23 CANADIAN ARTISTS TO LISTEN TO IN 2023
BY BRENESSA ROACH | JANUARY 7 2023
This article will recommend you 23 Canadian artists that made an impact in 2022 and will definitely make an even bigger impact in 2023. With 2022 being a year where COVID restrictions started to lift and live entertainment started up again, artists were able to grow their fanbase and perform live.
Check out these 23 artists:
Nilo Blues is an independent R&B rapper and singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. He made his debut on digital streaming platforms in January 2020 with his song “No Risk Involved.” In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nilo released his self-titled EP Nilo Blues on August 14, 2020. This EP features his hit song “Nicotiana” which hit one billion streams in the summer of 2022.
In July 2022, Nilo hit the stage as an opening act for Korean R&B singer GSoul. He performed a 30 minute set for GSoul’s sold out show in Toronto at Hard Luck Bar, pleasing the crowd with his songs “Nicotiana” and “what it’s like”. Considering Nilo Blues opened for one of the best Korean R&B singers in the industry, you definitely need to check his music out too.
Listen to “Nicotiana” by Nilo Blues on Spotify:
Check out Nilo Blues on Instagram: @bluelikenilo
Luna Li is a multi-instrumentalist Korean-Canadian artist based in Toronto, Canada. She self-released her first EP Opal Angel on October 10, 2017 with her title track under the same name currently sitting at 1.3 million streams on Spotify. During the pandemic, she started posting home jam session videos to Twitter, which eventually went viral accumulating millions of views. This lead to her getting signed by AWAL (in Canada) and In Real Life (for the rest of the world), which helped with the release of her second EP titled jams, featuring her most streamed song “2516” which has 9.1 million streams on Spotify.
In September 2021, Luna Li gained more exposure by touring with Japanese Breakfast as the opening act. Following that tour, Luna Li released her debut album Duality in March 2022 and embarked on her first North America headline tour and later in the fall opening for Wolf Alice.
Listen to “2516” by Luna Li on Spotify:
Check out Luna Li on Instagram: @lunalilunalilunali
JUNNY is a Korean-Canadian singer-songwriter from Vancouver, Canada. He is signed to Mauve Company. He made his debut to digital streaming platforms in April 2017 with his first EP Monochrome. While in Vancouver, JUNNY was posting on SoundCloud when a producer contacted him saying that Luhan from EXO wanted to buy his song (source: (K-Pop Daebak Show With Eric Nam). Following that, in 2018 JUNNY decided to relocate to Seoul, South Korea to pursue his music career. He has produced/written songs for Korean artists such as NCT Dream, NCT 127, IU, EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai and collaborated with pH-1, punchnello, Kid Milli and more. As well, he has created OSTs (Original Soundtracks) for the following K-Dramas; It’s Okay To Be Sensitive, The Witch’s Diner and Behind Every Star.
In August 2022, JUNNY released his debut album blanc featuring the title track “Not About You” which gained 1.2 million streams. Following the release of his album, JUNNY embarked on his first North American tour with sold out shows in Vancouver, Toronto and San Francisco.
Listen to “By My Side” by JUNNY on Spotify:
Check out JUNNY on Instagram: @jnkmsc
nodisco. is an indie-pop singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. He made his debut in September 2019 with his single “Thoughts From Your Car” which currently has 3.4 million streams. He released his first album Who Knew I’d Write Songs About You? on May 20, 2021.
In April 2022, nodisco. performed at his first sold out headline show in Toronto at The Drake Underground. His latest single “Break My Fall” released in December 2022. Seeing that he sold out his first show in Toronto, I think the future holds more sold out shows for him in Toronto and potentially during a North American tour?
Listen to “Thoughts From Your Car” by nodisco. on Spotify:
Magi Merlin is an r&b/soul singer based in Montreal, Canada. She is signed to Bonsound records and released her newest single “DOLLA BILL” on November 8, 2022. She started posting music to Spotify in January 2019 with her first EP On My Way to the Listening Party.
