They might share the longest undefended border in the world but Canada and The USA are two very different countries. Culture and tastes, world-views and attitudes are very different, and the laws regarding everything from gun control to gambling, (just check out the difference between the Canadian Interac casinos, such as those that you can find here and the US equivalent) and from the regulations regarding everything from politics to religion. They are two very different countries indeed.
And for the Canadian music artist, recognition by their southern neighbor is so much more than breaking another country. Success in The USA is synonymous with a global career. There have always been artists who outgrow their Canadian homeland and, to many, are often seen as being US artists and it is a process that is happening more than ever in the modern music industry.
No one can deny that he isn’t a pop-rock superstar in the making. Ontario’s Shawn Mendes shook the music world when he became the first artist to have three hits on the adult contemporary chart before he even turned 20. When he was only 16, Time magazine had already named him on their list of the “25 Most Influential Teens in the World.” Two years later, Forbes recognized him as a “30 under 30” influencer. Shawn Mendes made an amazing start and shows no sign of slowing down.
Effortlessly blending the spark of pop music with the energy of punk music Canadian singer Avril Lavigne was immediately dubbed “The Pop Punk Queen.” Whilst still only 15, the singer-songwriter won a o contest to perform on stage with Shania Twain, another massive Canadian music export, in front of a crowd of over 20,000. Prophetically, Lavigne told Twain that she intended to become a famous singer. In 2002, aged only 17, Lavigne had released her smash hit, “Complicated,” which gained her a Juno Award and also a Grammy nomination.
Perhaps the most current and coolest of the three is the man born Aubrey Drake Graham. A Toronto-born rapper, singer-songwriter, and music producer, Drake drew widespread attention for his controversial and meme-worthy dance moves on his hit single, “Hotline Bling.”
But footwork aside, this Grammy and Juno-winning singer is certainly talented, having written a constant flow of hit tunes that have made the international, R&B/hip-hop, and rap charts.
Canada is a wonderful place, it has its own fantastic traditions and culture. But if you want to make it big in music The USA is still the place to head for, as these three enormous talents have proven.