Announced July 15 on Canada’s CBC Music and CBC Listen, the 2021 Polaris Music Prize Short List has been confirmed. In case you missed it, watch the announcement airing again this Sunday July 18 at 6PM on CBC music.
The final ten albums will be highlighted each week on CBC Music radio. Each episode will provide a deep dive into the record leading up to the announcement of the final prize. The final winner will be announced on September 27, 2021 but will not be announced in Gala format due to the uncertainty of large gatherings. This year’s winner will receive an award of $50,000.
“This year’s Short List is an excellent snapshot of artists on the genreless, limitless vanguard of Canadian music. Congratulations to the nominees, and thank you to our devoted community of jurors for their time and care spent crafting this list. After the year everyone’s had, we all could use a moment of reprieve. Consider this your invitation to give all 10 remarkable albums a generous spin.”Melissa Vincent, Polaris jury foreperson
Among those in the running include The Orchard distributed album When Smoke Rises by Mustafa (Regent Park Songs). Mustafa, at just 23 years old, has become well known for his poetry. His insightful lyricism has garnered the attention of elite local artists, Drake and The Weeknd among them. It is only in the last few years that Mustafa channeled his poetry into music to release his first musical album When Smoke Rises. The album touches on personal topics including reference to several friends Mustafa has lost as a result of gun violence.