Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Olivia Penalva

Rising pop artist, Olivia, is captivating audiences and critics alike. This Canadian born musician has already embarked on an incredible career with massive success, seeing her hard work pay off when her song, Fight For You, garnered her a spot in the top 15 Finalists for the International Songwriting Competition in 2014.

That was only the beginning. She placed in the top 10 at the Ottawa Blues Festivals’ “She’s The One” competition and saw two of her breakout singles, Christmas for Two and Outshine the Stars break the top 100 at Canadian radio summer of 2016. September 2016 saw her rise as Bell Media’s pick for CHR Future Star and in a few short weeks her track Skyline has garnered her a top 40 spot at CHR, with her track being the top downloaded song at Canadian radio plying at stations from Newcap to Bell Media across the country. In such a short time, Olivia has amassed an already impressive career, touring across Canada and visiting radio stations from British Colombia to Ontario and even Quebec. To date, Olivia holds the #37 spot according to BDS/Nielson and is the 81st most shazamed song at Canadian radio.

Olivia discovered her unique sound when she began song writing in Vancouver and Los Angeles with a multitude of songwriters including Sony/ATV writer and fellow Canadian chart topper Andrew Allen, writer/producer Josh Cumbee (Madonna, Nick Howard), Laurell, DJ Project 46, Robin Ghosh, and then moving on to work with hit producer Brian West (Nelly Furtado, Maroon 5) on her 2015 single, and radio Airplay 1st Runner up in the Summer Song contest, Ferris Wheel. She then went on to write and record her songs for her newest EP, Weightless, with fellow co-writer, Robin Ghosh. Released in May of 2016, and recently hailed as one of the most delicious EP’s of 2016 by Canadian Music Blog, Olivia also earned herself the Artist of the Year in the Starlight Music Chronicles Teen category, and recipient of the Artist max scholarship to work alongside Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac) and Colbie Caillat in Los Angeles at the end of October.

Olivia also loves to film music videos and has numerous covers and originals on her You Tube page, with over 659,000 views and over 7000 subscribers, the content of which attracted her the sort of attention that got her nominated as Female You Tube Artist of the Month by Star Central Magazine out of Australia in 2015, as well as several nominations by Cover Nation. Despite being a pop artist, Olivia recently did a country music cover of H.O.L.Y. which earned her a nomination by Country Entertainment site, Whiskey Riff, as their country cover of the week. and the legendary Bob Kinglsey of Country Top 40 selected her cover for their H.O.L.Y. Country Challenge, and she won.

The new EP, is a fun, flirty, and refreshing take on the positive vibes and hopeful exuberance that Olivia radiates. Each track effortlessly vibes with current pop trends while remaining distinctly youthful. With each new release Olivia not only finds her niche, but an audience that relates to her pop aesthetic, and a sound that is all her own. Remember her name!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7LrLEicuhI

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Laurell

WITH 6 HIT SONGS TO HER NAME, Laurell’s profound writing intuitions are being sought after by industry professionals around North America.  Her recordings have been featured on MTV’s “The Real World”, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, CMT’s “Meet The Wilson’s”, Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules”, and Muchmusic’s “Degrassi” and “Life With Boys”.

Winner of the Billboard Songwriting competition, a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting competition, and winner of People’s Choice Song of the Year at the Canadian Gospel Awards, Laurell has partnered with Vancouver production team Westsonic Music on artist development and songwriting. She also writes regularly in LA and Toronto with various hit writers.

 A vocal jazz major and classical pianist, Laurell writes using guitars, synths, ukuleles, and house beats.  A “brave thinker”, Laurell’s boundary-breaking melodies, driving chords, and intuitive lyrical convinctions make her an unstoppable force on the writing scene.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Tyler Shaw

For Tyler Shaw, the success of a song is measured by how readily his growing audience can find their own experiences reflected in it. “I want to make music that’s relatable; the kind of songs that make you say ‘that’s exactly what I’m feeling right now.’ If people can make that personal connection, immediately, I’ve done my job.”

It’s fair to say the 22-year-old, Toronto-based singer/songwriter is off to a great start. Thanks to the strength of his 2012 debut single “Kiss Goodnight,” Shaw’s become a rising star in the Canadian pop scene. Co-written with Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj) and Todd Clark (Phillip Phillips, Tim Hicks), the song garnered some major accolades in the music industry. The catchy pop track received a MMVA nomination in 2013 in the key category of Video of the Year. “Kiss Goodnight,” saw great traction with radio as well, spending 17 weeks in the Top 10 at AC Radio and peaking at #5 on that chart. The following year, Tyler really broke on to the scene with an impressive JUNO Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. All this off the strength of his debut single.

