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FYI

Music News Digest, Dec. 22, 2022

Industry news

Music News Digest, Dec. 22, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Industry news


The 2023 NXNE festival will take place in Toronto, June 13-17, and tix are already on sale. The $25 festival pass admits music lovers into every show at every venue for the duration of the event, and 2-for-1 festival passes are available here, now until Dec. 31. More info here.

– From humble beginnings, the JR Digs Acoustic Christmas charity fundraiser has become the crucial annual holiday event in Hamilton. Created by comedy star JR Digs, a local resident, it attracts the cream of the crop of area musicians, thanks to the smart idea of always holding it on Dec. 23, just as on the road musos have returned home for the holidays. It is now held at The Music Hall in downtown Hamilton, and the impressive lineup will ensure another sold-out event for this, the 14th edition. The list of performers includes The Trews, Tom Wilson, Golden Feather, Tyler Kyte (Dwayne Gretzky), Luke Bentham (The Dirty Nil), Matt Mays, Tim Hicks, and Aaron Goldstein, with some surprise guests. Celebrity guests include Stephen Brunt, Dave Hodge, and Doug Gilmour. Proof of the goodwill this event generated came last year when Covid fears caused a last-minute cancellation, but most of the holders of general admission or VIP tickets refused refunds, resulting in $96K still being raised for charity. Go to JR DiGS Instagram for concert info, ticket availability and lineup updates.   Update. Inclement weather has forced a rescheduling of the show to Dec. 28.

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– In a pre-Budget submission earlier this month, MusicNL lobbied the provincial government for an additional $400K for the trade org, increasing the investment into those working in the music sector. More info here.

–  The Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) has announced that its Contact East 2023 conference will run Sept. 21-24 at Woody Point, NL. More info here.

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– In a short space of time, the new indie label Ishkōdé Records, one focused on Indigenous artists, has already made a mark. It showcases its roster in a just-announced Toronto show set for the Axis Club in Toronto on March 2. Performing at the Fire Starter Concert will be Digging Roots, Amanda Rheaume, Aysanabee, and Special Guests. Tix here.

– The SCREENxSCREEN online music + tech conference runs Feb. 7-9. Super Earlybird tix ($40 off) are now on sale here.

– Originally slated to run March 1-5, 2023, Music PEI Week 2023 is now set for March 8-12. More info here

– Every holiday season, Toronto concertgoers are presented with many different versions of the Handel classic, Messiah. The most adventurous option this year is the Soundstreams production, Electric Messiahhosted by Crow's Theatre.  It is described as "a unique, immersive performance that combines Handel's masterpiece with elements of jazz, blues, hip-hop, gospel, classical, global, accompanied by movement and dance. Four talented singers from various musical genres are accompanied by an instrumental ensemble that blends baroque and electronic elements." One of the guest vocalists is superb jazz artist Elizabeth Shepherd. This year's show features the world premiere of a new interpolation by composer Lieke van der Voort. The Dec. 22 show is sold out, but tix remain for Dec. 23 and 24 shows. 

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– Save the date. The 15th Annual MMF Canada Honour Roll will be on March 6, 2023, at the Great Hall in Toronto. The first recipient of the new Trailblazer Award will also be announced. Tix will go on sale in early Jan. More info here

Artist news

– Hip-hop mogul Diddy has recruited the Grammy-nominated Canadian artist PartyNextDoor for his new track, Sex In The Porsche, the second single from Diddy's upcoming R&B album. Check it out here.

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– This week, April Wine leader Myles Goodwyn announced his departure from touring with the veteran East Coast rock band. The 74-year-old singer and guitarist has been on the road since 1968, but health issues now mean he needs to stay close to home. “Because of my diabetes it’s not okay for me anymore to be on the road, living out of a suitcase and the uncertainty of schedules,” he told CTV’s Katie Kelly during a recent interview. Marc Parent will replace Goodwyn on guitar and vocals, and the group will continue to tour. Source: CTV News Atlantic

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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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