Who is Grandson? Get to know the Juno breakthrough artist nominee

The rap-rock artist is putting his own spin on the modern protest song.

The rap-rock artist is putting his own spin on the modern protest song.

Rock-rap artist Grandson is nominated for the Juno Award for breakthrough artist of the year. (Supplied by Fueled by Ramen)

The Juno categories of breakthrough artist and group of the year have gone through a few different identities in their 45-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, Alessia Cara and Jessie Reyez. The list of breakthrough group winners is equally star-studded: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Rush, Glass Tiger, the Tragically Hip, Nickelback, Alexisonfire and A Tribe Called Red.

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 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: Grandson.

Where: Jordan Edward Benjamin, a.k.a. Grandson, was born in New Jersey and raised in Toronto.

Sound: Rock-rap with a strong political undercurrent.

Why they're nominated: His single "Blood//Water" debuted on multiple Billboard charts and has earned tens of millions of plays on Spotify and YouTube. He released his debut EP, A Modern Tragedy, Vol. 1, in 2018 after signing to rock label Fueled by Ramen.

Previously: Benjamin dropped out of Concordia to pursue music in L.A. in 2014, writing songs for other artists before deciding to focus on making his own music.

Fun fact: When he attended McGill (before Concordia), Benjamin was a member of the vocal group Effusion A Cappella.

Quote: "I want to open for Odd Future as much as I want to open for Red Hot Chili Peppers." — B​enjamin to The Bull & Bear, 2018

'Thoughts and Prayers' (2018)

'Blood//Water' (2017) 

'Apologize' (2018)


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.


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