Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 23 September 2019
The star Polaris is 408 light years from Earth. At the rate Haviah Mighty’s career has taken off, she should be there any day now!
The Brampton Hip Hop artist won it all Monday night at the Carlu Hall in Toronto. Not only did she win the Polaris Music Prize but her performance at the national music event broadcast by the CBC was rated stellar too.
The Polaris is a music award annually given to the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit. Mighty’s new album 13th Floor was deemed the country’s best. The award was established in 2006 and comes with a $50,000 cash prize.
On Monday night, a jury of 11 music experts came to the downtown Carlu to pick the best Canadian album of the year. Haviah Mighty made history becoming the first hip hop artist to win the grand prize.
On stage after capturing the Polaris Music Prize, Haviah Mighty explained what the 13th Floor winning album is all about:
"For me, the 13th floor is something that we remove from our reality because it is something that we don't understand and therefore we dismiss it. This is very parallel to so many of the experiences that I speak on, on this album."
She is a solo artist and member of Sorority, a Canadian rap group. She has been a big player in Toronto’s Caribbean music scene for many years but, as she also said in her winning speech, she has gotten "very few accolades and very little reward" she has gotten until now.
13th Floor beat out nine other artists and their albums. Making the short list were: Marie Davidson (Working Class Woman); Elisapie (The Ballad of the Runaway Girl); FET.NAT (Le Mal): Dominique Fils-Aimé (Stay Tuned!); Les Louanges (La nuit est une panthère), PUP (Morbid Stuff); Jessie Reyez (Being Human In Public); Shad (A Short Story About A War) and the Snotty Nose Rez Kids (Trapline). Last year Jeremy Dutcher won the prize.
“I had Mighty’s song “Blame on heavy rotation when I realized the artist raps that she’s “repping Queen Street and Kennedy,” said CBC News announcer Dwight Drummond. “That is when it dawned on me she is repping Brampton. Monday night the talented lyricist (from Brampton) won the Polaris Prize!”