Up-and-Coming Canadian Musicians: 5 to Keep Your Eye On

Published on February 4, 2021

Canadian female musician, Shay Lia, lounging on a chair

One of my favourite things to do in my downtime is cozy up with my laptop and a glass of wine and scroll through music blogs. I love listening to songs I haven’t heard before. It makes me feel like I am an explorer, discovering new continents. Now, I finally get to put my research to use. Here are five up-and-coming Canadian musicians to keep your eye on in 2021.


For all you dreamers looking for a new song to listen to while you dance around your living room, meet Chiiild. Chiiild is an experimental soul group based in Montreal. They released their debut album Synthetic Soul in 2020. The album includes seven songs that you just can’t help but sway to.

Must Listen: Pirouette

Chiiild – Pirouette (Audio)

Head and shoulders photo of Chiiild, one of 5 up-and-coming Canadian musicians
Chiild is one of the up-and-coming Canadian musicians on our Toast list | Image credit Spotify

Cat Clyde

Nostalgic for a simpler time? Cat Clyde’s songs spin stories that transport you to another place. Her voice has a bluesy element that conveys that she has felt everything you’ve felt in your life, maybe even more. In 2020, she released Good Bones, an album of acoustic versions of songs from her first two albums.

Must Listen – Mama Said

Cat Clyde – Toaster (Official Music Video)

Wearing a red shirt, Cat Clyde is one of our 5 up-and-coming Canadian musicians
Our up-and-coming Canadian musicians list features Cat Clyde | Image Credit: Bandsintown

Ocie Elliot

This musical duo’s harmonies will make you fall in love with love all over again. Sierra Lundy and Jon Middleton met by chance in Salt Springs, and when you listen to them sing together, you’ll know it was destiny. Ocie Elliot is based in Victoria, B.C., and you can hear the west coast in their music. In 2020, they released two albums, We Fall In and In That Room.

Must Listen – Be Around

Ocie Elliott – Take Me Home (Live from the CRV)

One of 5 up-and-coming Canadian musicians, Ocie Elliott is a female-male duo, here standing against a colourful sky with guitar ready
Ocie Elliott is among our up-and-coming Canadian musicians | Image Credit: Kelly Lovett

Shay Lia

If Shay Lia isn’t a household name in your house yet, change that. She is a Djiboutian-Canadian musician based in Montreal who has been in the Canadian music scene for a few years. Shay Lia is well known for regularly collaborating with Kaytranada, and in 2019, she released her debut EP Dangerous.

Must Listen – Good Together

Shay Lia – Good Together

One of our up-and-coming Canadian musicians, Shay Lia lounges on a chair
Among up-and-coming Canadian musicians, Shay Lia is high on our list | Dangerous Ep Cover/ Image Credit: Shay-lia.com

Wild Black

Elsa Gebremichael is no stranger to the Canadian music scene. She has been fronting bands in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, since she was 15, and recently relocated to Toronto to start her newest project, Wild Black. Wild Black’s single Moon Star Lover dropped in 2019 and made its every listener dance. There are rumours of an album coming out in 2021, so stay tuned.

Must Listen – Moon Star Lover

Wild Black – Moon Star Lover (Official Music Video)

If you’re looking for up-and-coming Canadian musicians, check out Wild Black | Image Credit: Brianna Roye

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The Author
Darby Sutherland is a renaissance girl in a specialist’s world. Catch her hosting her weekly radio show on CFCR 90.5 FM, taking photos of her food at your favourite restaurant, or DJing your third cousin’s wedding. Now you see her, now you don’t.