Songs you need to hear this week, 2022 Juno nominees edition

With songs from JP Saxe and Haviah Mighty, here's a quick guide to some of this year's contenders.

With songs from JP Saxe and Haviah Mighty, here's a quick guide to some of this year's contenders

Toronto rapper Haviah Mighty is nominated for rap album/EP of the year at the 2022 Juno Awards. (ColorsxStudios; graphic by CBC Music)

We've been analyzing the list of nominees for the 2022 Juno Awards and taking particular note of the most nominated artists, first-time nominees, notable names missing and gender parity within the list.

With that in mind, we're focusing our regular songs you need to hear this week feature on some of this year's Juno nominees: 

  • JP Saxe featuring Eric Chou.
  • Haviah Mighty featuring Shad. 
  • Jayda G and Aluna. 
  • Kehlani featuring Justin Bieber.
  • Jon Vinyl. 

Scroll down to familiarize yourself with their Juno-nominated music — and, in some cases, their latest releases — ahead of the awards gala.

'A Little bit Yours,' JP Saxe feat. Eric Chou

JP Saxe, last year's breakthrough artist of the year winner at the Junos, is back again this year with two more nominations: artist of the year, and album of the year for his debut, Dangerous Levels of Introspection. "A Little bit Yours" was originally released in 2020 as the lead single off that album, but the Toronto-born singer-songwriter has updated it two years later with a new guest feature by Taiwanese Mandopop star Eric Chou. "People talk about music being a universal language and I'm totally with that," Saxe wrote in an Instagram post, "but I think love/heartbreak tunes are, too." Chou's contributions to the track are almost entirely in Mandarin, and the heartbreak of Saxe's lyrics are still as poignant when delivered by a singer who has been dubbed the "king of the lovelorn people." With two skilled balladeers, this updated version of "A Little bit Yours" is like an effortless victory lap for both Saxe and Chou. — Melody Lau 

'Imagine That,' Haviah Mighty feat. Shad

"Had to find me, then I found you." Haviah Mighty's "Imagine That," which features Shad on the studio version, is a slow jam about a consuming relationship, and it'll sink its hooks right into you. Over an understated trap beat, Haviah Mighty, who's nominated for the new rap album/EP of the year category at the 2022 Juno Awards (her first, and overdue, nomination), calmly fires through verses about finding herself before getting wrapped up in somebody else. Shad's verse gives a nice anchor to the back half of the song, and this is the first time the two have worked together since fellow Toronto rapper Tobi's "24 (Toronto Remix)" dropped in 2020. (Haviah Mighty also released a version of "Imagine That" without Shad via a crisp video for popular YouTube channel Colors.) You can catch Haviah Mighty performing at this year's Juno Awards during the broadcast on May 15. — Holly Gordon

'Mine o' Mine,' Aluna and Jayda G

Born out of a studio session at Jayda G's home, this collaboration is a strong contender for song of the summer. It hits all my personal boxes: pristine house production that pulls you in instantly, sultry vocals from both artists and an undeniable Ibiza beach party level of energy. Grammy-nominated mastermind Jayda G is a pro at creating beats you can't help but groove to and her dance-heavy production style is immediately apparent on "Mine o' Mine." The British Columbia-born singer and producer received her first Juno nomination this year when her 2021 single, "All I Need (DJ-Kicks)" was nominated for underground dance single of the year. Linking with Aluna was a match made in house heaven. Jayda's deep, old school house vocals contrast with Aluna's glittery higher register to create a perfect balance of highs and lows. The song's wavy synths and poppy drums inspire a rhythmic trance, one you can't escape even if you want to. — Kelsey Adams

'Up at Night,' Kehlani feat. Justin Bieber

Since releasing his latest Juno-nominated album, Justice, in March 2021, Justin Bieber has hopped on (and elevated) songs by the Kid Laroi, Wizkid, Skrillex, Omah Lay and, most recently, multiple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kehlani. On "Up at Night," they're a vocal match made in heaven, singing fervent lines over a beat that seems plucked from top-drawer Janet Jackson. "And even when the sun don't shine/ I'll be right by your side, holdin' you tight," Bieber sings on his verse, his voice a pliable ribbon of sound as he echoes the theme of redemptive love that has preoccupied him since getting married. Kehlani escorts the song out, sounding not unhappy that "thoughts of you keep me up at night" while effortlessly varying the tune. — Robert Rowat

'Favours,' Jon Vinyl

Toronto R&B artist Jon Vinyl (a first-time Juno nominee this year, up for traditional R&B/soul recording of the year) has been releasing music since 2017, but "Favours" marks his first-ever collaboration. Teaming up with Toronto-based pop singer Avry, the two harmonize beautifully on this new track's chorus as they question the future of a failing relationship: "What you got?/ Is it something that I need or is it not?" Moody electric guitars and piano add to the emotional roller-coaster as Vinyl and Avry feel the strain of seeing their romantic efforts not being reciprocated. "Without you, I feel so undone/ Looking up, I take a puff," Vinyl continues. As hard as it is to let go, the relationship he sings of is slowly burning out just like that puff of smoke from his joint. — ML 

Don't miss the 2022 Juno Awards, hosted by Simu Liu, live Sunday, May 15, at 8 p.m ET/5 p.m PT. Tune in on CBC-TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and CBC Listen, and stream globally on, CBC Music's FacebookYouTube and Twitter pages.