There’s a lot of up and coming talent in Canadian music to be excited about. Get to know the rising stars that have earned the 2018 Juno nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
The award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year has been a part of the Juno’s since 1974, when it was divided into the categories of Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year and Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year. In 1994, it was merged into one award for Best New Solo Artist. The award was once again renamed in 2003 to Best New Artist of the Year.
Since 2013, when the Breakthrough Artists of the Year award was given its current name, it has been won by The Weeknd, Brett Kissel, Kiesza, Alessia Cara, and Ruth B. Here are the five artists that have been nominated for the award this year.
Born in Toronto, Jesse Reyez fell in love with music when her father first introduced her to the guitar. She attended The Remix Project’s Academy of Recording Art, where she was able to connect with worldwide musical talent such as Calvin Harris and Chance the Rapper. In 2016, Jessie released the song “Figures” off her first EP, Kiddo. It became a major hit and paved the way for the success of her EP when it was released in April 2017. Jessie Reyez has also been nominated for the Juno Fan Choice Award, the R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Award, and the Video of the Year Award.
NAV is a Punjabi-Canadian hip-hop artist from Rexdale, Ontario. He rose to fame in 2015 when he posted his song “Take Me Simple” to his SoundCloud account. The song garnered millions of listens and resulted in collaborations with Drake and Travis Scott. NAV released his self-titled debut mixtape in early 2017. The lead single off the mixtape, “Some Way,” featured the Weeknd. The Perfect Timing mixtape, a collaboration between NAV and producer Metro Boomin, was released later that same year.
Virginia to Vegas
Virginia to Vegas, aka Derik Baker, is a singer-songwriter from Guelph, Ontario currently based in Toronto. Like many young artists today, Virginia to Vegas was discovered on YouTube. His first single, titled “We Are Stars,” was released in January 2014. This was followed by the release of “Our Story” in 2014, “Lights Out” in 2016, and “Selfish” in 2017. At the end of 2016, Virginia to Vegas released his debut studio album, Utopian.
Though currently based in Toronto, Allan Rayman hails from the tiny hamlet of Lost Springs, Wyoming. When compared to most modern artists, Allan is truly an enigma. He rarely gives interviews and provides little insight into his music. Despite this, he has amassed a huge following on Spotify. His musical style can be described as a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop, and Grunge. Allan has released one EP, Courtney, and two albums, Hotel Allan and Roadhouse 01.
Soulful and evocative, Charlotte Cardin is a singer-songwriter from Montreal, Quebec. She placed in the top four in the first season of the singing competition La Voix, which aired on the French language television network TVA in 2013. Her first EP, Big Boy, was released in 2016 and featured both French and English tracks. Her second EP, Main Girl, was released in 2017. Charlotte has also been nominated for the Songwriter of the Year Award.
Canadian artists have a long history of musical excellence, and these five artists show that plenty of up-and-comers are ready to continue that tradition. If you haven’t checked out some of their tracks already, be sure to do so.