Polaris short list includes past winners Kaytranada, Lido Pimienta, Caribou

TORONTO — Three past winners of the prestigious Polaris Music Prize have another shot at the title.

DJ and record producer Kaytranada, interdisciplinary musician and visual artist Lido Pimienta, and electronic composer Caribou have all made the short list for the $50,000 Canadian honour.

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The Polaris is held in high esteem in the music world as it recognizes the best full-length Canadian album from the previous year based on artistic merit, not on sales or genre.

Montreal-based Kaytranada (a.k.a. Louis Kevin Celestin), who won the prize in 2016, made the cut this time for "Bubba."

Toronto-based Pimienta, a 2017 winner, is in the running for "Miss Colombia."

And 2008 winner Caribou, masterminded by Dundas, Ont.-raised Dan Snaith, is a contender for "Suddenly."

The short list was announced on a CBC Music radio broadcast on Wednesday.

The 10 finalists also include Grammy-nominated, Toronto-based R&B-pop artist Jessie Reyez for her debut full-length album, "Before Love Came to Kill Us."

Reyez can also be heard on another shortlisted album: "Studio Monk" by Junia-T of Toronto, who is also Reyez's tour DJ and combines a variety of genres, including hip-hop and R&B.

Transgender rapper and producer Backxwash of Montreal is on the list with the sophomore album "God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It."

Other contenders include the self-titled album from Pantayo, a Toronto-based, all-women, queer Filipinx ensemble that combines traditional kulintang music from the Philippines with pop influences.

First Nations indie rockers nehiyawak of Edmonton are in the running with the debut album "nipiy," a collection of songs heavily inspired by the Idle No More movement.

The list also includes "Heavy Light" by U.S. Girls, the solo project of Toronto-based multi-genre artist Meghan Remy; and the Ethio jazz/R&B/hip-hop fusion "DNA Activation" by singer-songwriter Witch Prophet of Toronto.

The group of finalists was whittled down from a long list of 40 contenders, who included the Weeknd and Daniel Caesar.

A team of journalists, broadcasters, and bloggers will decide the winner.

Organizers usually announce the winner at a gala event, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they're doing a webcast on Oct. 19.

The special will air on the CBC Gem streaming service, CBC Music's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, and at CBCMusic.ca/Polaris.

Last year Toronto rapper Haviah Mighty won the prize for "13th Floor," becoming the first female rapper to claim the Polaris.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 15, 2020.

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