2015 Hero: Toronto Music Dominance
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2015 Hero: Toronto Music Dominance

Nominated for: owning the charts and showing what Toronto music is made of.

Torontoist is reflecting on 2015 by naming our Heroes and Villains—the people, places, things, and ideas that have had the most positive and negative impacts on the city over the past 12 months. Cast your ballot until midnight on January 7. At noon on January 8, we’ll reveal your choices for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year.

hotline bling

Toronto music artists rocked in 2015. And rolled, rapped, sang, jammed, hotline blinged and smashed the everloving heck out of anything else in their way.

From Drake to The Weeknd, to Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber (technically from Stratford but we’ll lump him in for sake of argument)—our artists truly made a lasting impact on this year’s global music scene.

At one point in 2015, Toronto artists completely dominated the Billboard top 10. Whether it was the impact of Drake (off the strength of “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” “Hotline Bling” and his Future collaboration), Alessia Cara (her hit “Here” owned the summer), Justin Bieber (“What Do You Mean” and “Sorry”) and The Weeknd (“The Hills,” “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey),” and the Michael Jackson-esque “Can’t Feel My Face”), it was a Toronto invasion as far as the charts were concerned. The Weeknd and Drake together spent countless consecutive weeks in Hot 100’s top 10.

Most importantly, the Toronto music scene was finally able to vanquish its inferiority complex. Call it the Drake effect: no longer will we feel that our musical output doesn’t measure up. Not that we will necessarily stop using American recognition as a commercial measuring stick, but there is a renewed sense of city pride and validation from the knowledge that Toronto is a known cultural entity worldwide.

Toronto’s music dominance thus deserves to be a 2015 hero. And from the 416 and 905, here’s to many more to come. To borrow the lyrics from The Weeknd, our recording artists have earned it.