A jury of 11 members awarded Kaytranada’s genre-fusing debut album “99.9%” as the winner of the prestigious 2016 Polaris Prize on Monday.
Kaytranada, born Louis Kevin Celestin, was able to beat out stiff competition from Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes, Andy Shauf, Jesse Lanza, Black Mountain and more to nab the $50,000 cash prize.
Last year’s winner Buffy Sainte-Marie presented the award to a shocked Kaytranadal, who took the stage wearing overalls and a backwards cap. “Wow, this is amazing,” he told the crowd. “Unbelievable moment right now. Oh man. I would like to thank … everybody for believing, man.
“For me, it’s crazy to get this award, and it’s really, truly, a big honour,” he added.
Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen (“Emotion”), electronic artist Grimes (“Art Angels”) and Kaytranada were considered the best-known nominees leading up to the night’s announcement.
Andy Shauf (“The Party”), Black Mountain (“IV”), Jesse Lanza (“Oh No”), PUP (“The Dream Is Over”), U.S. Girls (“Half Free”), White Lung (“Paradise”) and Basia Bulat (“Good Advice”) also made the Polaris shortlist.
The Polaris Prize gala took place at the Carlu in Toronto but music fans across the country and around the world were given the chance to watch the event live courtesy of CBC Music’s livestream.
Bulat, Jepsen, Lanza, Sauf, Black Mountain, U.S. Girls and White Lung all performed live during Monday night’s ceremony. Watch select performances below.
Carly Rae Jepsen performs ‘Your Type’
Black Mountain performs ‘Mothers of the Sun’
Andy Shauf performs ‘The Magician’
US Girls performs Yoko Ono’s Born in a Prison’