Listen to Chilly Gonzales break down some of the biggest Juno-winning singles
In season 2 of Inside the Junos, the Canadian musician deconstructs songs from Shawn Mendes, Feist and more.
Last year, CBC Music's Inside the Junos podcast pulled back the curtain on Canada's premiere music award show with lively stories and backstage moments from the people that were there. Its seven episodes explored memorable acceptance speeches, snubs and the key to writing a great opening monologue.
But for season 2 of Inside the Junos, we're moving away from the mechanics and history of the award show and focusing on the music itself. In Inside the Junos: Chilly Gonzales' Songs in the Key of Eh, we asked Canadian master musician Chilly Gonzales to sit down at the piano and deconstruct six of Canada's best known Juno-winning songs.
Gonzales, a pianist, composer and producer who has worked with artists such as Feist, Peaches, Drake and Daft Punk, has spent the past few years educating music lovers with his Pop Music Masterclass video series, where he breaks down big hits by Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Queen. Similarly, he will look at the inner workings of Canadian hits for Inside the Junos.
All the episodes are available now, and can be streamed on CBC's podcast page.
Below are summaries of each episode.
Season 2, Episode 1: The Weeknd, 'Can't Feel My Face'
"Can't Feel My Face" earned the Weeknd the Juno for single of the year in 2016. Here, Gonzales offers an explanation for the infectious rhythm in the melody by saying, "We all know that the Weeknd loves Michael Jackson and perhaps he got the syncopated influence from Thriller."
Season 2 Episode 2: Corey Hart, 'Never Surrender'
Corey Hart won single of the year for "Never Surrender" in 1985. Chilly Gonzales explains that "the human ear associates a falling melody with submissiveness." So what gives this song its defiant strength? Find out.
Season 2 Episode 3: Alanis Morrisette, 'You Oughta Know'
Alanis Morissette burst onto the scene with Jagged Little Pill and shook up the music world in the '90s. Her magic, as Gonzales explains, is "that strange yodel, that weird break in her voice that makes the vocal performance so raw and so real."
Season 2 Episode 4: k-os, 'Crabbuckit'
In 2005, "Crabbuckit" was a joyous-sounding hit that was being played on radios across Canada, but Gonzales points out that it uses "a chord progression associated with some of the saddest songs in the world."
Season 2 Episode 5: Feist, '1234'
Here, Gonzales asks, "How is it possible that it still seems like music to us when it's someone counting to four in monotone?" Apparently, the secret is in the bass.
Season 2 Episode 6: Shawn Mendes, 'There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back'
Gonzales notes the EDM sound of Shawn Mendes' 2018 single of the year winner, "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back," but adds that he also has "the feeling of hearing a person, a true singer-songwriter."
Gonzales recently announced the return of the Gonzervatory, a 10-day music performance workshop that will take place in Cologne, Germany. Five musicians will be chosen for an all-expenses-paid trip to work with Gonzales, which will culminate in a final concert led by Gonzales himself. Applications are open now at his website.
Wherever you are in the world, you can watch the 2019 Juno Awards on Sunday, March 17, broadcast live from London's Budweiser Gardens at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, CBC Radio and online at cbc.ca/junos.