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The Juno Awards 2015 – FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton – March 15, 2015

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By Jesse Espana
Photos by CARAS

The youth movement is well underway in Canada as the 2015 Juno Awards marked a great weekend for up and coming artists, claiming their stake in music all across the world.

The night was kicked off by none other than veterans to the Juno Awards and Canadian sweethearts Hedley, with a performance of their song “Anything.” Jacob Hoggard, lead vocalist of Hedley and host of the 2015 Juno Awards, was in his natural element and was all energy from start to finish.

Jacob Hoggard

Jacob Hoggard

It was apparent from his first lines of the night that it would be a somewhat scandalous, yet laugh-filled night. With skits suggesting that Sam Roberts was a tad bit high for the occasion and poking fun at Ben Mulroney, it was a night that the younger generations would gravitate more towards.

Hoggard described his hosting experience as “a terrifying mushroom trip,” but it felt much like the Jacob Hoggard the country had come to love since his days on Canadian Idol.

Canada’s hero of the night was, without a doubt, 26-year-old Kiesza, who went home with three Junos including Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Dance Recording of the Year for Sound Of A Woman, and Video of the Year for “Hideaway.” The latter two came at the Gala dinner the night before.

Kiesza

Kiesza

It only made sense that she also performed her smash hit as she rocked Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre in her best 90’s inspired getup. Backstage she seemed extremely grateful for her Breakthrough award and mentioned all those nominated deserved the award.

Beating out 16-year-old Shawn Mendes, who performed “Life of the Party”, she only had praise for the young artist. “I just think the world of him. He’s so talented. That kid did it all on his own,” she said.

Some other big winners of the night included Toronto reggae band Magic! who went home with Single of the Year for “Rude” and Breakthrough Group of the Year at the Gala. They too performed their hit song as well as “No Way No” and were very fortunate but grounded in their win backstage.

Magic!

Magic!

“We’re a new band. We’re not in any rush. It’s a very quick start and we know that. We’re just chillin’ and making the music we love,” said vocalist Nasri.

Hamilton’s own Arkells performed “Come To Light” with Boris Brott and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. This was just the tip of the iceberg for the hometown boys as they took home Rock Album of the Year for High Noon and Group of the Year at the Gala dinner.

Backstage, the band seemingly didn’t want to leave. While suggesting they were overwhelmed, they kept things together quite nicely, joking around that “we’re actually gonna retire tonight. This is the press conference.” It only added to how comfortable they were with what they had accomplished. “It’s too much. It’s an embarrassment of riches,” said lead vocalist Max Kerman.

Also winning throughout Juno weekend was The Weeknd for the big ticket Artist of the Year and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for Often. He was a man of very few words backstage, however. It was mentioned beforehand that there would no questions asked but Abel, The Weeknd’s real name, would say a few words. Those were limited to a quick thanks and mention of his next album.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd

As far as the greats went, Alanis Morissette was honoured as she was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame during the Juno Broadcast, and Rush was presented with the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. Leonard Cohen was also awarded with Album of the Year. It was a nice throwback for the older viewers, but this was without a doubt an award show for much younger and newer talent.

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette

What felt out of place was Deadmau5’s performance with vocalist Colleen D’Agostino. While he is very much a worldwide presence in electronic music, it seemed like he was thrown in because of his relevance in Canadian music. It felt out of place, for me.

Award winners from the Saturday night Gala dinner worth noting included pop star Lights, taking home Pop Album of the Year and performed a mashup with Sam Roberts Band for their respective hit songs. Bahamas won Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year and was appreciative that his music wasn’t falling on deaf ears.

Overall, the mood was kept light by Hoggard’s jokes and goofy personality, the performances were well spread out and added a much needed variety of sound, and Hamilton was able to celebrate their very own local boys Arkells. It was one for the books and the City of Hamilton.

The 2016 Juno Awards will be held in Calgary, Alberta at the Saddledome.

Visit junoawards.ca for a full list of winners.

 

ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR

High Noon, Arkells

 

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

Rude, Magic!

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Popular Problems, Leonard Cohen

 

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Kiesza

 

JUNO FAN CHOICE

Michael Bublé

 

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

The Weeknd

 

Album News

Slightest Clue Release Their Rocking, Five-Track EP ‘Carousel’

Vancouver indie rockers Slightest Clue recently released their ‘Carousel’ EP, inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a relationship.

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Slightest Clue
Slightest Clue

Vancouver’s Slightest Clue is like the secret after-school project of four kids who would have passed each other without a glance in the hallway at school, but once they’re plugged in and ready to play their distinct blend of post-punk, alternative rock, and dark pop, all bets are off.

