Hip-hop artist Kaytranada has won the Polaris Prize for his album 99.9%.
“For me, it’s crazy to get this award,” said Kaytranada in a press release. “It’s really, truly, a big honour. It’s amazing. Ceci est pour Montréal, tous mes Montréalais. Shout outs to all of y’all. I want to thank the judges and everybody for voting for me. It’s an honour man, I don’t know what to say.”
The Prize, which goes to the best Canadian album of the year based on “artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation,” was determined by a Grand Jury of 11 music media professionals drawn from the greater Polaris jury pool of roughly 200 writers, editors, broadcasters, DJs and personalities from across the country.
Held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, the evening featured performances by seven of the 10 nominees, including include Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessy Lanza, Andy Shauf, White Lung and U.S. Girls. Grimes and Kaytranada were also in attendance. PUP, the other Short List nominated act, were on tour in Europe.
There were a number of high-profile testimonials on behalf of the various nominees throughout the evening. Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard spoke up for PUP, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes backed Carly Rae Jepsen, actor/director Amber Tamblyn talked up White Lung, rockfather Iggy Pop explained his appreciation for U.S. Girls, former Toronto Maple Leafs player Boyd Devereaux got behind Black Mountain and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy supported Andy Shauf.
The hosts for the evening were CBC’s Amanda Parris and Tom Power.