N.B. singer Mia Martina among Juno nominees

For the past 40 years, the Canadian music industry has honoured the incredible wealth of musical talent within our borders, rewarding them with the highly coveted Juno Awards.

On Sunday, the Juno awards will be broadcast on CTV at 9 p.m.

While there are many familiar names on this year’s list of nominees including Justin Bieber, Arcade Fire, Johnny Reid and rap superstar Drake, a number of Atlantic Canadians have managed to find their way onto some high profile ballots.

Halifax rapper Classified is nominated in the category of Single Of The Year for last year’s patriotic hit Oh Canada while Newfoundland natives Great Big Sea are up for Group Of The Year.

Having made impressive in-roads in the United States with her full-length debut The Cricket’s Orchestra, Halifax’s Meaghan Smith has deservedly received a nod in the New Artist Of The year category. Francophone rap sensations Radio Radio cap an impressive 2010, having received a Juno nomination in the category of Francophone Album Of The Year.

One of the biggest success stories to emerge from the Maritimes in the past six months however has been that of pop artist Mia Martina.

A native of St. Ignace, near Richibucto, Martina rode to the top of the charts with a remix of Edward Maya’s track Stereo Love she performs on. The single has achieved platinum status here in Canada and is nominated for a Juno for Dance Recording of the Year. Not bad for a musician that initially started as an intern at her record label.

“I did start as an intern at CP Records,” an affable Martina says. “I was working in the office filing paperwork and whatever other odd jobs I got assigned.”

Martina got up the gumption to submit a demo tape to the CEO of the company who in turn liked what he heard of the New Brunswicker and had her accompany label mate Danny Fernandes on his single Dream Catcher.

In respect to her Juno nomination, Martina says that she couldn’t be more excited.

“It is such an honour just to be recognized, especially with my very first single. I have been in the music industry for less than a year, so everything is still very new to me but I can honestly say that I am living my dream.”

With a full-length record due from Martina in the summer, she is currently dividing her time between working on her debut and touring throughout the United States.

“I have performed somewhere in the vicinity of 80 shows in the U.S. since September and I couldn’t ask for better reception from audiences. A lot of the shows I am playing are sold out so it is nice to see everything coming together.

“But honestly, I can’t wait to get back to Canada to tour, especially the Maritimes,” she says.

“I have been touring the States so much that I am really looking forward to getting back to my home.”

Article published March 25, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript

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