Meet Kapri: Edmonton's newest pop music sensation

When Kapri was invited to a Toronto press junket announcing the nominees for the 2018 Juno Awards, she was shocked to hear her name called.

The Alberta-born singer has been nominated for her first Juno

Edmonton singer and dancer Kapri is making big waves in the Canadian music industry. (Kapri/Instagram)

When Kapri was invited to a Toronto press junket announcing the nominees for the 2018 Juno Awards, she was shocked to hear her name called. 

The Edmonton-born singer, songwriter and choreographer has been nominated for best dance recording of the year for her dance track Deeper.

"I had my iPhone and I'm videotaping the audience and they're announcing nominees and all of a sudden I hear, 'Kapri, Deeper,' " the singer recalled in an interview Tuesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"I look and I see my face on this huge screen. I was in shock."

Kapri, who now calls Toronto home, is being hailed as a rising star in Canada's music scene.

Newly signed to the Universal Music Group, Kapri has been climbing the charts and enjoying top 40 radio play across the country.

Deeper, her debut single, amassed more than 112,000 streams on Spotify and hit No. 1 within its first week, surpassing songs by artists such Justin Bieber.

Less than six months since it dropped, Kapri is celebrating her first Juno nomination and looking forward to walking the red carpet in Vancouver Sunday during Canadian music's biggest night.

'It's so exciting'

"It's so exciting. It's really allowed me to reconnect with so many people and I can't believe it happened so quickly," she said.

"I am up against some really big names who have been nominated before, who have albums out and have huge followings, so we'll see.

"I just feel like a winner already because I've been nominated."

 Kapri thanks Edmonton for shaping her into the performer she is today.

"Edmonton really helped me discover my love for the stage," she said.

"I think a lot of people think [of Alberta as] 'Cowtown' or 'Oil Country' or 'Rock Nation' and they don't really know there are so many musicians here.

"That is what I love about being from Edmonton. You're so influenced by different cultures and different sounds."

Kapri has been working on some new music, including her second single. The self-managed artist been collaborating with producers around the world, including those with studios in Trinidad and Toba

Edmonton really helped me discover my love for the stage.- Kapri

Keeping in touch with her cultural roots is important to Kapri, whose Trinidadian mother opened western Canada's first Afro-Caribbean dance studio: Movements dance ensemble.

Kapri spent most of her childhood at the studio watching her mother run the business, and mastering choreography to the beat of Soca rhythms and African drums.

 'I knew what worked for me and I stayed true to that.'- Kapri

"I was basically born and raised in a dance studio," Kapri said.

"There wasn't even a question — I always knew that I wanted to be on stage somehow and performing because that's where my passion was."

Kapri credits her mother for giving her a love of the stage, a strong sense of independence and plenty of business savvy.

"Professionally, she taught me a lot about production, the stage and the art of performing." she said. 

"But on the personal side, being raised by a single mom, I got to watch how she conducts herself and how she leads.

"It's always been really inspirational."

'Follow your dreams'

Kapri began working on her music while pursuing a degree in communications and psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa.

After graduation, she toured Toronto's nightclub circuit and amassed a dedicated following in the city's vibrant Caribbean community.

Kapri wants her music to give people a reason to dance. She said her biggest musical influences are soul legends Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan.

"Everyone's journey is different in terms of music but I knew what worked for me and I stayed true to that," she said.

"It's so important to follow your dreams and follow your passion with integrity, and do not let others persuade you to do something else if it doesn't feel right for you."

Watch the 2018 Juno Awards broadcast live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on March 25 at cbcmusic.ca/junos.