The Canadian music industry is the eighth largest in the world, featuring influences of country, folk, pop, and more. In comparison to the country’s population, the volume of artists is substantial, featuring legendary acts like Céline Dion and Leonard Cohen growing up in Québec and Montreal.
In our series ‘5 Artists You Should Know’, we introduce you to local talent from regions all over the world who are dominating their local territory. We’re excited to tell you more about these five rising artists in Canada and encourage you to take a listen: Dylan Sinclair, Roxane Bruneau, Cam Kahin, Boy Golden, and Elisapie.
Originally from Toronto, Dylan Sinclair is a “proud product of the music scene in his hometown.” He credits the city’s appreciation of “less pop-y” sounds for making him the musician he is today. His background is rooted in his church, where he sang solos in the choir, starting at just 10 years old. He has developed into an incredible R&B singer, taking inspiration from Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar. His debut full-length album Proverb was a Juno Award nominee for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the 2021 Awards, while also receiving over 25 million streams. In 2022, he released the R&B hit “Open.”
Follow on Instagram: @dylansinclair
Listen to: No Longer In The Suburbs
Roxane Bruneau is a rising star in the Quebec music scene. She possesses a natural talent for producing hit melodies and presenting her charismatic self online. In 2019, she accomplished a big step in her career with her first album Dysphorie becoming certified GOLD. In 2020, she released her second album Acrophobie which earned a Top 10 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart and was also certified GOLD. Bruneau loves to share her vibrant and independent self throughout her work by directing her own videos and presenting herself as a “non-conformist.” Her single “Partout,” released in 2022, speaks to feelings of being invisible and the desire to be heard.
Follow on Instagram: @roxanebruneau
Listen to: Acrophobie
Cam Kahin grew up in Dunnville, a small town in Ontario. His passion grew within the walls of his childhood home as his debut album was all written and recorded from his bedroom. It was not until he started playing Guitar Hero as a child that his creative side combined with his musician talent. He received instruments from friends as a kid and he soon became obsessed with making music, starting on GarageBand and Pro Tools. His new album WHEN IT’S ALL OVER features indie rock tracks like “try again” with influences from The Strokes and Darwin Deez. His musical passions continue to stand out which is fueling his young success at the age of 20.
Follow on Instagram: @camkahin
Listen to: WHEN IT’S ALL OVER (DELUXE)
Boy Golden, whose real name is Liam Duncan, is originally from Winnipeg in the Manitoba region of Canada. While he performs with his persona of Boy Golden now, he started his musical journey at a young age, learning classical piano which turned into improvising pop and jazz tunes as he yearned for more creative expressions. His biggest inspirations come from his hometown of Winnipeg where the town has a strong musician presence. He has been named “Your New Favourite Country Outlier” by CBC Music and his single “KD and Lunch Meat” was the #1 most played Canadian song at Canadian alternative radio in 2022. His new track “Hard Headed” is described as “full of small-town scenes and Spiderman memes of seeing yourself in others’ mistakes.”
Follow on Instagram: @boygolden
Listen to: For Jimmy
Born and raised in Salluit, a small town in the north of Quebec, Elisapie Isaac owes a lot of her creative journey to the culture of her territory. She is an emblematic Inuk singer-songwriter, winning her first award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2005 with her band Taima. In 2010, she released her first solo album, There Will Be Stars, where she sings in English, French, and Inuktitut. Since then, she has been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, earned numerous Félix Awards, and received a nomination at the Junos. Her recently released track titled “Isumagijunnaitaungituq (The Unforgiven)” shows a unique take on one of Metallica’s hits with lyrics performed in Inuktitut mixed with instrumental courses. The rest of her album titled Inuktitut will be released on September 15, featuring similar takes on songs by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Cyndi Lauper, and more.
Follow on Instagram: @elisapie
Listen to: Qimmijuat (Wild Horses)