National Newswatch

Shawn Mendes the big winner at Juno Awards pre-telecast gala

Mar 16 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — LONDON, Ont. — Shawn Mendes emerged the big winner at Saturday's Juno Awards pre-telecast as the heartthrob picked up four wins across several major categories. The Pickering, Ont. native won artist, pop album, songwriter and single of the year for his hit track "In My Blood." But the pop singer wasn't present to accept the awards because he's on the European leg […]

Corey Hart’s hall of fame induction at the Junos marks another special occasion

Mar 15 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Corey Hart's sizzling contributions to pop music will be in focus at the Juno Awards on Sunday, but the hitmaker says this year he'll be recognizing another significant personal milestone at the event. Nearly 26 years ago, Hart was introduced to his wife, Quebecois singer Julie Masse, when they handed out the Juno for group of the year together live […]

Q-and-A: Juno nominees Loud Luxury on how their hit ‘Body’ is the ‘cat with 9 lives’

Mar 14 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Loud Luxury still can't quite believe their good fortune ahead of the Juno Awards on Sunday. With their bouncy breakout "Body" blanketing radio airwaves nearly a year and a half after its release, the Canadian DJ duo say they're surprised "literally every single day" by the dance song's staying power. "We joke it's the cat with nine lives because there's been so […]

Musicians say pressures of touring can take a serious toll on mental health

Mar 13 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Dallas Green is all too familiar with slipping into the deep pits of depression that often go unspoken about in the music industry. It usually happens while he's pushing forward on a gruelling schedule, locked inside a tour bus with City and Colour or Alexisonfire. What starts as exhaustion builds into a suffocating isolation, amplified by his intense perfectionism over […]

‘A never-ending cycle unless you break it’: Snotty Nose Rez Kids push against racism

Mar 12 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Snotty Nose Rez Kids rappers Darren Metz and Quinton Nyce weren't equipped as children to analyze the vicious Indigenous stereotypes and racist caricatures flashing on their TV screens. Like many kids of the late 1990s, they were raised on a steady diet of Disney classics while living in Kitamaat Village on Haisla Nation in northwest B.C. Some of those […]

Much less music: Popular music videos shrink on Much’s daily TV schedule

Mar 6 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Music videos have struck another sour note at cable channel Much amid fading interest from viewers. The channel's owner Bell Media says it's chopped the weekday block of mainstream videos by six hours. Bell spokesman Scott Henderson says Much will broadcast a single hour of retro music videos from the '80s, '90s and aughts during the "teen-popular" lunchtime window. […]

Locker-room sets and crinkled $10 bills: How comics make money in a precarious industry

Mar 4 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Caught in the swirling winds of a dangerous snowstorm, comedian Michelle Shaughnessy was debating whether to risk spinning off the road for a paycheque. It was almost Christmastime when the actress and writer was plowing down the highways of British Columbia with fellow standup comic John Perrotta at the wheel. As headliner of a comedy tour in 2012, her upcoming shows were supposed to […]

Songwriter Diane Warren tells Quebec filmmaker she’d pen a ballad for her

Feb 25 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Quebec filmmaker Marianne Farley might have songwriter Diane Warren to thank for a new flicker of inspiration. The two Academy Award nominees crossed paths at Sunday's awards show where Warren shared a rave review of Farley's short film "Marguerite," before throwing out an offer to create a song for a full-length version of the story. "If you make a feature of 'Marguerite' I want to do your song," Farley recalled […]

‘We’ve had the best time, all the time’: Ottawa rockers Hollerado call it quits

Feb 20 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Indie rockers Hollerado are hanging up their instruments after one last whirl across North America. The Ottawa-founded band says their upcoming album "Retaliation Vacation," and subsequent tour, will be their final one after 12 years together. The first single "One Last Time" was released Tuesday. "All adventures have an end and we feel that we […]

Alexisonfire is rekindling its hardcore spirit with new single ‘Familiar Drugs’

Feb 15 2019 — David Friend, The Canadian Press — TORONTO — Alexisonfire is putting a halt to their breakup with a new single. The Canadian post-hardcore rockers debuted "Familiar Drugs" on Friday, marking their first original track in nearly a decade. The band revealed the song on digital streaming platforms after teasing fans on social media in recent weeks with the possibility of fresh material. Lead singer George Pettit […]