Charlotte Cardin might have been crowned “Queen of the 2022 JUNOs” last weekend in Toronto, but Roxane Bruneau didn’t go unnoticed during her first appearance at the celebration of Canadian music. She may not have won a trophy in the category she was nominated in – Francophone Album of the Year, won by Coeur de Pirate – but Bruneau gave a killer performance in French at the Saturday night gala. She gave a bilingual award presentation during the televised gala on Sunday, and entertained the media in the press room during her two appearances, joking about her very poor command of English, thus gaining a significant and spontaneous amount of sympathy. All told, her presence paid off even though she readily admits that, for the time being, she has no ambition to pursue a carer in the language of Avril Lavigne. We met with her on the red carpet Sunday night to get her first impressions.
With viral TikTok sensations like Tesher, Jessia, BBNO$, and aidan347 being acknowledged by the 2022 JUNO Awards via nominations, honours, and/or appearances in the nationally televised gala broadcast, it’s clear that the platform has become a launching pad for young singer-songwriters, worldwide. So, if you want a big tip on how to succeed there, here’s one from bona fide TikTok phenomenon aidan347.
Big winner Charlotte Cardin took home four of the six honours for which she was nominated at the 2022 JUNO Awards on May 14 and 15 in Toronto. Cardin earned awards for Album, Pop Album (both for Phoenix), Single (for “Meaningless”), and Artist of the Year. “It’s really amazing for a Montreal-based project to get that kind of recognition with the other parts of Canada,” she said in the JUNOs backstage media conference, after her fourth win. “This is absolutely fantastic for me.”
Cardin performed “Meaningless” to a pumped-up crowd at the 16,000-capacity outdoor venue, the Budweiser Stage, as the JUNOs Gala Broadcast returned to live-in-person performance for the first time in three years, on Sunday, May 15. The show, hosted by Simu Liu, featured other exciting performances from Group of the Year Arkells, pop-punk icon Avril Lavigne, and anthemic rockers Arcade Fire, but was especially notable for its new, welcoming embrace of both diversity and youth (including a record 105 first-time nominees).
Alternative Album of the Year winner and Regent Park poet Mustafa played a moving performance of his mournful acoustic ballad “Stay Alive,” while Haviah Mighty – who made history as the first woman, and first Black woman, to win a JUNO for Rap Album/EP of the Year, for Stock Exchange – offered an incendiary take on her songs “So-So” and “Protest.” DJ Shub, who won the JUNO for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year, was joined by Snotty Nose Rez Kids to rock the stage with a medley of “War Club,” “Uncle Rico,” and “Rebirth.” Longtime Broadway, television, film, and fashion star Deborah Cox became the first Black woman to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
As the first JUNOs to occur in an era when TikTok has become an undeniable launching pad for the careers of young music creators, several were recognized for the first time. Pop songstress JESSIA, whose “I’m Not Pretty” blew up on the platform, took home her first JUNO, for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Viral sensation Tesher wowed the crowd with some of his global hits, including “Jalebi Baby” – which featured a Bollywood-style dance routine with an energetic Simu Liu. Rap sensation BBNO$, whose songs have been streamed more than 2.8 billion times worldwide, had the audience dancing in their seats to his viral tracks “Lalala” and “Edamame.” TikTok star aidan347 was nominated in both the Breakthrough Artist and Fan Choice categories, while Reggae Recording of the Year winner (for Easy Now) Kairo McLean is only 13 years old.
At the pre-broadcast gala on Saturday, May 14, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown and JUNO nominee AHI (in the Contemporary Roots Album of the Year category, for Prospect) presented the Songwriter of the Year Award to The Weeknd, who – though he wasn’t in attendance – also won Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year (for “Take My Breath”). Keiko Devaux’s Arras was the Classical Composition of the Year, while the Francophone Album of the Year was Cœur de pirate’s Impossible à aimer.
Earlier in the week, on May 11, SOCAN presented the JUNO Songwriters’ Circle – known as “the jewel of JUNO week” – bringing together music creators to play their songs and share the stories behind them. This year’s event featured heartfelt performances and engaging stories from Allison Russell, Mustafa, TOBi, The Weather Station, Serena Ryder, Charlotte Day Wilson, Metric, and Devon Portelje and Conner Molander from Half Moon Run. SOCAN also presented a No. 1 Song Award to JP Saxe on Saturday, May 14.
SOCAN conducted private, exclusive interviews with several of our nominated members during JUNO weekend. Additionally, we chatted with SOCAN members on the red carpet, and during the backstage media conferences. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share the No. 1 Award details, video highlights, interviews, and photos from the 2022 JUNO weekend, so stay tuned to www.socanmagazine.ca, www.socan.com, and our social media.