Artist to watch: The Weeknd

Click image to download mixtape

Grown and sexy hip-hop infused R&B. Night time music. Definitely check out this 20-year-old Toronto native (real name: Abel Tesfaye) if you’re into the likes of Frank Ocean and Drake (who, incidentally, has publicly cosigned The Weeknd by sporadically Tweeting his lyrics).

House of Balloons track list
1.) High For This
2.) What You Need
3.) House Of Balloons / Glass Table Girls
4.) The Morning
5.) Wicked Games
6.) The Party & The After Party
7.) Coming Down
8.) Loft Music
9.) The Knowing

Click here, or the image above, to download.

Drake to host 2011 Juno Awards, gets four Grammy nods


Drake at his sold-out debut Vancouver concert on July 27, 2010 at the Centre. (Ian Lindsay/ PNG)

From my web file for The Vancouver Sun:

VANCOUVER — Toronto native Drake will return home to host the 2011 Juno Awards next March, becoming one of the youngest-ever hosts of the Canadian music awards show.

 “I am beyond honoured to be hosting this monumental Juno Awards in the greatest city on earth,” the 24-year-old said in a news release issued by CTV and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences on Wednesday night.

 “I want to bring a youthful energy to the show and encourage people to be excited about what Canadian music has to offer.”

The awards take place March 27 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The news release was issued just hours before it was announced the breakout singer and rapper had received four 2011 Grammy Award nominations for his debut album, Thank Me Later. They are for best new artist, best rap album, best rap solo performance (for “Over”) and best rap performance by a duo or group (for “Fancy” with T.I. and Swizz Beatz).


I haven’t ever cared much about awards shows, but I was definitely happy to see Toronto native Drake get four Grammy nominations. I think the first time I’d ever heard him was on Little Brother’s “Don’t You Have a Man,” with Dwele, off 2008’s N.C. Cool mixtape, but it was 2009’s So Far Gone mixtape that really set it off. I love this man. And, in the paraphrased words of my friend Sean Lalla: Any Canadian artist trying to “make it” should be supporting his success.

Here is a link to all the 2011 Grammy Award nominees.