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Polaris Music Prize Announces 2022 Winner

By: Staff –

Pierre Kwenders has won the 2022 Polaris Music Prize for the album José Louis And The Paradox Of Love.

This is Kwenders’ first Polaris Music Prize win.

The Prize goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation. It was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of 197 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country. This was the 17th edition of the Polaris Music Prize.

“This is crazy, I don’t even know what to think. This is for all the kids from the diaspora, the African diaspora, moving in Canada. Sometimes you feel like you don’t know what you’re running into, or what you’re coming into. But there is hope, there is a place to live and dream and be yourself. This album, especially, is about being yourself and telling your own story. José Louis And The Paradox Of Love is there for you, you know, if you feel you can connect, connect! Let’s talk! Let’s have fun! Let’s be ourselves! Let’s love each other, while we are alive. Bisou!” – Pierre Kwenders

Kwenders’ victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward with the nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000. Additionally, Play MPE awarded Kwenders with a global music promotion distribution package for one release (single or album) worth up to $3,025 CAD. Play MPE will also gift all nine remaining Short List artists with distribution packages worth up to $1,000 CAD each.

The 2022 Polaris Short List was:

Destroyer – LABYRINTHITIS
Pierre Kwenders – José Louis And The Paradox Of Love
Lisa Leblanc – Chiac Disco
Hubert Lenoir – PICTURA DE IPSE : Musique directe
Kelly McMichael – Waves
Ombiigizi – Sewn Back Together
Ouri – Frame of a Fauna
Shad – TAO
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Life After
Charlotte Day Wilson – ALPHA

Kwenders’ name was revealed by Polaris 2021 winner Cadence Weapon, capping a night of musical performances at the Polaris Gala. The gala, which was held at The Carlu in Toronto, also featured an evening-opening performance from Cadence Weapon as well as sets from Short List nominees Pierre Kwenders, Lisa Leblanc, Hubert Lenoir, Kelly McMichael, Ombiigizi, Ouri, Shad, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Charlotte Day Wilson. Toronto act Fresh Pepper also interpreted two songs from Destroyer’s LABYRINTHITIS album.

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