On March 5, 2021 she released her second EP Drug Music. With the release of this EP, she was the first performer at the famous Montreal music festival Osheaga in the summer of 2021. In May 2022, she released her first album titled Gone Girl, which features her most streamed song “Pissed Black Girl” which currently sits at 141K streams. She performed again last minute at Osheaga 2022, replacing BIA who couldn’t attend (Source: Le Canal Auditif). With the success of her performances at Osheaga, she will definitely go on to perform more and at even bigger festivals in 2023 and onwards.
Listen to “Pissed Black Girl” by Magi Merlin on Spotify:
Check out Magi Merlin on Instagram: @magimerlin
YSN Fab also known by his real name Jamiah Fabian Brown is a rapper from Winnipeg, Canada with over 192K monthly listeners. He released his first single “Nobody Loyal” in December 2018. This song is his most streamed song with over 8 million streams. He released three more singles throughout 2019, followed by the release of his debut album Made 4 More on January 3, 2020. This album started to gain attention, along with the music videos he posted to his YouTube channel. With the rise in popularity, in August 2020 he released a deluxe version of Made 4 More which included seven more songs.
Since 2020, YSN Fab has released two albums; Winnipegs Anomaly in November 2020 and Made 4 More 2 in December 2021. He also released an EP in between in February 2021 titled Young, Black & Ambitious and several singles.
2022 opened up many doors for YSN Fab by performing live for CBC Music’s Beyond the 6 in February 2022 to making it on Spotify’s Northern Bar playlist multiple times. He finished off 2022 with his latest single from November titled “GOT IT ON LOCK”.
Listen to “Nobody Loyal” by YSN Fab on Spotify:
Check out YSN Fab on Instagram: @ysnfab
Zeina is an R&B singer-songwriter born in Brooklyn, USA and raised in Montreal, Canada. She is Lebanese and speaks English, French, Arabic, and Spanish. She released her first single “Washing Machine” to digital streaming platforms in November 2016. Her debut album Odd One Out was released on October 6, 2017. She continued to release singles through the years of 2018 and 2019. In April 2020, she released her single “Suburbs” which currently sits at 2 million streams. In the following year, she released her first single “Teach” with Artist Partner Group in May 2021.
She gained a lot of attention in 2022 with her single “Give Me Time” which was released on July 7, 2022. This song got added and continues to be added to many playlists curated by Spotify and even peaked at 41 on the Viral 50 playlist for Canada in August 2022. Since then, Zeina released a single “Ur Loss” last month on December 9. In 2023, hopefully Zeina can release another album and potentially have some live performances.
Listen to “Give Me Time” by Zeina on Spotify:
Check out Zeina on Instagram: @zeinamates
John Concepcion is a Filipino-Canadian R&B/Soul singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He released his first single “Blessings” to Spotify in February 2019. His most popular song “HITMYLINE” which currently has 6.5 million streams was released in April 2019. For the rest of 2019 until the end of 2021, John self-released many singles and began working with hit songwriters and producers. In January 2022, he released his single “FYS” which is where I first discovered him as it was featured on Spotify’s Mood Ring playlist – a playlist dedicated to Canadian R&B artists. Following that single, on February 11, 2022 he self-released his first EP It’s Just Luv.
After the release of his EP, he co-wrote the song “Show It” which was released in June 2022 on Chris Brown’s Grammy-nominated album Breezy. John eventually signed a deal with Venice Music releasing his first song “Inhale Exhale” with the company in September 2022 and ending the year off with a Christmas song titled “All You Want”. With his record deal with Venice Music and his songwriting skills, we can definitely expect to see multiple projects in 2023.
Listen to “HITMYLINE” by John Concepcion and Vinsint on Spotify:
Check out John Concepcion on Instagram: @johnconcepcion
Jades Goudreault is an indie-pop singer-songwriter originally from Montreal, Canada and currently based in Los Angeles, USA. She started posting music in June 2017 with her single “Bow Down”. Throughout 2019 and 2020, Jades came out with a few singles and then finally dropped her EP titled Motel 6…peaches in the bathtub in August 2020. This EP features her song “purple circles” which currently has 2.7 million streams. In October 2020, she released a follow up EP titled Motel 6…paranoia which included one extra song “paranoia”. Furthermore, in November 2020 she released another follow up EP Motel 6 which included a new song “motel 6”.
