It won't be long before everyone knows it's pronounced "Cherry 22". After all, the first woman signed to The Weeknd's XO label dropped a hot debut EP, The Other Side, last fall. "The Other Side is about coming to terms with duality – we all have two sides," Chxrry22 said in a press release. "We can be both the villain and the victim in some story, and this is me owning that." Like The Weeknd, Chxrry22 was the Toronto-based child of Ethiopian immigrants. Now she's based in the hip-hop mecca of Atlanta, where this cherry is sure to blossom.
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This Toronto R&B singer/songwriter’s debut album Proverb got a Juno nod in 2021 for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. Last month, he was included in Spotify's Top 10 R&B Artists to Watch. He also announced his first U.S. live shows and released the visual for his "Open Remix" featuring Destin Conrad and Jvck James, from his breakout EP, “No Longer in the Suburbs (Deluxe)”. The EP just earned Sinclair a nomination for the Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year Juno.
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Country artist SACHA is on an endless steamroll right now. The Ontario-born singer-songwriter won SiriusXM's coveted Top of the Country competition last year, which acknowledges up-and-coming Canadian country acts for their singing and songwriting efforts. On top of the critical praise, she's breaking records. Her viral 2021 TikTok hit with the Reklaws, "What the Truck", drew more than 450,000 streams in its first week alone, eventually becoming the fastest Canadian country song to go gold.
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This Montreal-based experimental pop soul artist — also known as Yonatan Ayal — turned heads with his otherworldly performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in 2021. Better Luck In The Next Life, the follow-up to 2020’s Synthetic Soul, is due out March 3. In the meantime, check out his collab with Lucky Daye, “Good For Now”, and their recent single “Bon Voyage”.
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Last year, this soulful R&B singer's debut record, Lost in You, was up for the Juno for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. This year, his 2022 EP Palisade is up for the award. The Toronto singer grew up in Pickering, where he was a classmate and friend of Shawn Mendes. In 2017, Mendes promoted Vinyl's early singles on social media, including "Nostalgia" and "Cherry Blossom".
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At only 14 years old, Toronto's Kairo McLean is the youngest artist to ever win a Juno Award for
Reggae Recording of the Year. Both of his parents are Jamaican, which gave the young reggae artist a steady musical diet of classic reggae and Jamaican DJs as he was growing up. His 2021 EP Easy Now was his first album, but he's already garnered huge critical acclaim. The young musician released his latest single, "In The Streets", in 2022 and is planning to go on tour soon.
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The Toronto R&B singer-songwriter’s global hit “Vibe For Me” first found an audience on TikTok. The song began life as an ode to a bobbed wig in 2020 called “Bob For Me”. It now boasts over 20 million views. “I was shocked,” she said in a statement. “I was singing about a wig for fun. I wasn’t doing anything crazy or outrageous to go viral. I was just being myself. I didn’t expect anything. So, it was a really great feeling.”
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Toronto-based Adria Kain is quickly cementing a name for herself in the hearts and ears of music critics with her soulfully smooth vocal range and emotionally vulnerable lyrics. Kain's rich and indelible vocals have earned glowing praises from publications like Complex and Fader magazine, and recently won her a Sirius XM Black Canadian Music Award. The R&B artist initially made waves when she featured her dreamy vocals on PARTYNEXTDOOR's 'Thirsty' in 2014. Kain's latest project, When Flowers Bloom, bagged her a Polaris Prize nomination. In a statement, Kain has described When Flowers Bloom as a patient evolution towards self-growth: "I started to view myself as a garden and I began my journey of growth and just patiently waited for years for my flowers to bloom."
Montreal's Zach Zoya has made a meteoric rise on the Canadian music scene after the 2020 release of his album 'Spectrum'. The rapper's rapidfire flow and earworm productions have earned the rapper notable critical acclaim. His 2022 sophomore EP 'No Love Is Ever Wasted' saw Zach soar into the top 40 with two consecutive hit singles, 'Start Over' and 'Upper Hand'. Zoya has also achieved the honour of being a YouTube Trending Artist on the Rise, earned three nominations at the 2022 Gala Dynastie Awards, and was a recipient of the third annual SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards.
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This Nigerian-born rapper and singer was raised in Brampton. He released his debut album 'Still' in 2019 and followed it up with Elements Vol. 1 in 2020, which earned him the 2021 Juno for Rap Recording of the Year.
TOBi's 2021 EP, Shall I Continue? has just been nominated for the Juno for Rap Album/EP of the Year, and he also picked up a nom for Songwriter of the Year. The soulful artists' new album, Panic, arrives March 30. "Panic is the epitome of unapologetic soul music, and we held nothing back on it — something I am truly proud of," he said in a press release. The lead single is "She Loves Me".
