In this series, we will be profiling music professionals from all facets of the industry to learn more about their involvement in the CARAS Academy Delegate program.
Keziah Myers is the Executive Director of ADVANCE Canada’s Black Music Business Collective, an organization leading the change in developing an infrastructure for the betterment, upliftment, and retention of Black people in the music business. As an Academy Delegate, Keziah enjoys learning more about the nominated artists each year. She has been a member of the program since 2020.
What inspired you to become an Academy Delegate?
My position in the music industry pushed me to want to have my voice heard when it came to the JUNOS.
Why is it important to be active in the Canadian music industry?
In order for us to see our favourite creators highlighted, it is important to stay involved in the process. We have the opportunity to vote on the nominees, and that is how they win. It is an honour to be able to push your favourite artists, songwriters and producers to the top.
What do you enjoy most about being an Academy Delegate?
I enjoy learning about creators that I may have not known. There are so many categories, and my love of music is so diverse that I take the time to go through each category and learn a little about the artists that are nominated
“It is an honour to be able to push your favourite artists, songwriters and producers to the top.” – Keziah Myers
Why do you think it’s important to promote and celebrate Canadian music and artists?
Our Canadian artists are globally renowned and have been for many years. There is a special sound that comes from Canada, and it has a lot to do with how diverse we are. We are able to hear so many genres and create a new sound that positively affects how people feel around the world. When we promote and celebrate Canadians, we increase our national pride. We show how we celebrate difference.
Why is diversity within the Academy Delegate program and the Canadian music industry so essential?
It is crucial to have diversity so that we have different voices and different winners that grace the stage. If the voting body is not diverse then the winners will not be diverse. This can also be associated with the categories. It is because of diversity that more categories are included, and some categories are changed to better represent the genre.
Diversity is great, but the inclusion and celebration of that diversity is what makes me want to tell everyone to join as a delegate. The same way I want to tell everyone to remember to vote in a federal election. It allows us to be a part of the change. It allows us to see ourselves represented.
What has been your favourite JUNOS moment? / What are you most excited about for the upcoming JUNO Awards?
Favourite JUNO moment was 2011 when Drake was nominated! I had worked with that team and was close with the main contributors on the project. Being able to see a friend on that stage, hosting the awards show, and killing the charts, was amazing. It was part of the reason I am here today.
I am excited to be in person with everyone at the upcoming awards. I am also excited to see what CARAS has in store for the upcoming show. ADVANCE has been working with the JUNOS, and this partnership is historical. We presented the traditional R&B award for 2021, as the first Black led organization to ever present at the JUNOS. I am looking forward to continuing the partnership, and showing the community that their voices are heard.
Why should fellow industry members apply to be a CARAS Academy Delegate?
To have your voice heard – to have a say in which great Canadian talent wins. To highlight the up and coming talents.