Vernon hip hop artist SonReal is up for his first Juno award

SonReal (left) and Rich Kidd are up for a Juno award for Rap Recording of the Year for The Closers. - submitted
SonReal (left) and Rich Kidd are up for a Juno award for Rap Recording of the Year for The Closers.
— image credit: submitted

Vernon son Aaron Hoffman has not only hit the international hip hop circuit with his fast-rapping alter ego SonReal, he has now been nominated for a Juno award.

Announced Tuesday morning, SonReal is up for Best Rap Recording of the Year along with Toronto producer/rapper Rich Kidd for their album, The Closers.

They are nominated along with Halifax’s Classified, Vancouver’s Madchild, Toronto’s JD Era and Toronto rap pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes.

"It feels amazing to get recognized for something you work so hard at," said SonReal when contacted by The Morning Star. "I've been doing this for a long time and there has definitely been times where I wouldn't be able to foresee a Juno nomination. In the last year things have really picked up, so I'm just trying to use this award as motivation to keep working harder and take things further."

Hoffman, 26, who was raised in Vernon and attended W.L. Seaton Secondary School, has been based in Vancouver for the past seven years, but still comes home on occasion to visit.

He was last in town over Christmas, where he gave a sold-out concert at a local night club on Boxing Day.

“Coming back home to Vernon is great. My mom and other family are there. I’ve only been back there a few times this year and although I’ve been in Vancouver for almost seven years, Vernon really does still feel like home,” SonReal told The Morning Star back in December.

With a number of top selling mixtapes and four full-length albums to his name, SonReal recently signed a two album deal with BlackBox Records/Universal, and has joined The Agency Group, North America’s largest booking agent.

SonReal joined Rich Kidd in a Hollywood recording studio last summer. What was intended to be an EP ended up being a full-length, 10-song album as the two artists worked so well together.

Released in October, The Closers debuted at No. 3 on the iTunes Canada HipHop charts ahead of Kanye West’s Cruel Summer. The album’s first single, Money Money, which was shot in a century-old mansion outside of Toronto, has also been in heavy rotation on MuchMusic.

The duo also just released their latest video, Best Believe, this week, and another video for single Hometown, which was partly shot in Vernon, is in post-production.

SonReal has some pretty big gigs coming up including opening for hip hop legends Method Man and Talib Kweli in Vancouver (Method Man on March 7 at the Commodore and Talib on March 31 at Bar None). He's then off to Amsterdam for the New Skool Rules festival.

Joining SonReal on the local Juno nomination roster is former Vernon Viper defenceman, now country music artist, Chad Brownlee of Kelowna, who was nominated for Country Album of the Year for his album Love Me or Leave Me.

The Junos will be handed out on April 21 at The Brandt Centre in Regina.For  a list of all the Juno nominees, visit http://junoawards.ca/nominees-winners/


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