Kaytranada Wins $50,000 2016 Polaris Prize

2015 Polaris Prize winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, with this year’s winner Kaytranada (Photo: Danny Williams/Polaris Prize)
September 20, 2016

Last night, 24-year-old Montréal producer Kaytranada took home the $50,000 grand prize at the Polaris Music Prize gala, held at the Carlu in Toronto, for his electronic album 99.9%. This is the first time the award (now in its eleventh year) awarded an artist with hip-hop/R&B sounds.

The SOCAN-sponsored gala featured performances by SOCAN members Carly Rae Jepsen, White Lung, Black Mountain, Jessy Lanza, Basia Bulat, Andy Shauf and U.S. Girls. Jepsen and Bulat were accompanied by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, while U.S. Girls’ Meghan Remy and Bulat sang back-up vocals for one another’s sets. Nominees Grimes and Kaytranada also attended, although they didn’t perform. Nominees PUP were on tour in Europe and sent their parents in their place to provide colourful commentary on social media.

SOCAN also sponsored this year’s Polaris Cover Sessions, which featured Arkells performing Owen Pallett’s “I Am Not Afraid,” Joel Plaskett covering Feist’s “Bittersweet Melodies,” and Zaki Ibrahim’s interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Show Me The Place.”

The Polaris Music Prize is a juried award determined by 196 journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and programmers from across Canada, including SOCAN A&R Executive Guillaume Moffet, and Words & Music magazine editor-in-chief Howard Druckman, who also served on the grand jury, which decided the winner.