Produced by Matt Di Pomponio, their new EP, Carousel, is inspired by the beginning, middle, and end of a formative romantic relationship, spanning the trajectory from love to this loss of connection. The closing track, “Carousel,” marks the ultimate bittersweet reflection with unique harmonic layers to portray those contrasting emotions, shifting between grand and quiet tones.

Commenting on the album, the band states:

“The main theme is love, loss of relationship, and connection. The arc of the story is our foreshadowing of the end in our first song ‘These Days’ speaking on the day to day fights and how neither person can seem to get back to a happy place in the relationship. ‘Why Can’t I Call You?’ is the initial spark of infatuation and obsession with someone before you know them. ‘When You Wake Up’ talks of the blissed out honeymoon stage where everything is working and nothing could go wrong. ‘Suit Uptight!’ represents the mounting frustrations and resentments building tension from unmet needs. And finally our closing track ‘Carousel’ is the end and the bittersweet reflection of a cherished relationship that can no longer return.”

Each member, Malcolm McLaren, Hannah Kruse, Sean Ries, and Nick Sciarretta, brings distinct influences and experiences: a stage actor whose playlists go from Talking Heads to Sonic Youth to Björk, a hook-obsessed recovering choir girl, an electrical engineer whose personal idol is John Bonham, and a guitarist who played for (and left) 10 other bands before deciding this was the one for him.

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

Slightest Clue ‘Carousel’ [EP] album artwork

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Hardcore/Punk

Frankie Flowers Releases Her Brand New Single “LUST”

Waterloo, Ontario, genre-bending alternative punk artist Frankie Flowers has released her brand new single “LUST.”

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Frankie Flowers, photo by Victoria McWwan (@vic_shmik)
Frankie Flowers, photo by Victoria McWwan (@vic_shmik)

Frankie Flowers is an emerging alternative artist from Waterloo, Ontario. She creates a genre-bending sound by merging her love for dark-wave and post-punk music, as well as combining elements from other genres. Frankie has a dark, psychedelic, and eclectic vibe that urges you to escape reality and experience the unknown.

Her aptly-titled new single “LUST” feels dark and desperate, with echo and reverb that drown out the verses, in contrast with the punchy chorus.

Commenting on the single, Frankie states:

“You can lust for anything. People, money, power; we’re all longing for something.”

Frankie Flowers “Lust” single artwork

Frankie Flowers “Lust” single artwork

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Dance/Electronic

Chali 2na & DJ Shub Join Forces for Debut Canadian Tour

Chali 2na, will hit the road with none other than the Godfather of PowWow Step and JUNO Award winner, DJ Shub.

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Chali 2na, photo by Jorge Sevilla
Chali 2na, photo by Jorge Sevilla

For the first time, one of the most iconic voices in hip-hop, the verbal Herman Munster, Chali 2na, will hit the road with the Godfather of PowWow Step and JUNO Award winner, DJ Shub. Together, they’ll embark on their first-ever Canadian tour, performing in nine cities across three provinces, marking a historic collaboration between the artists.

On the decks, DJ Shub will provide a dynamic backdrop for Chali’s unmistakable baritone voice as he delivers an electrifying performance of his solo hits and beloved Jurassic 5 classics. Individually, these two artists boast incredible resumes – having performed at some of the most iconic venues and festivals across North America (Coachella, Outside Lands, Osheaga). Now, the two of them are teaming up to deliver one of this summer’s most sought-after events.

DJ Shub, a two-time DMC World DJ champion and Red Bull Thre3style champion, expressed his excitement about the tour:

“For me, backing up Chali 2na on tour is mind-blowing considering I’ve been a long-time fan. Magic happens when legends join forces.”

Fans have been dreaming of this collaboration since 2017, when the two artists first performed together at a workshop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival – offering a glimpse of what could be. Now, the wait is finally over, as they embark on a tour that promises to mesmerize audiences and provide a captivating blend of old-school hip-hop and DJ prowess.

Tickets for this must-see tour go on sale on February 22. Fans are encouraged to act quickly to secure their spot at what promises to be an unforgettable series of performances.

Chali 2na & DJ Shub Tour Dates:

May 2 – Calgary, AB – Modern Love
May 3 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
May 4 – Saskatoon, SK – Capitol Music Club
May 5 – Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre
May 6 – Banff, AB – Melissa’s MisSteak
May 8 – Fernie, BC – The Northern
May 9 – Golden, BC – Rockwater Grill & Bar
May 10 – Vernon, BC – Status Nightclub
May 11 – Kelowna, BC – Red Bird Brewing

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