Get to know 2023 TikTok JUNO Fan Choice, Breakthrough Artist of the Year Presented by FACTOR, The Government of Canada and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, and Dance Recording of the Year nominee, Rêve in our “7 Questions With” series where we speak with first-time JUNO Award nominees from all genres.
Montreal-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Briannah Donolo aka Rêve (“dream” in French) was discovered when her performance of the national anthem at a Canadiens de Montréal game went viral. The last few years have seen her develop her sound with the likes of Joel Stouffer (Carly Rae Jepsen, Dragonette), among others. Rêve intends to create the soundscape that lives in her mind: playful, pop, and R&B influenced dance music that draws its inspirations from the heydays of 90s sophisticated Euro sound. Her major-label signing with Universal Music Canada acts as the first collaboration with Montreal production duo Banx & Ranx (Dua Lipa, Sean Paul, BLACKPINK and more), who co-sign her with UMC.
1. How does it feel to be nominated for a JUNO award?
It feels absolutely surreal! I remember watching a lot of my Canadian idols grace the Junos stage throughout the years and feeling so inspired. My family and I have watched the broadcast every year since I was a kid and to be a part of it this year and to have them in the audience is such an honor and a beautiful full circle moment.
2. Tell us a bit about your JUNO-nominated project.
“CTRL+ALT+DEL” is nominated for 3 awards this year! This song was written during the first wave of the pandemic when the world was feeling very dark and panicked. I flew home to Montreal in September of 2020 after being in lockdown for several months to work with Banx & Ranx on our first-ever batch of records. We had spent the first few days working on tracks that were very dark and moody, and in hindsight were somewhat reflective of the state of the world at the time. I remember walking in on day 4 or 5 and saying, “let’s get silly and write something feel-good today! If nothing comes to be, then so be it, but let’s take a stab at something fun and carefree”. We spent the next 12 hours laughing and trading stories about epic nights out – the nights where you would go out purely for the music and nothing else. We had a blast making the record and I’m so glad that the pure joy and fun that is at the heart of this track has resonated with so many people.
3. What has been the craziest moment of your music career to date?
Being a part of the JUNOS in such a meaningful way this year tops the list! To be nominated and also performing is such an incredible honour.
4. What’s your favourite lyric from this project, and why does it resonate with you so much?
There are so many fun lyrics in “CTRL ALT DEL,” but the one that resonates most is one of the simplest – “I came here for the music”. Music is the thread that connects this entire puzzle and is the universal language.
5. Which Canadian artist would you like to collaborate with and why?
The most difficult question of all! There are so many. The first one that comes mind is Kaytranada. I remember seeing some of his first ever sets as a teenager while going out in Montreal and it has been incredible to watch his rocket ship of a trajectory since. He is the epitome of a true tastemaker.
6. What would you like music fans to know about you? How would you introduce your music to new or soon-to-be fans?
Without sounding too cliché, I want music fans to know that the world of Rêve is a safe space for you to be unapologetically yourself. My music celebrates the good, bad, and complicated parts of our everyday lives and serves as both an escape and a deep dive. “CTRL + ALT + DEL” is one, very fun chapter of my musical diary. I am so excited that a song so full of joy gets to serve as the prologue. In 2023, I am excited to show fans (and future fans) more of the story and to tap into different frequencies than they’re used to hearing from me on the radio!
7. What’s next for you?
2023 is already shaping up to be an exciting year! I plan to release my debut album later this year. I’ve poured every ounce of my being into the project and I’m excited to show people a very heartfelt side of me. I’m doing my first-ever headline shows on March 23rd at the Axis Club in Toronto and on March 25th at Le Studio TD in my hometown, Montreal! We are also playing a ton of festivals across the country throughout the summer and I’m very grateful to get back out on the road to connect with everyone!
Rewatch every performance and memorable moment from The 2023 JUNO Awards broadcast, on CBC Gem, CBCMusic.ca/junos and The JUNO Awards social channels.