Celebrating Asian Heritage Month: Spotlight on 2024 JUNO Nominees - The JUNO Awards

May is Asian Heritage Month, a period dedicated to celebrating the diverse culture and history of Asian communities in Canada and their remarkable contributions to Canada’s cultural landscape. During this month, the JUNOS are highlighting the extraordinary talents of Asian-Canadian musicians by featuring some of this year’s exceptional JUNO nominees.


Ginalina is a family folk musician who skillfully blends Chinese, Taiwanese, and Canadian cultural elements. Her music, instruments, and multilingual lyrics are deliberately intertwined to celebrate, preserve, and promote cultural diversity, friendship, and cross-cultural connections. This is evident in her JUNO-nominated children’s album, Going Back: Remembered and Remixed Family Folk Songs, Vol. 1, which offers a modern twist on traditional songs from China and Taiwan. Presented in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese, Ginalina’s album resonates with a wide demographic, including children, adults, the Asian diaspora, immigrant communities, and Canadians at large.

Cheng² Duo

Siblings Bryan Cheng and Silvie Cheng have been making music together for nearly their entire lives. With Bryan on the cello and Silvie on the piano, the duo officially debuted as Cheng² Duo in 2011 and have been making a global impact with their music ever since. Their 2024 JUNO-nominated album, Portrait, is a personal project with material rooted in the diverse nation of Asian heritage. The album features renditions of traditional Chinese folk songs and newly commissioned pieces by composers including Alexina Louie, Vincent Ho, Paul Wiancko, and Dinuk Wijeratne, all of whom boast Asian ancestries.

Kid Koala

Eric San, better known as Kid Koala, is a pioneering Chinese-Canadian scratch DJ, music producer, and multimedia artist. His innovative turntable techniques and unique style blend together genres like hip-hop, contemporary classical, blues, classic rock, and more. His album Creatures Of The Late Afternoon was nominated for Electronic Album of the Year and features 20 distinctive tracks that Kid Koala describes as a journey through his favourite musical universes via turntables. This collection includes instrumental tracks, guest vocalists, and even robot hotel interludes, pushing the boundaries of electronic music with its beat-driven, eclectic sound.


Since his debut in 2011, Breakthrough Artist of the Year nominee Shubh has swiftly risen to fame, amassing over 500 million streams within his first year of releasing music. With a substantial following within the Punjabi diaspora across Canada, the UK, the US, and Australia the rising rapper and singer has quickly become a notable name in the music industry. Known for his debut single “We Rollin”’ and the smash hit “Baller”, Shubh is transforming the genres of trap, hip-hop, and R&B with his ambitious vision and unique style, helping bring Punjabi music to the mainstream.

Josh Sahunta

Adult Contemporary Album of the Year nominee, Josh Sahunta is a South Asian artist who is proud to be representing a largely underrepresented group in the R&B-pop music space. Drawing influence from artists like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and The Weeknd, Sahunta is known for crafting deeply narrative and contemporary soundscapes. His JUNO-nominated album To Be Loved, Vol. 1 is a personal project featuring seven love songs written for his wife. The tracks explore profound emotions and have become particularly popular in the wedding and engagement scene worldwide. 

Feature image: Josh Sahunta performing at JUNOfest Presented by CBC Music. Halifax, NS. Photo credit: CARAS/Adam Roy Photography