it was the product of a major artist. In the end, the world was surprised to learn that the mystery track was created by Canada’s obscure DVBBS. The outfit had been releasing excellent tunes over the last few years but success had eluded them. The release of “Tsunami” however went to #1 on Beatport, made the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and became an even bigger hit in Europe. This is DVBBS’ first JUNO nomination.
Locked Down by Jacynthe (Québec City, QC)
When she was just 19 years old, Jacynthe became Canada’s Madonna making the best dance music north of the 49th. Her 1998 debut album I Got What It Takes was JUNO-nominated with its “Give It Up” reaching #27 on the charts. In 2000, “Listen to My Heart” became her second Top 40 hit. With Canada swept up in punk music in the noughties decade, Jacynthe was nudged over to the edge of the spotlight. Now into the 2010s, however, with dance pop and EDM ruling the airwaves, she is making a significant comeback. Being fluent in French (she has also recorded songs in Italian), she was featured in the bilingual version of Victoria Duffield’s “Feel”. “Locked Down” is Jacynthe’s first JUNO nomination in 15 years!
Heartbreaker by Mia Martina (St. Ignace, NB)
New Brunswick’s Mia Martina gained tremendous mileage from her album Devotion including gold singles and JUNO nominations. She and her team have delivered some breathtaking music videos. Moreover, she is one Canadian, nay international, artist who can sing well in both official languages; she sounds exquisite in English and fabulous in French. She has also recorded material in Spanish. “Heartbreaker” was Mia’s first new single after the Devotion era. It spent 17 weeks on the Canadian Hot 100 peaking at #44. This is Mia’s third JUNO nomination.
Big names in electronic dance music (EDM) are emerging all over the world, and Canada is no exception. A dead mouse and ex-soul decision collaboration aside, the great white north is producing a number of rising new acts. Victor JD, an expert of the genre, contributes the following piece on three names to watch for and their most recent releases.
Adventure Club is an upcoming duo from Montreal composed of Christian Srigley and Leighton James. They have been releasing electronic remixes and singles over the past few years that have been gaining momentum globally. There is plenty of excitement surrounding this duo as they have an album in the works. The first single from the album, “Gold,” features the familiar vocals of Malaysian-born Yuna. “Gold” is a refreshing track that emulates their patented dubstep sound. While the track may sound similar to other Adventure Club singles, it still maintains a unique and high quality tone. Adventure Club is a pioneer in the softer, vocally charged dubstep that has gained prominence in the electronic music world. One can only hope that Adventure Club stays gold in their future releases.
For months, a mysterious song has been devastating the electronic music world, exciting fans everywhere. A successful marketing scheme to hype this massive festival banger kept the artists a secret. Bloggers around the globe made guesses and assumed “Tsunami” was a product of a major artist such as Tiesto or Laidback Luke. The track was also the #1 most played song at the world’s largest electronic music festival, Belgium’s Tommorowland. However, the world was shocked to learn that the mystery track was created by Toronto-born DVBBS and Los Angeles product Borgeous. DVBBS has been releasing excellent tunes over the last few years but has failed to really reach any major success. The release of “Tsunami” however has skyrocketed DVBBS’ fame as the track has been #1 overall on Beatport for over a week and continues to be played everywhere. Although premature, “Tsunami” may end up the EDM song of the summer and time will only tell what other complete bangers DVBBS releases in the future.
A Vancouver native, Taelor Deitcher (born April 9, 1987), better known by his stage name Felix Cartal, has been releasing music since 2009 when his EP Skeleton dropped. His original sound was a harsher electro beat and has transformed into a fresh, vocal infused sound. On August 20, 2013, Past Present Felix was released marking a major step in Felix’s career progression and may pave the way to radio success. Past Present Felix has been widely supported and is receiving great reviews worldwide. The four-song EP features two fantastic vocalists in Los Angeles born Koko Laroo and Ofelia.
“Young Love” (feat Koko Laroo) is a crisp, euphoric beat that has already made radio waves and has been remixed by several artists. The catchy beat and bass lines create a simple but powerful dance floor banger. This track shows true maturity in Felix’s beat as he refines and evolves his sound.
“Katsu” is a flashback to Felix’s harder electro days with its pulsing, bleeping baseline. The beat is bouncy but becomes slightly repetitive as the song progresses. However, Felix incorporates much needed softer interludes to give the listener a break. While this song serves as a solid dance floor beat, it may be the least creative of the four EP songs.
“After Dark” (feat Koko Laroo) is a futuristic, edgy electronic tune that encompasses a fantastic piece by Koko Laroo. The slow and methodical verses transition beautifully into a chilling chorus of Koko’s soothing voice and creative tones. This track represents a real transition in Felix’s sound and displays his ability to create wonderful softer sounds.
“New Scene” (Ofelia) is another fantastic tune and vocal piece that forces you to nod your head and move to the enticing bass line. The chorus’ wavy tones beautifully accentuate Ofelia’s soft “lullaby” voice. This track reiterates the softer transition illustrated by “After Dark” and leaves the listener wanting more.