From now until the 2021 Juno Awards are presented in early June, we will offer this weekly column to help you get to know some of the nominees in all categories a little better.
Meet the 2021 Juno Nominees:
Nominated in the category Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
Anyone who has paid attention to the Toronto singer-songwriter known as Storry over the past year should now be well aware of how she has arrived at this point. While studying opera at the University of Toronto, her desire to break into the pop music world led to a relationship with a producer that quickly turned abusive in every respect.
It was her first serious relationship with a man, and through his manipulation she was forced to work for many years as an exotic dancer. By the time she managed to break free, she was left with no money and none of the music that was supposed to have launched her career. Moving back home with her mother, she seriously doubted she would ever have the motivation to make music again.
The creative urge eventually returned though, following an extended period of therapy and yoga study. She reconnected with one of her most trusted friends, Yotam Baum, and soon they were working on songs together that became a further outlet for her emotional recovery.
The results became Storry’s February 2020 debut album CH III: The Come Up, a collection that on one hand is unflinchingly honest in conveying her experiences, but on the other hand brilliantly displays her resilience in its irresistible sound rooted in vintage pop songwriting. Although last year she received a Juno nomination for Reggae Recording of the Year for a track done with Sly & Robbie—a hook-up facilitated through personal connections in Jamaica—now she finds herself trying to absorb the fact that CH III: The Come Up has her nominated alongside Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette.
“I was so shocked when I found out about this nomination that I cried,” she says. “One, because Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette were some of my childhood idols, but also because it has breathed new life into this important project that got smothered by Covid last year. I had put all my savings, all my heart and pain and hustle into it after years of struggling in both the sex industry and the music industry. CH III: The Come Up is a concept album about that struggle.”
Storry admits that this year’s nomination has finally helped her get over the “imposter syndrome” she has felt her entire life, believing that whatever success she has achieved has been because of luck or someone else’s influence. With her self-confidence at an all-time high, she’s been staying busy by recording Interlude-19, a “visual album” made with Toronto rapper Junia-T and video director Karimah Zakia Issa during a 10-day quarantine retreat at Collabo Camp, an independent arts space in Tweed, Ontario.
Storry views Interlude-19 as a document that can hopefully help her fans cope with lockdown restrictions as much as it helped her cope while making it, but she has her sights firmly set on getting started on the proper follow-up to CH III: The Come Up as soon as possible.
“If the Junos are saying I belong next to Celine and Alanis, then I hope that people will start to pay attention and listen a little closer so that I can build a team who can take me to the next level,” she says. “And I applaud the Junos for purely taking in the art instead of only measuring numbers and algorithms. If you were to combine the social consciousness of Childish Gambino, the vocal power of Adele, the grit and hustle of Cardi B, and the musical theatre quality of Queen—that baby would be me.”
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