Following the award nominations and the great radio success, Tyler released, “By My Side” and “It Happens All the Time.” The happy up-tempo, “By My Side” cracked the Top 10 AC charts and proved Tyler a forceful songwriter. His third single “It Happens All the Time” followed Tyler on his musical journey and gave a more introspective look into his life and personal relationships at the time. This track continues to be a fan favourite.

Although honoured by the attention his signature brand of rock-tinged pop has received, what’s most important for Shaw is that it inspire in listeners the same positive attitude he brings to his own life and music. “As far back as I remember I’ve always focused on the good things that can come out of any situation. My motto is simply: Never give up.”

Through his teens Shaw always dabbled in music, eventually posted recordings on YouTube and played open mic nights in his hometown of Coquitlam, BC, but still didn’t consider taking up music professionally. Instead, he aimed for a career as a professional soccer player and earned an athletic scholarship from the University of PEI.

After entering a national talent competition in 2012 and taking the top spot out of 13,000 people, Shaw suddenly found numerous doors opening for him musically, and relocated to Toronto. Shortly thereafter, he inked a deal with Sony Music Entertainment Canada and found himself working and recording with a variety of co-writers, who, he says, have been integral to his ongoing development as a songwriter.

“By Fall 2012 I’d gone from performing for small crowds at the campus pub to playing in front of 20,000 people on the Canadian We Day tour, but I wasn’t nervous, just excited.” His growing profile also led to an opportunity to travel to Kenya in July 2013 with Free the Children, which really put life into perspective for him: “When I landed, it was immediate culture shock. The people I met had so little, but they were some of the happiest people I’ve ever met. As a songwriter, the more life experience you gather, the better,” Shaw continues. “Kenya definitely touched me, and experiencing it for myself brought my awareness of the struggles so many people face to a whole new level.”

“Kiss Goodnight” was ultimately certified as a Gold selling single, helping Shaw to land opening slots on select Canadian shows with artists including Ke$ha and Pitbull. Additionally, his track “Showtime” was adopted as the Official Song for the 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Canada. This fall he will head out on a Canadian tour opening for powerhouse, Kelly Clarkson & special guest Nick Jonas.

Currently, Shaw’s new single “House of Cards” is racing up the charts. The track boasts a huge superhero-themed video, which successfully matches the tone of this big ballad. The video is a larger-than-life ode to superhero films set as a dramatically styled movie trailer, complete with a crime fighting heroine and starring Tyler in the role of a young police officer. The heroic video was

directed by RT! and produced by The NE, who worked closely with Tyler to give the romantic song an epic visual to match its powerful tone. “House of Cards” is Tyler’s 5th single and is currently charting Top 20 at Canada CHR, AC, and Hot AC radio, and climbing.

While Tyler Shaw has been thrust into the national spotlight, his focus remains the same as it did when he first started out. To write from his heart and inspire listeners to make the very best of their own lives, and to make a conscious effort to improve the lives of those around them in equal measure.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Lexi Strate

Rich, rasp-filled, and sensually soulful, it’s hard to believe that Canadian emerging pop artist – Lexi Strate – has uncovered such a mature and seasoned voice at the age of 22. Then again, one might expect it from a teenager who locked herself in her bedroom those influential years to learn YouTube covers. A small town girl with big dreams, Lexi simply hasn’t had any time to waste.

 Now, as she closes in on a momentous tipping point, the Alberta-born songstress is ready to show off her evolution – and with thousands of subscribers cheering her on.

 Winner of the Virgin Radio Star Competition in 2012, Lexi won the opportunity to travel west and record her first single, “Turning Point” in Vancouver with chart-topping songwriter Mike James (Kelly Rowland, Kreesha Turner, Shilo). The song debuted on Edmonton’s 104.9 Virgin Radio – winning Astral Media’s Breakthrough Artist within only a month – and began receiving national airplay across Canada. As she built momentum, Lexi’s next track “Unstoppable” was featured on CW’s TV series “Beauty & The Beast”, and by January 2013, she had released her next single, “All For You” into the radio world. A collaboration between songwriters Mike James, Stef Lang (Mr. Immature), and Davey Badiuk (Dragonette), Lexi again went on to receive radio play across Canada and the song was featured in the hit TV Sci-Fi series “Continuum”.