This Scarborough R&B star's debut EP, "Opia", was released in 2020. Since then, she's won two back-to-back Junos for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.
Right now, Ré's new single "Closure (Remix)", featuring Nonso Amadi, is making major waves. (Watch out for Nigerian-Canadian singer Amadi, too!) "Closure" is off her sophomore EP, No Weapons, which came out in September. It also includes "Last One," her collab with Dylan Sinclair, which was just nominated for the Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Juno, and "WTF", which has earned a nomination for the Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year Juno. The Junos will be awarded on March 13.
In 2019, the effortlessly melodic Brampton-born rapper garnered international attention with his performance on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s "Fire In The Booth" series, which has since racked up over 15 million views on YouTube. He'd go on to enjoy streaming success with his 2021 EP The Extravagant Collection , reeling in over 1.5 million within its first few days of release, and now holding over 15 million more. His 2019 album 'Caviar Dreams' kept the rapper's momentum going, as he earned a Gold-selling single with 'Levels'.
Critics have certainly taken notice — NorthSide's latest project, The Extravagant Collection, got a Juno nod in 2022 for Rap Album/EP of the Year. After a high-profile COLORS performance of his single "Raids" last year, the rap world is eagerly awaiting NorthSide's next moves.
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Having started her career as a dancer for pop megastars like Drake and Selena Gomez, this Montrealer eventually found herself drawn to the world of DJing and music production. Nowadays, instead of dancing herself she gets crowds moving to her propulsive and personal tracks. Her debut EP Délivrance, released in 2022, serves up a pulsing, meditative mix of music, incorporating a wide array of influences, from Afrobeat to rap Québécois.
She was recently named one of Elle Quebec's "10 rising stars" to watch, and we'd have to agree. Boasting over half a million TikTok followers and a fanbase spanning the globe, DJ Karaba's groove is too infectious to ignore.
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You may have bopped to a recent Android commercial and not realized you were bopping to "So Good" from this exciting, up-and-coming Toronto rapper. Their 2020 debut album was followed by 'Head Above the Waters' in 2021. They've recently dropped "Khadijah," a single off their next EP, "Living Simple". The six-song collection due this fall.
King Cruff has a large name to live up to as a descendant of reggae royalty Bob Marley, but the London, Ontario-born rapper is doing just that. His first single, "Samurai Chop", released in October last year, merges his love of dancehall and reggae into an addictively funky earworm. The rapper has since taken home the Forest City London Award for Best Hip Hop Artist of 2022, and was named one Pandora’s Artists To Watch: Caribbean 2023.
King Cruff is currently recording his debut project with Universal Music Group/Tuff Gong Collective, with a release date planned for 2023.
This Nigerian-born Afro-R&B artist has exported his soulfully silky vocals and lusciously addictive production to Canada, where he's already working with top artists like Majid Jordan. Nonso already boasts 100 million streams to date, which marks his star power as undeniably strong. He flexed his Afrofusion beats on 2019's "Free", which saw him link up with Simi and Mr Eazi. He recently dropped his self-reflective track "Ease Up", which continues to build momentum for his debut album, set to be released soon.
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After starting as a songwriter, this Congo-born, Toronto-raised vocal powerhouse pop starlet was the grand prize winner of the 2018 RBC Emerging Musician Program. The following year, she unleashed her breakout single “DCMO (Don’t Count Me Out)”. The track was included in her confessional debut EP Worthy, which came out in 2020. Kala is currently working on a follow-up EP, which she told Complex contained "some of my fave music, some ballads — and I’m really excited."
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Representing the West Coast, this Vancouver experimental rapper merges his trailblazing blend of old-school hip-hop, modern trap and psychedelic experimentation into a unique musical footprint that has earned him vast success. He originally emerged onto the music scene with his 2018 mixtape Motionless and Motionless II. After achieving millions of streams and attracting the attention of Capitol Records, Boslen released his 2021 album DUSK till DAWN , which amassed over 25 million streams. His 2022 EP Gonzo has continued to see the rapper experiment with a variety of genres as he expands his name in the world of hip-hop.
She used to be known as a Toronto club DJ, but with her new single, the Jamaica-flavoured banger “Ride Wit Me”, she’s tackling lead vocals, songwriting and production. This new single follows her recent co-production on Kelela‘s “Happy Ending” and her pair of 2021 EPs, “Twitch” and “Truck Riddim”. We’re still waiting for the full-length debut from this up-and-comer, who's seen here with DJ Nino Brown.
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Brand new singles like “Spin the Block” and “Not Me” have helped land this Toronto-based crooner on Spotify’s inaugural list of R&B Artists To Watch, which was announced last month. His latest EP is 2020’s ii KNEW BETTER.