For every pop-culture fan, music lover and celebrity watcher, Toronto was heaven on Sunday. Canadian broadcast channel and digital content creator MUCH had taken over the city for its annual award show. The MUCH Music Video Awards (the MMVA’s), has a reputation for pulling an impossible cast of performers, presenters and hosts to Toronto for the show, and they didn’t disappoint this year.
Ed Sheeran was on hand to co-host the show, and he spoke a little bit about Canada’s significance to his career. “Canada was one of the first places outside the UK to accept me,” he told the press backstage at the show. Fittingly, Sheeran nabbed two awards that night, Most Buzzworthy International Artist and Best International Artist for his ballad “Thinking Out Loud”.
The MMVA Red Carpet pre-show has also become an essential part of the night. Artists compete to have the most over the top entrances. This year pop-punk band Marianas Trench walked the carpet in jet skis and colourful underwear, meanwhile Jamican singer Omi had a group of cheerleaders in tow.
MUCH also peppered its awards show broadcast with original content from comedian Jus Reign, who is one of the network’s digital content creators. The limelight on artists who’ve proven themselves over the Internet is a testament to how far media has come. MUCH is definitely owed some credit for adapting to that shifting paradigm, and giving Canadian content creators a voice.
R&B crooner The Weekend, who grew up in a suburb not to far from the award show’s venue, was one the most acclaimed artists of the night. He took home four awards including Most Buzzworthy Canadian and Best Pop Video . As an artist who pretty much always skips interviews and press appearances- as he did at the MMVA’s- it’s remarkable he’s been able to generate so much enthusiasm for his career.
Toronto hip-hop made a strong showing at the awards as well. Rapper P.Reign picked up an award for Best Hip-Hop Video for “DnF”. Drake, who was a guest feature on the original track, made an appearance to present the award. “I never really expected to win awards,” said Reign, discussing his career in the pressroom. Drake’s fingerprints were on more than just Reign’s award, his past collaborators and OVO label signees Majid Jordan got acclaim for their video for “Forever”, which won Best MUCH Fact Video. That particular nod is reserved for artists supported by a MUCH grant to produce their video.
“Who the fuck doesn’t love Canada?” said Nate Ruess , front man from the band fun.,while speaking to the press backstage. Ruess’ sentiments definitely speak to the overwhelming love that the artists showed to Canada and Toronto on Sunday. “We’re definitely at the forefront now with some of the biggest talent,” said Reign, speaking on Canada as a destination for music, and Toronto as a hip-hop city.
The MMVA’s were no doubt another chance for the city to establish its relevance as a hub for culture, original content and great talent. The stacked roster of presenters, performers and artists on Sunday speaks volumes on what to expect from the great white north.