Fresh Sounds Canada: Karan Aujla Gets Remixed By Tiësto
This week's must-hear music also includes the long-awaited album from Tate McRae, Isabella Lovestory and more.
Canada's Punjabi Wave continues this week, as Karan Aujla caps off a big year with a remix from one of the world's biggest DJs. That leads off this week's roundup of must-hear Canadian music, which also includes one of Canada's other biggest 2023 breakouts in Tate McRae, plus songs from Loony, Hua Li and Isabella Lovestory.
Karan Aujla, “Softly” (Tiësto remix)
Karan Aujla has had a major year thanks to his infectious pop songs, which, with the help of Ikky, combine Punjabi and Western musical influences. In our interview with the BC-based artist, he told us that "Softly" was a straight '90s-style Punjabi melody over a funk beat, an encapsulation of the mix of styles. Now, it gets another stylistic bump from one of the biggest DJs in the world. Tiësto takes the song and brings it to another gear, with a big EDM sound that can burn up dance floors anywhere in the world. The duo premiered the single at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where more than 20,000 fans ate it right up.
Tate McRae, THINK LATER
After the year she's had, it's hard to believe Tate McRae's sophomore album wasn't out already. She's already ascended to the heights of SNL, the cover of Billboard and No. 1 on the Canadian Hot 100, but now she has a full length project to go with it. With executive production from production pro Ryan Tedder, the 20-year-old rising star leans poppier and includes her two big hits, "greedy" and "exes." But there's plenty of relatable material for those who've been following her since her teen years, including one slow-to-adult anthem that pays tribute to her hometown called "calgary." "Same bar, same street / I’m 20 but I still feel like 15," she sings wistfully.
Isabella Lovestory, “Fuetazo”
Following the 2022 release of her debut album, Amor Hardcore — which landed on the Polaris Prize longlist this year — Montreal’s Isabella Lovestory is keeping the energy up with new single “Fuetazo.” The reggaeton bop features a gritty low-end and a fiery verse from Puerto Rican rapper Villano Antillano. The music video finds Lovestory and Antillano posing as mermaids on the beach and in a mobile pool, making a splash wherever they go.
Loony, “Nothing Else Feels The Same”
“Nothing Else Feels The Same,” the new single from Toronto R&B crooner LOONY, is a brief blast of joy. The song clocks in at just two minutes and one second, following her previous single “Old Friends” and hinting at more to come. “Nothing Else” starts off soft and sultry, before gaining steam with a catchy refrain based around the song’s title, and then exploding into a horn-fuelled bridge. The structure mimics the way new love can build, starting from cautious optimism and developing into ecstasy.
EDITOR's PICK: Hua Li 化力, “Cherrier”
Hua Li 化力 - Cherrierwww.youtube.com
Will 2024 be the year of Hua Li? The Montreal-based DJ and rapper, who notably collaborated with Gayance for "Mascarade," a finalist for the Polaris Prize this year, has just unveiled the very first excerpt from her upcoming album to be released in the coming months on Next Door Records (Charlotte Cornfield, Cola, Land of Talk). "Cherrier" is a liberating and sparkling R&B ballad, delightfully cheeky as well, with epic synths that immediately captivate. Stay tuned!