 After plugging into the Vancouver music scene, Lexi began honing her songwriting skills under the mentorship of world-class producer Jeff Dawson (Danial Powter, Kelly Rowland, State of Shock, The Dudes) and top #10 Canadian recording artist Laurell (Can’t Stop Falling, Unbreakable). Toting her favourite albums with her (Dallas Green, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Adele, Jan Arden and Maroon 5) and pages of hand-written notes, Lexi fearlessly focused every songwriting session towards her artistic discovery.

 All the hard work was worth it. With urban-pop beats providing a foundation for iconic throwback influences of Paula Abdul and Diana Ross eras, Lexi has created a sound that is both familiar and new. Compared to the likes of Jesse J, Rihanna, and Pink, Lexi holds a tonal character that stands all on its own. Composing melodious, hook-filled lines with her pen scrawling rebelliously fun, unapologetically nostalgic lyrics, the songstress has unearthed from within the very voice and heart of her music.

 A face as stunning as her voice is sultry, Lexi’s sugar and smoke combination captivate audience after audience. Performing since the age of 12, Lexi has stood in front of thousands across Alberta, gracing numerous venues, hockey arenas, and most recently opening up for artists like Virginia To Vegas,The Sheepdogs, and The Trews (who asked Lexi to join them onstage across Southern Alberta to perform Serena Ryder’s parts on “In The Morning”).

 Hands Up! Music, who quickly jumped on board and are currently finishing Lexi’s debut EP. The first single off the highly anticipated release, “Antitode”, is a is a gritty Brittish-sounding pop song with infectious vocal hooks and a behind the beat swagger that can’t be ignored.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Alanna Clarke

Alanna Clarke’s music has been described as sultry, seductive and powerful, brooding with raw sentiment through Alanna’s distinctive soulful voice and lush expanding production. As Music Blog Under The Gun Review  says “No name immediately comes to mind when trying to think of a comparison for Alanna Clarke which I believe is a testament to her unique qualities as a songwriter and force to be reckoned with within the pop realm.” With influences spanning from classic 60’s songwriters to early 90’s alternative rock female artists to the most bubblegum of pop songs, Alanna has pulled inspiration from a mix of genres to become the artist she is.

Growing up an only child in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies fueled Alanna Clarke’s independent spirit from the start. It is here, surrounded by nature that she was inspired to begin writing songs & picking up the guitar and piano.

Alanna left high school early to be home schooled and pursue music full-time at age 15. She toured Canada on her own and through a demo that was passed on by a friend at a music panel, met songwriter Christopher Ward, (Best known for writing ‘Black Velvet’ by Canadian Artist Alanna Myles). Impressed by Alanna’s songs, Christopher contacted her and they started collaborating together where he quickly became a song writing mentor. With a cluster of songs in hand and her high school days behind her, Alanna set off to follow her dreams in music and hit the road on tour in her native Canada at the age of 18.

In 2012 Alanna started traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to play shows and demo new material. In Nov. 2014 Alanna released and premiered the single ‘Heartstrings’ on Freebikevalet.com.

Now 23, though Alanna calls Cochrane, AB home (Cochrane, Alberta), she also spends time in Los Angeles and Toronto.

London UK Blog Alfitude.com called her “Power pop with a distinctive voice” & LA Music Blog Free Bike Valet says “Alanna Clarke is bound for indie popstress prosperity”. Alanna has played NXNE, Canadian Music Week (2010-2012), The Annual Honey Jam Showcase (Toronto), Edmonton Folk Festival, Canmore Folk Festival, and legendary venues like The Viper Room and Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles), as well as many others.

Alanna is currently in the studio writing new material for her up & coming release.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Hudson Station

Hudson Station is like a craft beer. Bold and distinctive flavours, local influences, and a familiar taste that tickles the palette of any folk music aficionado.

Coming from different worlds, this duo combines the collaborative efforts of two individually talented musicians. Andrew Allen, known best for his top 10 pop singles ‘Loving You Tonight’, ‘I Want You’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Christmas’ as well as his EDM hits ‘Reasons’, ‘These Wounds’ and his largest offering ’Last Chance’ was featured on Kaskade’s Grammy nominated record ‘Atmosphere’. He’s hit the stage supporting some of the world’s biggest artists including Bruno Mars, One Republic, Andy Grammer, The Barenaked Ladies, Joshua Radin and The Script, and has written with the likes of Meghan Trainor, Rachel Platten and Carly Rae Jepsen to name a few. Cole Friesen, with influences like Bob Dylan, The Milk Carton Kids and The Avett Brothers, has developed a skill on the guitar that’s been compared to that of John Mayer, and appropriately has been hired to back up many emerging Canadian artists including Wes Mack (CCMA winner), Raquel Cole (CCMA winner) and numerous others with tours ranging from Vancouver to Florida.

