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FYI

Essentials with ... Sean Jones

Each week, Essentials allows Canadian musicians to share the things that have helped get through through the pandemic, and why they still can’t live without them. Here are the choices of a Juno-winning Toronto R&B star.

Essentials with ... Sean Jones

By Jason Schneider

Each week, Essentials allows Canadian musicians to share the things that have helped get through through the pandemic, and why they still can’t live without them.


Since his days as a member of Juno-winners In Essence, Toronto’s Sean Jones has been dedicated to making some of the best R&B Canada has to offer. He’s just released a new single, Weekend Lover, that’s set to appear on his latest album this fall, produced by Murray Daigle (Keshia Chante, Faber Drive), and described as an homage to a time when Kriss Kross and Bobby Brown ruled the airwaves.

It will be the long-overdue follow-up to Jones’s 2015 debut solo album, Waiting For Midnight, and the fruits of some serious writing Jones has done in the interim. The album promises something for everyone with a mix of fast and mid-tempo tracks, along with the obligatory slow jams.

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Weekend Lover definitely falls into the former category, and its retro feel is accentuated by a video directed by Brian Gregory that was shot at Jones’s long-time hangout spot, Scooter’s Roller Palace in Mississauga.

The single comes on the heels of Jones getting to treat his fans to two shows at Toronto’s Casa Loma, a far cry from the weekly summer-long Monday night residency he’s performed there since 2015, but nonetheless a small victory in the battle against covid. He’s already planning for a full-on return next summer, which should tie in nicely with his new album and give Canadian R&B everywhere something to look forward to.

Find out more at seanjonesmusic.com.

Essential Song: WizKid, Essence (on Made In Lagos, RCA, 2020)

Other than my new single Weekend Lover, which always puts me in a sweet mood, I’ve been listening to the unofficial song of the summer, WizKid’s Essence. Such a dope track; it’s just VIBES from start to finish.

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Essential Podcast:The Breakfast Club (iHeartRadio)

I listen to this quite a bit, especially to hear Charlemagne Tha God. The interviews are in-depth and real. Some important discussions happen on the daily.

Essential TV:Schitt’s Creek (CBC, 2015-2020)

I know I’m late to the party, but I just discovered Schitt’s Creek and it’s the funniest thing I’ve watched in a long time. The entire cast is incredible, but Catherine O’Hara is hilarious. Big fan!

Essential Movie(s): Marvel Cinematic Universe (Disney)

I’m not sure why, but I’ve started watching all the Marvel movies again. Black Panther, Infinity War and End Game are on repeat these days. I still think the original Superman movie is one of the best superhero movies ever made, but I do enjoy and appreciate what Marvel has accomplished with their body of work.

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DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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