In January 2021, she finally released her first album Motel 6 (Bonus Track) which features the song “nuh uh”. This song currently has 8.6 million streams after gaining attention through Jades TikToks. In particular, she first posted a TikTok titled “showing my singing teacher the song I wrote for BLACKPINK”. In the comments, she says that she originally wrote it with two other people for the KPOP group BLACKPINK but then ended up releasing it as her own song.
Since then, she had two placements in the TV shows: FOX’s ‘Almost Family’ and The CW’s ‘Katy Keene’ (Starring Lucy Hale). As well, she has been featured on many official Spotify curated playlists. Some include: Fresh Finds, New Music Friday Canada and Young & Free (Source: Voyage LA Interview with Jades Goudreault).
Listen to “nuh uh” by Jades Goudreault on Spotify:
Check out Jades Goudreault on Instagram: @itsmejades
MICO is an independent Filipino-Canadian singer from Toronto, Canada. He started releasing songs to digital streaming platforms in July 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. His first single was a collaboration song with David Alexander titled “Ride”. Followed by the release of that single, MICO released his debut EP 21st century heartbreak on July 30, 2020. This EP features one of his hit singles “who do you love”. During 2021, MICO grew his TikTok by posting singing videos. His one TikTok singing the Sam & Cat theme song went viral and currently has 3.2 million views.
Almost 2 years after the release of his first EP, MICO released his second thoughts EP in July 2022 which features his most streamed song “down!”. This song is currently his most streamed song at 5.1 million streams. In November 2022, MICO performed at his first show in Toronto alongside Egyptian-Canadian singer Elko.
Listen to “down!” by MICO on Spotify:
Check out MICO on Instagram: @micotoronto
Kira Huzar, commonly known by her stage name LOONY is an R&B singer from Scarborough, Ontario. She began releasing music in March 2018 with her debut single “A Small Flame”. Following the release of two more singles, she released her debut EP Part I on October 25, 2018. In 2019, she released a song titled “Some Kinda Love” which was nominated the following year for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize (Source: Exclaim). In 2020, Elton John even featured her song in his radio show called Beats1 (Source: CBC Music).
In June 2021, she released her first album soft thing that features her most streamed song “raw” which currently has 14.1 million streams. In 2022, the album was listed under the Polaris Music Prize Long List.
Listen to “raw” by LOONY on Spotify:
Check out LOONY on Instagram: @loonymoonchild
sunsetto is an alternative/indie singer-songwriter and producer originally from Nova Scotia and currently based in Toronto, Canada. He is currently signed to Sony Music Canada. He released his debut single “don’t leave” on July 6, 2021. This song is his most streamed song of 404K. Since then, sunsetto has released six more singles.
Listen to “don’t leave” by sunsetto on Spotify:
Check out sunsetto on Instagram: @sunsetto
ari hicks is a singer from Toronto, Canada who combines pop with elements of r&b, dark alternative and electronic music. She started posting videos to YouTube in April 2016 with her first cover of “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off”. In 2017, ari was the face of Love Magazine’s 17th Issue which was actually shot by Kendall Jenner (Source: Hybe Bae). She officially started releasing music in February 2020 with her debut single “Nothin but a monster”. By August 14, 2020, Ari released her first EP DIOT GIRL which currently has over 1.5 million streams in total. On October 30, 2020, she released her single “Kiss Me, Kill Me”. This song has over 2.5 million streams, making it her most streamed song as of now.
Listen to “Kiss Me, Kill Me” by ari hicks on Spotify:
Check out ari hicks on Instagram: @arihicks
Maurice Moore is an R&B singer from Ottawa, Canada. In November 2015, Maurice started working with a Toronto based management company called Dimitros Management Group and released his first single “Ready”. He released a few more singles and then released his song “The Loudest Silence” on January 6, 2016. This song is his most streamed song of 31.1 million streams. In November 2017, Maurice released his first album titled The Amber Room. He was said to be “Canada’s Next R&B Star” by CBC Television (Source: Famous Birthdays: Maurice Moore).
