Say hello to Canada's hottest new musicians on CBC Music's The Intro
Each week, we will highlight an up-and-coming Canadian musician you need to listen to
CBC Music is launching a new video series called CBC Music's The Intro, a weekly feature bringing essential emerging Canadian talent to the world. Hosted by CBC Music Mornings' Saroja Coelho, this series showcases talented artists across the country from all genres. Each episode highlights one band or artist and includes two live performances and an enlightening conversation about the music.
Over the summer we recorded episodes with Alex Porat, Paul Chin, Loony, and Tops, which you can watch below. Look for episodes featuring Jaunt, Dear-God, Zoon and more in the weeks ahead.
Alex Porat has spent almost half her life uploading music to her YouTube channel. Over the years, the 22-year-old's emotive covers of big pop songs have amassed over 100 million views, but her breakout moment came in 2018 when Canadian star Shawn Mendes watched her cover of his song, "In my Blood." He called the clip "awesome" and her performance of his hit single "perfect." Around that same time, her version of Calum Scott's "You are the Reason" earned her an additional 25 million views.
Shortly after blowing up on her YouTube channel in 2018, Porat turned a corner and started writing and recording her own music. Her most recent releases are pure pop perfection — shiny tunes addressing the highs and lows of modern relationships, like dealing with an ex on social media or filling the void of loneliness in a relationship. There's a sadness in Porat's lyrics that contrasts beautifully with her crystalline voice and buoyant beats.
In this episode of CBC Music's The Intro, Mornings host Saroja Coelho talks to Porat about performing covers, writing original music and the stigma of YouTube stars. Porat also performs two of her songs, "Happy for You" and "Only Hanging out 'Cause I'm Lonely."
"It feels like I've finally been able to paint with all the colours on my palette."
Paul Chin is describing how he feels about his most recent release, Full Spectrum, his fifth EP and one that's catching a lot of ears.
Chin is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist who describes his art as electronic music rooted in hip hop. Having grown up in the Cayman Islands in a Chinese–Jamaican household — and now based in Toronto — his rich experiences inform his music, which has included collaborating on Shad's Polaris Prize shortlisted album, A Short Story About a War.
On Full Spectrum, Chin collaborates again with Shad, as well as Phoenix Pagliacci, Rebekah Hawker and 2016 Searchlight winner Desirée Dawson.
In this episode of CBC Music's The Intro, Chin chats with Mornings host Saroja Coelho and performs "Take it or Leave It," featuring Dawson, and "Hard Times," featuring Hawker.
Scarborough R&B singer Loony released her first single, "A Small Flame," in 2018. And in just two years, that little flame has grown into an inferno as praise rolled in from everyone from Apple Music to Elton John, who featured one of her songs on his Beats 1 radio show.
Now, with two EPs under her belt, including JOYRiDE which came out this past April, Loony is looking to continue her hot streak.
Musically, her sensuous and slinky style of R&B is shaped by her two closest collaborators: Adam Pondang and Akeel Henry, the latter of whom was once an apprentice of Drake's superstar producer, Noah "40" Shebib.
Pondang, Henry and Loony form a powerful trifecta, melding their technical, musical and emotional artistry together into a sonic soundscape that works beautifully to highlight Loony's captivating voice and words.
In this episode of CBC Music's The Intro, Loony performs "Ghosts" and "iN CODE," a love song to her hometown, and chats with Mornings host Saroja Coelho.
Montreal dream-pop band Tops has been releasing jangly hook-laden pop songs since 2012. The four-piece band's catchy, danceable songs cover topics ranging from casual intimacy, crumbling relationships and new love, among other themes of interpersonal existence.
Lead singer Jane Penny's breathy vocals are both nostalgic and celebratory and float effortlessly on David Carriere's guitar licks, Riley Fleck's drums and Marta Cikojevic's keyboard lines. Adam Byczkowski also joins on bass for this session.
Tops' fourth album, I Feel Alive, was released earlier this year and came after a sabbatical where all band members were living in different cities. The separation built energy and when the band members reconvened in Montreal they were refreshed with creativity and passion. They embraced the pressure of a deadline and laid down the bones of the album before decamping for a month in Berlin.
In this episode of CBC Music's The Intro, Tops singer Penny chats with CBC Music Mornings' host Saroja Coelho about the experience and the band plays the title track of their latest album and "OK Fine Whatever."
Episodes of CBC Music's The Intro will be released weekly on CBC Gem, CBC Music's YouTube channel and here on cbc.ca/music.