You can say the artists we featured on this list last year did pretty well for themselves. Smiley got a Drake feature and became OVO Sound’s newest signee; Chiiild made his U.S. late-night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!; Mustafa became a bona fide star, opening Virgil’s final Louis Vuitton show and topping year-end lists everywhere, from the New York Times’ to ours.
Hey, look at them! Who woulda thought?
In 2022, things are about as uncertain as ever. We’ve still got a fast-mutating virus running wild, a conga line of anti-vaxxers raging against the government, and an increasingly distressed population that’s very much over it right now. But one thing we can count on is Canada steadily producing new artists spitting hot fire. It’s a constant that’s certainly helped get us through these messed-up times, and will continue to do so.
So, we’re highlighting a wide scope of rising homegrown artists—from Montreal rappers with worldwide appeal to Calgary-based lo-fi soul acts starting their own movements in the prairies—who are demanding our attention this year. Who knows, by December, some of them may even become household names.
Here are 30 Canadian artists to watch out for in 2022.