Velveteen Music Offers Juno Share to Niagara’s Andrew Goodwin

For years, Andrew Goodwin dreamed of being at the Juno Awards as a performer.

On Sunday night, the Niagara resident will have the next best thing: representing three nominees.

Goodwin will be at the awards show in Toronto as part of the Edmonton-based team velvet music team, which he joined last year as head of artist development.

“It’s an incredible experience,” he said over coffee two days before the show. “I can still be an artist – I can still write, still record. I can still pursue my own music. But I’m taking everything I’ve learned and hoping to help people who are starting their careers.

The independent production team will see three of its artists up for major awards on Sunday: Shawnee Kish for Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year; Tafari Anthony for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year and Jessia for Pop Album of the Year.

“That was cool,” Goodwin says of the day the nominees were announced.

“This year it’s just different because it was more of a team project.”

While pursuing his own music career, Goodwin, 28, came across a song online that he loved. He found a contact for the producers and offered to work with them. Only problem? They were in Edmonton.

He made the trip anyway and after two years of collaboration, Velveteen Music brought him on.

It’s the start of what he hopes will be a national expansion during what should be an explosion of new Canadian music over the next year, as artists have spent more time writing and recording during the pandemic than to turn.

“It’s a creative world and we all have to get along and have the same vision in mind, which is just trying to make great music with great people.”

If people are waiting for the post-pandemic Canadian music boom, Goodwin says it’s already here.

“You’re looking at the best music today – you’ve got The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Justin Bieber…all the biggest names are Canadian. I think they’ve laid the groundwork for young artists and I think there are some really good musical communities that are going to start to thrive as we come out of the pandemic.

Hosted by Simu Liu, the Juno Awards broadcast live on CBC Sunday at 8 p.m. Niagara artists Deadmau5, REZZ and DJ Shub are all up for awards.

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