Pierre Kwenders has won the 2022 Polaris Music Prize for the album José Louis And The Paradox Of Love.
A longstanding Stingray Music partner, Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.
“This is crazy, I don’t even know what to think. This is for all the kids from the diaspora, the African diaspora, moving in Canada. Sometimes you feel like you don’t know what you’re running into, or what you’re coming into. But there is hope, there is a place to live and dream and be yourself. This album, especially, is about being yourself and telling your own story. José Louis And The Paradox Of Love is there for you, you know, if you feel you can connect, connect! Let’s talk! Let’s have fun! Let’s be ourselves! Let’s love each other, while we are alive. Bisou!” – Pierre Kwenders
The gala, which was held at The Carlu in Toronto, Ontario, featured an evening-opening performance from Polaris 2021 winner Cadence Weapon as well as sets from Short List nominees Pierre Kwenders, Lisa Leblanc, Hubert Lenoir, Kelly McMichael, Ombiigizi, Ouri, Shad, Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Charlotte Day Wilson. Toronto act Fresh Pepper also interpreted two songs from Destroyer’s LABYRINTHITIS album.
This year’s Short List nominees were:
- Destroyer – LABYRINTHITIS
- Pierre Kwenders – José Louis And The Paradox Of Love
- Lisa Leblanc – Chiac Disco
- Hubert Lenoir – PICTURA DE IPSE : Musique directe
- Kelly McMichael – Waves
- Ombiigizi – Sewn Back Together
- Ouri – Frame of a Fauna
- Shad – TAO
- Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Life After
- Charlotte Day Wilson – ALPHA
Kwenders' victory came with a $50,000 monetary reward with the nine other Short List nominees each received $3,000 courtesy of Slaight Music.
Listen to the Polaris 2022 Long List Nominees channel
Listen to the Polaris 2006-2022 Shortlist Nominees channel