Four Niagara musicians up for this year’s Junos


Published March 3, 2022 at 4:52 pm

Niagara area DJ-musician-producers REZZ and deadmau5 are up for a Juno with their first-ever collaboration with their album, "Hypnocurrency."

Four Niagara area musicians have been nominated for the 2022 Juno Awards, this year being hosted on May 15 at Budweiser Stage in Toronto.

This year is the 51st Junos presentation and the 27th time it’s been held in Toronto.

Niagara area DJ-musician-producers REZZ and deadmau5 are up for their first-ever collaboration with their album, “Hypnocurrency,” one of electronic music’s most memorable crossover moments of the year.

The album, up for 2022 Dance Album of the Year, combines the differing styles of the artist with dreamy midtempo drops play against bright tones and minimalist arrangements, overlaid against the track’s haunting soundscape and menacing synths.

“I feel like my collab with deadmau5 is an exact split of his sounds and mine, which is a high standard I set before ever sending him an idea,” REZZ tweeted when the album dropped.

Niagara Falls native Tim Hicks, up for 2022 Country Album of the Year, may be best known for his raucous live shows and the party atmosphere surrounding them but like most artists, he started in the bar scene where he had to charm patrons nightly with a vast repertoire of solo acoustic material designed to please a crowd.

His latest EP, “Campfire Troubadour” recalls that past, reimagining his chart-topping sound for a more intimate setting, as much at home in a fireside jam as it would be in the unassuming rooms he once played. The opening song “Slow” sets the tone and if you listen closely, you’ll hear embers crackling and crickets chirping.

“It’s funny because Jeff Coplan, who produced the EP, said he was going to light a fire in his backyard and add some sound effects,” said Tim when the album came out.“I said that would be neat, but I thought to myself that it would never make it to the final mix. But it worked, and when I heard it in context, I thought it lent the record a real vibe.”

This year’s Junos added five new categories – rap album/EP of the year, rap single of the year, contemporary Indigenous artist or group of the year, traditional Indigenous artist or group of the year and underground dance recording of the year.

That worked out well for Fort Erie musician-producer DJ Shub, who found himself nominated against four others with his contemporary Indigenous album, “War Club.”

Shub said he sees music as a weapon — one that can be used “to tell people what’s going on, to put issues on the forefront, to right wrongs, to speak my mind.” Called the godfather of powwow step or electric powwow; a genre that blends traditional powwow music with dubstep and electronic, Shub veers a bit from the formula with this one.

The Mohawk artist from Six Nations incorporated dancehall flavour and Latin rhythms, and collaborated with a slew of artists, including Phoenix Pagliacci, Boogát and Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

Country star Tim Hicks, left, and Indigenous musician DJ Shub are both up for Junos.

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