Get to know Juno breakthrough artist nominee Charlotte Cardin

The former model and TV singing competition finalist has made a huge mark with her first two EPs.

The former model and TV singing competition finalist has made a huge mark with her first 2 EPs

Montreal-based singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin released her second EP, Main Girl, in 2017. (Atlantic Records)

The Juno categories of breakthrough artist and group of the year have gone through a few different identities in their 44-year history, but what's never changed is the incredible pedigree of the categories' winners. A veritable who's who of now-established and future Canadian music industry icons have taken home these coveted Junos.

Breakthrough artist winners include Burton Cummings, k.d. lang, Colin James, Alanis Morissette, Jann Arden, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Feist, Drake, the Weeknd, and Alessia Cara. The list of breakthrough group winners is equally star-studded: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rush, Glass Tiger, the Tragically Hip, Nickelback, Alexisonfire, Said the Whale and A Tribe Called Red.

This year's crop of nominated artists and groups features an exciting and diverse array of musicians. From Toronto-based R&B singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez and Montreal-based electro-pop singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin to the Iqaluit-based folk-rock act the Jerry Cans and the Regina-based bluegrass band the Dead South, almost every music fan will find something to love in the nominees.

Think of the Junos as an opportunity to survey just a little bit more of the country's music scene, its depth and breadth, and then keep checking back every Thursday and Friday as CBC Music posts its handy primers for each artist and group, as well as some context to help deepen your appreciation of these great musicians.

Who: Charlotte Cardin.

Where: Montreal.

Sound: Dreamy pop with occasional electronic, soul and jazz influences.

Why they're nominated: In 2013, Cardin, who is bilingual, was a top four finalist in the first season of the singing competition La Voix. That same year, she also uploaded a few covers to YouTube, including an acoustic version of Radiohead's "Creep," which now has almost a million views. The singer-songwriter released her first bilingual EP in 2016, Big Boy, and in 2017, she became the first artist in the history of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize to be nominated in both the English and French categories in the same year. In 2017, she released her second EP, Main Girl, and for those keeping track, yes, Cardin has earned all of her accolades before ever releasing her debut studio album — and she's just 23 years old.

Previously: Cardin began modelling for Barilà at the age of 15 and had signed with Elite Model Management in Paris, but bailed on all of that to pursue music.

Fun fact: One of her dream collaborators is Snoop Dogg.

Quote: "I didn't have any expectations [going on La Voix]. But I ended up there and there's cameras filming all the time and there's makeup and styling and interviews all the time. Then you perform and there's 2,000,000 people or 3,000,000 people that watch you and comment and Twitter and all of those things, so it taught me in the fastest way. And now I feel I sort of did the whole music thing the opposite way because I started singing in front of two million people and now I play venues with 100 people. Now I feel like I'm not stressed as much. It's more intimate. I feel like it prepared me for what I'm doing now." — Interview, 2016

'The Kids' (2017)

'Main Girl' (2017)

'Les Échardes' (2015)

'Big Boy' (2016) 

'Wicked Game' (2017)


Get to know Juno breakthrough artist nominee Allan Rayman

Get to know Juno breakthrough group nominee James Barker Band

Wherever you are in the world, you can watch the 2018 Juno Awards broadcast live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on March 25 at cbcmusic.ca/junos


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