Maurice has also worked on songs for artists such as; KPOP group NCT (NCT U’s “90’s Love” & “OK!”, NCT 2020’s “RESONANCE” and NCT DREAM’s “Ridin”), KPOP group EXO (”Chill)”, JYDN HILL (“Who Do You Love?”) and more. In 2022, Maurice has been featured on Spotify curated playlists such as; Mood Ring, Contemporary Blend, Channel-X and more. Although Maurice has been in the industry for many years, I hope to see his music and fanbase grow in 2023.
Listen to “The Loudest Silence” by Maurice Moore on Spotify:
Check out Maurice Moore on Instagram: @mauricemoore
Devon Cole is a pop singer-songwriter originally from Calgary and currently based in Toronto, Canada. During the pandemic, she worked on her first single “July for the Whole Year” which was released in September 2020. That single alone currently has over 3 million streams. On November 17, 2021, Devon released her debut album Party For One.
During 2021, Devon started to grow her TikTok. On May 31, 2022 Devon posted a TikTok video of a snippet of her new song “W.I.T.C.H” which gained over 12 million views. Devon signed a record deal with Arista Records (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) and released the song “W.I.T.C.H” on July 7, 2022. This is her most streamed song of 34.1 million streams. Her last single of 2022 was “Hey Cowboy” which was released in October.
In 2023, hopefully she will release another album and potentially maybe we can expect some live performances?
Listen to “W.I.T.C.H” by Devon Cole on Spotify:
Check out Devon Cole on Instagram:@devonmcole
Drew Tarves, commonly known as young friend is an indie-alt bedroom pop singer from Vancouver, Canada. He released his first single “Hills” in January 2019. By July 2019, he released his debut album yours kindly. Multiple singles came out throughout the years of 2019 and 2020. On March 4, 2021, he released “PINCH ME” which is currently his most streamed song of 20.5 million streams.
In May 2022, young friend signed to Nettwerk Music Group and released the single “CRASH COURSE”. On October 7, 2022, young friend released his second EP HOW DID WE GET HERE?. He ended off the year with one more release titled little pieces. With the record deal at Nettwerk Music Group and the release of his second EP, hopefully 2023 brings him a full length album and maybe some headlining shows.
Listen to “PINCH ME” by young friend on Spotify:
Check out young friend on Instagram: @youngfriend
dee holt is a pop singer-songwriter from Montreal, Canada. She debuted on November 13, 2020 with her single “Hardest Part” which was a collaboration with Xavierr Dior. In 2021, she released three singles; “Olivia”, “BLUEBLUEBLUE” and “This Time”. In 2022, she signed to Nettwerk Music Group and released her first EP When I Close My Eyes on May 6, 2022. This EP features her most streamed songs “Nobody Like You” and “Picture” (a collaboration with Chris James) which both currently have 1.8 million streams. She ended off the year with a single in November titled “Sober”.
Listen to “Nobody Like You” by dee holt on Spotify:
Check out dee holt on Instagram: @_deeholt
Clay and Friends is a band from Montreal, Canada that blends the genres of hip-hop, soul, funk and alternative. The band formed in April 2016 consisting of Mike Clay, Clément Langlois-Légaré (guitarist), Pascal Boisseau (bassist), Émile Désilets (keyboardist) and Adel Kazi (Source: SOCAN Magazine). They released their first single “Don’t Need” followed by the release of their debut album “Conformpolis” in March 2017. In December 2018, they released their single “Going up the Coast”, which is their hit song of 16.3 million streams. The following month in January 2019, they released an EP titled La Musica Popular De Verdun. A year later in 2020, they released their second EP titled Grouillades.
In November 2021, their third EP AGUÀ was released, followed by the release of an extended album AGUÀ EXTEND’EAU on June 10, 2022. With the release of their newest album, they performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 2022.
