April 17th, 2024

Punjabi music is taking the world by storm and its new sound is based in Canada

By David Friend, The Canadian Press on March 21, 2024.

Music producer Ikky photographed in Toronto, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO – History could be made at the Juno Awards this weekend as two Punjabi-Canadian artists vie for the coveted fan choice award.

British Columbia-raised singer Karan Aujla and Brampton, Ont.-based rapper Shubh are nominated for the viewer-voted prize, which aims to capture the zeitgeist of popular music on Sunday’s Junos broadcast.

They’re up against a handful of familiar pop names, including the Weeknd, Tate McRae, and Charlotte Cardin.

It’s the first time any performers from the rising Punjabi-Canadian music scene have landed in the fan choice category, a sign that the genre is gaining steam in the mainstream.

Aujla holds a second nomination for breakthrough artist at the Junos, which take place this year in Halifax.

The Junos made history in another way last year by inviting breakout Victoria, B.C.-based singer AP Dhillon to become the first Punjabi artist to perform on the show, even though he wasn’t nominated.

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