Kaytranada’s ‘99.9%’ Has Won The 2016 Polaris Music Prize
Kaytranada has won the 2016 Polaris Music Prize for the album 99.9%, besting the nine other albums on the Polaris Short List.
“For me, it’s crazy to get this award,” said Kaytranada. “It’s really, truly, a big honour. It’s amazing. Ceci est pour Montréal, tous mes Montréalais. Shout outs to all of y’all. I want to thank the judges and everybody for voting for me. It’s an honour man, I don’t know what to say.”
The Prize, which goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation,” was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of roughly 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.
Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by seven of the 10 nominees, including include Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, Andy Shauf, White Lung and U.S. Girls. Grimes and Kaytranada were also in attendance. PUP, the other Short List nominated act, were on tour in Europe.
There were a number of high-profile testimonials on behalf of the various nominees throughout the evening. Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard spoke up for PUP, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes backed Carly Rae Jepsen, actor/director Amber Tamblyn talked up White Lung, rockfather Iggy Pop explained his appreciation for U.S. Girls, former Toronto Maple Leafs player Boyd Devereaux got behind Black Mountain and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy supported Andy Shauf.
The hosts for the evening were CBC’s Amanda Parris and Tom Power.
The 2016 Polaris Music Prize Short List was:
Black Mountain – IV
Basia Bulat – Good Advice
Grimes – Art Angels
Carly Rae Jepsen – E•MO•TION
Kaytranada – 99.9%
Jessy Lanza – Oh No
PUP – The Dream Is Over
Andy Shauf – The Party
U.S. Girls – Half Free
White Lung – Paradise
The Grand Jury who decided the winner included Adrien Begrand (freelance), Lisa Christiansen (CBC Radio One – Vancouver), Del Cowie (CBC Music), Howard Druckman (SOCAN Words & Music), Lana Gay (Indie 88), Carla Gillis (NOW Magazine), Andrew King (Canadian Musician), Lisa Lagace (Turn The Record Over), Trevor Risk (Ion Magazine), Joni Sadler (CKUT) and Fateema Sayani (Ottawa Magazine).
“What an amazing group of jurors,” commented Katherine Duncan, who oversaw the Grand Jury. “Open, insightful, respectful and above all, willing to listen —and listen again — to the short listed albums, and to what their fellow jurors had to say. Beyond just choosing a great album, this year’s Polaris Music Prize short list challenged each member of the jury to question their deepest beliefs about the nature and purpose of music and why we love it.”
The prize’s past winners have included Buffy Sainte-Marie (2015), Tanya Tagaq (2014), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (2013), Feist (2012), Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009), Caribou (2008), Patrick Watson (2007) and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) (2006).