Regina-born artist Jessica Burnett, known as the artist LOA, has been nominated in the first ever Saskatchewan Music Awards for Electronic Artist of the Year.
“Music to me is literally my life,” LOA said. “I can’t think of a time since I was about three that I wasn’t involved . . . I was just fumbling my way through university, my mother would always be like ‘I don’t know why you aren’t just doing music, why aren’t you studying music?’ ”
LOA has performed across Western Canada, Toronto, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Saskatchewan Music Awards will take place Nov. 25 at The Exchange in Regina’s Warehouse District.
“A lot of Saskatchewan artists are doing quite well,” said Ben Valiaho, SaskMusic Admin Assistant. “Not only in Saskatchewan but also around the world, and this is a nice way to highlight and honour them.”
Valiaho noted the importance of urban genres such as electronic and hip hop in Saskatchewan.
“Especially with the way technology has advanced for those sorts of genres, there’s a lot of ways that you can become quite a large producer or quite a large artist from a very do-it-yourself kind of attitude and studio set-up,” said Valiaho. “And those genres are quite healthy and celebrated.”
There are Artist of the Year awards for alternative, avant garde/experimental, country, electronic, hip hop, metal/loud, rock/pop, roots/folk, and Indigenous. There are also awards for Single of the Year, Breaking Borders, Industry Achievement, Venue of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best Saskatchewan Albums.
“I think Saskatchewan is often overlooked,” LOA said. “First of all they don’t know how to pronounce [it] . . . There’s not necessarily a lot of things that are going to draw attention to this province aside from the music, if anything people should pay attention to the music because there’s so many great artists here.”
The Saskatchewan Music Awards begin Saskatchewan Music Week, ending in Saskatoon with the Very Prairie: Saskatchewan Music Summit, where artists and industry professionals can connect.
“SaskMusic to me is kind of an umbrella,” LOA said. “It’s a support group and it’s done a lot for the province in terms of bringing together artists and being able to support them financially, also with advice and kind of just pushing everyone to the next level.”
Tickets to the awards are $20 in advance and there will be performances by Andino Suns, Megan
Nash, T-Rhyme and others. The awards start at 7:30 pm.