advertisement
FYI

Maestro Fresh Wes, Skinny Puppy Win Polaris Heritage Prize

The following is another Billboard Canada story penned by Rosie Long Decter.

Maestro Fresh Wes, Skinny Puppy Win Polaris Heritage Prize

By External Source

The following is another Billboard Canada story penned by Rosie Long Decter.


Two influential '80s albums have won this year’s Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prizes. Skinny Puppy’s Bites and Maestro Fresh Wes’ Symphony in Effect both helped bring their respective genres — industrial-electronic and hip-hop — to broader attention in Canada. The Heritage Prize designation honours their contributions to Canadian music culture.

Each year, a jury of experts selects one album for the Heritage award, while the second honouree is decided by a public vote. Like the annual Polaris Prize, the albums are selected with regard for their artistic merit, not their commercial success. Previous winners include Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, And Now The Legacy Begins by Dream Warriors, and Feist’s Let It Die.

advertisement

Maestro Fresh Wes' Hip-Hop Breakthrough Symphony in Effect

Symphony in Effect, the 1989 debut by Scarborough’s Maestro Fresh Wes, is this year’s jury selection. Released on Attic/LMR Records, the album went platinum in Canada and helped Toronto’s rising hip-hop scene get international attention. The album’s high-energy lead single, Let Your Backbone Slide, was the first Canadian Top 4 hip-hop hit and won the first Juno Award for Best Rap Recording. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019.

While the Polaris Music Prize awards the best Canadian album of the year (this year's went to Debby Friday), the Polaris Heritage Prizes serve as a kind of critic’s hall-of-fame for albums released before the Polaris Prize was created in 2006. It's awarded annually to two classic Canadian albums. – Continue reading here.

advertisement
Beyoncé

Beyoncé

FYI

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Beyoncé Country Hit A Win For Canadian Songwriters

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Kayla Diamond launches her own boutique imprint, SOCAN names an ombudsman, and time's running out for noms for this year's Rosalie Award honouring trailblazing women in broadcasting.

Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and it has gone to No. 1 on iTunes in 14 different countries and counting. There are some surprising connections. The song is co-written and co-produced by Ontario-born writer/producer Nathan Ferraro, whose previous collaborations include working with Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bear Mountain, RALPH, Shawn Hook, Alyssa Reid, Jessie Reyez, Lowell and Tyler Shaw.

In fact, the song has deep Canadian origins. Two other Canadian songwriters participated in this runaway hit: Megan Bülow (who records and performs as bülow) as and Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland (a.k.a. Lowell), with Ferraro co-producing the track with Killah B and Beyoncé.

keep readingShow less
advertisement