Listen to “Going up the Coast” by Clay and Friends on Spotify:
Check out Clay and Friends on Instagram: @clayandfriends
Zoe, known by her artist name earth2zoe is a pop singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. She is a relatively new artist since she started releasing music in November 2021 with her debut single “Hallie’s Song”. In May 2022, she released another single “ok bye” followed by “Count on Me” in July and “amnesia” in September. Zoe has also been featured on Spotify curated playlists such as “IT’S A BOP” and “indie pop & chill”.
In terms of live performances, Zoe performed on September 7, 2022 at Supermarket in Toronto for her “earth2zoe Takes On The World” fundraising show for Plan Canada. Hopefully 2023 will be the year that Zoe performs more and releases an EP or album.
Listen to “Hallie’s Song” by earth2zoe on Spotify:
Check out earth2zoe on Instagram: @earth2zoe
GUS is an indie-pop singer from Oakville, Canada. In 2015, GUS released a song on YouTube titled “Breaking Out” in support of the Toronto Blue Jays making the playoffs. His first official song titled “Bent & Broken” was released in July 2018. He released four more singles in 2018.
In 2019, GUS was the opening act for Johnny Orlando’s Teenage Fever North American Tour. Followed by the tour, in September 2019 he released the song “Miss You” which is currently his most popular song of 5.5 million streams. He continued to release singles through the years of 2020 and 2021. On July 27, 2022 he released his first EP The Humid Summer. Since then, he hasn’t released anything but hopefully this just means he is working on new music for 2023.
Listen to “Miss You” by GUS on Spotify:
Check out GUS on Instagram: @youlovegus
noelle is an emerging r&b/pop artist from the Indigenous reserve Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario, Canada. She started posting videos to YouTube in October 2012 with her cover of “Come Home” by One Republic ft Sara Bareilles. In 2017, she signed a record deal with Wax Records and released two singles “Sad World” and “Never Forget You” two years later on February 21, 2020. She released a few more singles throughout 2020 and 2021. Her most notable single “Therapy” was released on June 25, 2021.
She started 2022 off with the release of her first EP 30k which featured “therapy” and five new songs. She released a few more singles throughout 2022 and ended the year with a song titled “Daydreaming” which was a collaboration with Virginia to Vegas.
Listen to “Therapy” by noelle on Spotify:
Check out noelle on Instagram: @noelleofficial
Jaguar Sun is a solo project created by Chris Minielly, a singer and multi instrumentalist from Ontario, Canada. He is a dream-pop artist who mixes elements of folk and alternative. He is signed to Born Losers Records. His first release was on May 18, 2018 with three singles; “That Night”, “Eyes” and “Cold Wind”. He released multiple singles throughout 2019, his most popular one being “Forever and More” which was released in December 2019. He released his first EP Blooms in April 2021. A year later, in May 2022, he released his second EP Broken Record followed by a full-length album All We’ve Ever Known on June 24, 2022.
His last single of the year was a collaboration with Husbands on the song “First Time Callar”. As for this year in 2023, we can expect some performances from Jaguar Sun starting with a show on January 14 in Toronto at Lee’s Palace alongside Theo Vandenhoff, J3M and Dilettante.
Listen to “Forever and More” by Jaguar Sun on Spotify:
Check out Jaguar Sun on Instagram: @jaguar__sun
MUNYA (pronounced as Moon-yuh) is a singer-songwriter from Saguenay, Quebec and currently based in Montreal. She records, produces and writes all her music by herself and classifies her musical style as “New Synth Folk” with elements of pop, indie, R&B and dance (Source: Spotify Artist Page). She is signed to Luminelle Records. She debuted in May 2018 with the release of three singles; “Hatley”, “Trop Tard” and “Des Bisous Partout”. She released multiple singles in 2018, 2019 and 2020. One of her most streamed singles is a song called “It’s All About You” which was released in January 2019. In September 2021, she appeared on Young & Sick’s album “BROTHER” for the song “ANGELS” which is her most streamed song of 3.5 million. By November 2021, she released her first album Voyage to Mars.
Listen to “ANGELS” by MUNYA and Young & Sick on Spotify:
Check out MUNYA on Instagram: @munyamusic
You can find these 23 artists with their most streamed song on our Spotify playlist below: