Since the Juno Awards announced their nominees on Tuesday, the Internet has been buzzing about the lack of female artists nominated. Sure, we all love Drake, Bieber and The Weeknd, but the new trending hashtag #JunosSoMale is creating needed dialogue about why these artists’ female counterparts aren’t represented.
To be honest. I’m really not that surprised to see such a dude-heavy list of nominees. After all, 13 of the 15 members of the board of directors running the Junos — from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) — are men.
People have turned to Twitter to demand better female representation at the Junos:
#JunosSoMale Some tone-deaf record execs in Toronto must have come up with this list. Nickelback again, but Buffy Saint Marie not ever?!
— Essie Bee 🇨🇦🌎🇨🇦 (@sblogga) February 3, 2016
— Kate Matthews (@_kate_matthews) February 3, 2016
— Amy Millan (@amymillan) February 2, 2016
— Justen Bennett (@justenbennett) February 3, 2016
But at the very least, #JunosSoMale has prompted needed discussion about what we’re missing out on. Check out these female Canadian artists who could have had Juno nominations:
It’s just bonkers that there’s no mention of Grimes and their new album Art Angels by the Junos this year. And though she’s since deleted her tweets, Grimes, AKA Claire Elise Boucher, called out the Junos for sexism on Twitter. She wrote: “women r kinda absent from the junos this year. no female noms for album, artist, engineer or producer of the year etc.” And I couldn’t agree more! Why doesn’t Grimes have an Album or Artist of the Year nomination?
2. Purity Ring
And Purity Ring missed out on the Album of the Year nom too. After making her first album on her laptop with collaborator Corin Roddick, Megan James established her sound by dropping their sophomore album in 2015, Another Eternity. The singer fuses dark lyrics like “Meet me in the back shed/I’ll be hanging up the knives,” with dreamy electronica. James spoke out recently about sexism in the music industry in an interview with NY Mag: “The music industry is one of the most sexist industries, by far. It has a really long way to go,” she said, adding “… it’s way too gendered, and so much so that it makes me really uncomfortable and frustrated.”
Peaches’ sensational, racy new album Rub, featuring heavy hitters like Kim Gordon, probably wasn’t even on Juno board members’ radars. But in my mind, Rub ought to have a clear contender for Album of the Year. Because in a musical landscape saturated with songs focusing on male desire, Peaches’ unabashedly sex-fueled music is really refreshing, as is the fluid way she explores gender identity.
4. Allie X
And how can anyone forget Allie X’s catchy song and completely tripped out new video for her single “Catch,” which is on her new album CollXtion I? “Catch” could have been a contender for Video of the Year Award. Even Katy Perry is a fan, as she tweeted that she was “obsessed” with the song.
Currently I'm obsessed with this song CATCH by Allie X: http://t.co/OiwWUjrd3r SPRING JAM! 💉💊
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) March 6, 2014
This 18-year-old Toronto native really is a wonder girl, with producer credits behind huge hits like Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” and Drake’s “Used To” with Lil Wayne.
And the teen actually got Drake to rap over a beat she made at her house by reaching out to him via Instagram: “I sent Drake a video through Instagram, through the direct message that they have on there. I sent him the video and asked, ‘Would you rap on this?’ He said it was really hard, but to send it. So, I sent it and it turned into [‘Used To’],” she tells MTV News.
6. Ruth B
Vine star Ruth B grabbed our attention when she snagged a contract with Columbia Records after her dreamy ballad about Peter Pan, which she released independently, went viral. She originally posted a partial version of the song “Lost Boy” on Vine: “Once I saw the reaction to the vine I thought, ‘Maybe I should turn this into a full song.’ So I sat down one day and wrote the song,” Ruth B tells Idolator. And it paid off, as the song climbed to the Top 100 list on iTunes. She could have been listed as a Breakthrough Artist of the Year, but wasn’t.
7. Carly Rae Jepsen
You’ve probably heard so many Carly Rae Jepsen songs you’re trying desperately to get them out of your head, which is precisely why not including her name on any nominations, with the exception of Fan Choice, is a real snub. After all, the Canadian pop star just released her 2015 album E-MO-TION, which critics were all over, prompting favorable Taylor Swift comparisons. So why is she not listed as a Pop Album of the Year nominee?
8. Terra Lightfoot
Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, a critically acclaimed album by a songwriter/guitar player/vocalist Terra Lightfoot, was conspicuously missing from the Juno’s list. And this album was particularly important for Lightfoot as it was her first time really taking the creative reins: “This album was my first time taking control of the songs and the amazing players I had at my disposal and trying different parts and structures with them,” she tells Vue Weekly. She could have had a Country or even Rock Album of the Year nomination, as her music criss-crosses genres. But, to be honest, I’m really not surprised she didn’t get nominated, because the whole #JunosSoMale assertion is pretty accurate.