Canadian Pop, Hip-Hop and R&B took centre stage today upon the announcement of the 2016 JUNO Award Nominees.
Toronto native Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) was nominated in the most categories this year with six to his credit, followed closely by Drake and Justin Bieber with five nominations each.
The award ceremony will be held in Calgary this year where they were last held in 2008, which was a good year for alternative music as Feist, Arcade Fire and Serena Ryder took home some of the top awards.
In support of Alberta’s growing music scene and to celebrate our 2016 host, today’s nominations kicked off with an awesome performance by independent Alberta rapper Transit and finished up with a performance from the 2016 multi-category JUNO nominee Scott Helman.
While the songs that have dominated international charts over the past 12 months may have likewise dominated the nominations announced today, alternative rock is also having a very good year! Multiple new rock acts have been nominated for 2016 – including more than a few breakthrough artist nods. Here are a few highlights of the new rock and alternative nominees for 2016:
City and Colour
Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Producer of the Year
Dallas Green is no stranger to the JUNOs, winning awards in 2007, 2009 and 2012 respectively. If I Should Go Before You, released in October of 2015, is his fifth studio album.
Death From Above 1979
Rock Album, Video of the Year
2016 will be the first year for Death From Above 1979 at the JUNO awards. Sebastian Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler released their second album, The Physical World, in late 2014.
Fan Choice Award, Single of the Year, Breakthrough Artist, R&B Soul Recording
Signed to Def Jam while many of her peers in Brampton were probably filling out college applications, rising star Alessia Cara released her incredible debut album Know-It-All in November 2015.
Group of the Year
Metric is another JUNO alum, with JUNO nominations and wins dating back as far as 2006. Pagans In Vegas was released in May 2015, the band’s sixth studio album.
Dear Rouge vocalist Danielle McTaggart’s hometown is not far from Calgary (Red Deer) and the reason for the band’s name. While this is the first nomination for Dear Rouge, the band’s debut album Black To Gold is a strong indicator that there are likely to be many more in their future.
Half Moon Run
Indie rockers Half Moon Run released their second album, Sun Leads Me On, late last year. 2016 marks the first well-deserved JUNO nomination for the band.
Saskatchewan rockers The Sheepdogs won three JUNOs in 2012 including Rock Album of the Year! This is the second nomination for the band in this category with strong competition including Matthew Good and Death From Above 1979.
Young Empires’ Matthew Vlahovich, Jacob Palahnuk and Taylor Hill released their debut album The Gates in 2015 and were standout performers at the 2015 CASBY awards.
Thunder Bay’s Coleman Hell truly broke onto the scene in 2015 with his popular single “2 Heads”. Coleman will be releasing his debut album later this year, and until the album drops, curious listeners can visit his YouTube channel to hear more.
Additional new rock/alternative nominees to watch for:
Hozier – International Album of the Year
Vance Joy – International Album of the Year
K-OS – Rap Recording
Matthew Good – Rock Album
Walk Off The Earth – Fan Choice Award, Group of the Year
White Horse – Adult Alternative Album
The Elwins – Breakthrough Group
Want more? For the complete list of nominees or additional information about the JUNO Awards, check out the official awards website here.
The 2016 JUNO Awards will be broadcast live on April 3rd with JUNO Week officially commencing March 28th. Tickets are being sold on Ticketmaster’s website if you are interested in visiting the Stampede City for the big event.
Congratulations to the many talented Canadian artists who have been nominated!