Music News Digest, Nov. 18, 2019

Apple Music has named fast-rising Toronto star Jessie Reyez as the latest addition to its Up Next program, Apple Music's monthly artist initiative geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent. Reyez has received over 325M streams on Apple Music to date and is the first Canadian female to be named an Up Next artist. Her Up Next short shot on iPhone 11 and exclusive to Apple Music is available to watch here

Reyez has just released a new track, a cover of the Patsy Cline classic Crazy, and her next album is slated for early 2020.

— The 2019 Indie Week Awards were presented at Toronto's Mod Club Theatre last night. The winners are Max Parker (Best Newcomer), Luxe (Best Urban Artist and People's Choice Award), The Wilderness (Best Emerging Artist National), Camilla Andrew (Best Emerging Artist International), Piqued Jacks (Best Music Video for  Eternal Ride Of a Heartful Mind), and Bo Welland (Best of the Fest). The evening included performances by Piqued Jacks, Free But Sharp Pain, Luxe, Bo Welland, and Triss, plus a special headline set from Nikki's Wives. Major Sponsors were Slaight Music and Alechemist Brewery

— The Cuddy family, Jim and son Devin, and friends have a show at the Horseshoe Tavern on Dec. 8 as part of their 2nd annual Daily Bread Foodbank benefit. More guests TBA and tickets are on sale here.

Len Glickman, IP specialist and partner in Cassels Brock & Blackwell entertainment, tips us to Geffen/UMG’s latest Canadian signing, 17-year-old Toronto singer-songwriter ren. She had previously released two singles independently—Waves and Mind Games —that helped stir a ton of buzz and attracted multiple label offers. The song is co-written and produced by Pom Pom and Jesse Fink.

— Canadian country star Lindsay Ell is now sitting pretty at the top of the US charts, thanks to What Happens In A Small Town, her hit duet with US country singer Brantley Gilbert that's the lead single from Gilbert's fifth album Fire & Brimstone. “I have dreamed of having my first No. 1 since I was a little girl,” says Ell in a label press release. “It honestly feels surreal, and to be able to celebrate it during CMA Awards week in Nashville made it even more special."

— Canadians nominated in the Feb. 6 Pollstar Awards include Drake, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Celine Dion, and Barenaked Ladies.

Chris Birkett, the Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist and studio producer to the stars (Sinead O’Connor, The Proclaimers, Buffy Sainte-Marie), has released another solo album that combs the elements of today’s music. It’s entitled Free Spirits  (CD Baby) and combines classics with his own material. Below, the first video promoting the album, a cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s Everyday People.

— Toronto singer/songwriter Andrea Ramolo has received kudos for her original solo albums and work as one half of roots duo Scarlett Jane. She has long had a deep love for the work of a fellow romantic, Leonard Cohen, as showcased on her recent album Homage, comprising fresh renditions of LC material. A video for her take on the classic Suzanne has just been released. Of note: the clip was helmed by actor/writer/ producer/ director, Jessica Hinkson (Point of View, Another WolfCop).

— Music Canada recently attended the 2019 Ontario Chamber of Commerce gala as a finalist for the Ontario Business Achievement Award (OBAA) for Diversity and Inclusion. This award recognizes business excellence in supporting the creation of diverse and inclusive workplaces. In a press release, Graham Henderson, Music Canada President and CEO, reaffirmed that “As a leading voice in the music industry, we believe it’s important to take concrete actions to show our commitment to the principles that define us, and those principles include diversity and inclusivity." The award went to Danby Appliances.

— Music BC's live showcase series Let’s Hear It! returns for a second year, commencing early 2020. Apply here to be considered for one of the seven showcases in Vancouver and Victoria in 2020.

— Submissions for the 10th edition of the Indigenous Music Residency (IMR) are now open to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit recording artists from across Canada. Running Feb. 21-28 2020 at Elkhorn Resort on Treaty Two Territory, the residency offers up to 20 people the opportunity to build business skills and expand their artistic abilities.  It is led by Manitoba Music in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts. Apply here by Dec. 12. Past participants benefiting from the program include Don Amero, and iskwē.

 — Music PEI is now hiring two people to assist delivery of Credit Union Music PEI Week and one Team Leader to oversee multiple projects. Music PEI Week 2019 runs Feb. 5-9 in Charlottetown. Apply here 

— Creative Manitoba is throwing a Holiday Party on Dec. 6 ( 5-9 pm), at its HQ, 245 McDermot, 4th Floor, Winnipeg.  Free and open to the public.

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