The Stingray Music team flew to Toronto to join in celebrating the Polaris Music Prize last week. They were kind enough to share some behind-the-scenes details with our Musical Currents readers! Check out our Stingray PausePlay host's account of the weekend below.
Our day began with shooting 3 episodes of Stingray PausePlay, showcasing some of the incredibly talented, short-listed nominees.
WEAVES was first on our guest list. These Toronto natives clearly have a great time together whether performing or just hanging. They exude personality and the music they make is no different. The nominated album has been described as "disgusting yet catchy" and the members of Weaves will tend to agree.
Look out for their new project, Wide Open, being released October 6th.
LIDO PIMIENTA, the eventual winner of the Polaris Music Prize, walked into our interview space wearing bright primary colours, in very fashionable Columbian style. When speaking of the aural art she creates, she told us that she never writes a song for fun. She feels that her talent needs to be used to express a clear and meaningful message. The message of her album, La Papessa, sung entirely in Spanish, was apparently crisp in its clarity, as she took home the $50,000 Prize at the end of the night.
LISA LEBLANC spoke to us about her nominated album, "Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?"
How someone thought to blend distorted, heavy guitar with the eastern Canadian pluckings of a banjo, I'll never figure out, but it magically works.
Each song was written in the peak of whatever emotion she was feeling at the time, to always ensure the truest writing possible.
The Polaris Music Prize Gala itself was, as it always is, a wonderful night in celebration of truly amazing Canadian music.
Every table was treated to a vinyl copy of the Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tanya Tagaq collaboration, You Got to Run (Spirit of the Wind), proudly sponsored by Stingray Music. The vinyl also included a remix by short-list nominees A Tribe Called Red.
The evening was filled with performances from some of the Polaris nominees, including Leif Vollebekk, Tanya Tagaq, Feist, BadBadNotGood and a touching animated short from Gord Downie.
Last year's winner, the very well deserving Kaytranada, brought the Grand Jury's sealed envelope on stage and announced to a surprised but very happy crowd, that Lido Pimienta's La Papessa would take home the 2017 prize.
Lido was joined by her mother, her son, her friends and fellow performers, to be awarded her prize and give her acceptance speech. She initially spoke beautifully of her past, her transition to Canada, her special bond with Canada's indigenous people and the message in her music, but ended her speech with a profanity infused explosion aimed at the event's sound technician. Apparently she couldn't hear herself on stage during her performance that night. As shocking as the ending to the night was, Lido's music has always been her way to communicate her most important feelings, so we can understand why the anger was there. Blow up or not, this didn't change the fact that Lido was still incredibly well deserving of the win.
Keep your ears peeled for a new album from Lido coming 2018. The music on the upcoming project will be even harder and heavier then La Papessa, according to the Polaris winner.
We can't wait to check it out!