Cole began working with Andrew as a hired guitarist, but quickly demonstrated not only incredible skills on the guitar, but also in his writing ability, his stage presence, and showed an undeniable passion for creating great music. Hudson Station was formed in the desire to pen songs with meaning. Lyrics that tell a story, and lyrics that matter are important to this band, and they’re boxed up with two acoustic guitars and thick harmonies, harrowing back to the era of Simon and Garfunkel.

In just a few short months since the bands inception, and going the alternate route of performing all their originals live before releasing the recorded versions to the world wide web, the duo has already gained the appreciation of Sony/ATV, and their song ‘Busy’ is currently being featured in a UK television show.

If there was ever a train you didn’t want to miss, it’d be this one.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Luke McMaster

Luke McMaster, his song writing, his band and their live performance, all reflect the very essence of Soul Music, from the past, the present and moreover, leading into the future.

Formerly one half of Gold selling Canadian duo, McMaster & James, Luke McMaster cut his teeth with some of the biggest acts of the day, opening for Randy Bachman, Justin Timberlake, Christine Aguilera and more. Following writing collaborations with such global superstars as Rihanna, Luke has returned to his passion and performing roots, as a solo artist.

Heavily influenced by such icons as Al Green, Hall & Oates and Marvin Gaye, Luke’s first solo album “ALL ROADS” was released by EMI/UMG in January 2013, as a “Romantic but powerful collection of new originals and covers of all time classic love songs, in a contemporary tribute to Blue Eyed Soul and early Motown”. It included Luke’s smash hit “Good Morning Beautiful“, that successfully vaulted to #3 on the Billboard AC Radio Charts across the USA, supported by extensive live performance touring throughout the USA and Canada.

Late Spring 2014, Luke and the Band released his second solo album, “THE HEART OF SOUL” through Greenhill/UMG, as a 12 track covers album and further tribute to the soul and Motown sounds that have continued to inspire and frame his music.

Currently, for release in early Spring 2016, Luke and the Band are prepping a new album named “TRENDING” that looks to the future of Soul in a breakthrough collection of new original tracks, described as “Retro Funk and Classic Soul, on the cutting edge of today’s soundscape of popular music, in the vein of throwback artists like The Weeknd, Chromeo and Bruno Mars”.

With numerous production and performing collaborations underway, Luke’s prolific song writing continues to fuel new touring plans for Canada and USA. For those lucky audiences, Luke’s exciting  live performance captures and projects the power and emotion of his ongoing journey to leverage and promote the timeless appeal of Soul and Motown music, while also leading it into the future.

Christmas Canada Pop Artists

Jocelyn Alice

About Jocelyn

Jocelyn Alice is a Canadian singer and songwriter with a fiercely powerful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and magnetic style influenced by her favourites such as Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Robyn, and Ed Sheeran. She is known for her flawless vocal control and extraordinary range of diverse pitches. Jocelyn’s debut single as a solo artist, the 2015 summer hit ‘Jackpot’, was certified Gold in Canada in early August 2015 and reached the top 15 on multiple Canadian commercial radio charts including #11 Mediabase Hot AC, #12 Billboard AC, #12 Billboard All-Format Airplay, and #14 Billboard CHR/Top 40. Jackpot also reached #12 on the Shazam Canada Top 100, #13 on the iTunes Canada Top 200 Pop Songs chart, and additional Billboard Canada chart peaks of #16 on Hot 100 Airplay and #38 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Prior to her solo career, Jocelyn and bassist Lisa Jacobs performed in the indie soul pop duo jocelyn & lisa (a unique sound-blend of pop, soul, reggae, and funk). Within their first two years they played nearly 300 shows (including NXNE and BreakOut West) and released an EP that charted #2 on CJSW. The duo was featured in the documentary, Crave, by LA filmmaker and best-selling novelist Erwin McManus, as well as in a Destination Calgary television commercial promoting Calgary internationally. Their single, Open Wide, off their 2012 album Weary Warrior was featured in the documentary, 1000 Days, by award-winning director Jeth Weinrich (Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk, 54-40), as well as the TV show Degrassi.

Jocelyn has co-written music featured on the hit TV shows One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, the movie Dear Santa, television commercials in Canada for Shaw TV and Tourism Calgary, and a USA nationwide Target television commercial. The cover single “So Groovy”, recorded by Jocelyn and Right The Stars for Target, has sold over 40,000 downloads and charted at #2 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart in America.

Jocelyn is currently writing and recording and will be releasing new solo material soon.