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Listen To The Polaris Sound Series: Diaspora Playlist

This playlist highlights the Canadian refugee and immigrant experience, featuring first- and second-generation immigrants to Canada from disparate locales. The diasporic vibes represented here is a Canadian-rooted sonic excursion conveying the shared hopes, disparate dreams and relatable reasons for leaving one home for another.

It’s important to note that while there is a connective energy to the immigrant diasporic experience, the first and second-generation Canadian artists on this list reflect different genres, sounds and modes of expression. Dimensionalizing immigration reveals that there is no single “immigrant experience,” but rather a collective sum of many disparate parts. The push and pull factors for why one might immigrate to Canada are many — be it fleeing a conflict zone, escaping personal, religious or gender related persecution, desiring greater economic opportunity or leaving with the goal to improve a standard of living and building a life in a new land.

Listen to songs by first- and second generation Canadian storytellers including past Polaris Music Prize Winners such as Afro-Indigenous Colombian musician Lido Pimienta, Haitian-Canadian DJ and record producer Kaytranada — along with appearances by past Polaris Music Prize nominees of immigrant heritage including Jessie Reyez, The Weeknd, Cold Specks, K’naan and Shad.

Curated by Ryan B. Patrick.

Supported by the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom.

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