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Vernon’s own SonReal collects Juno nod

Vernon’s SonReal performs for fans in Thunder Bay Wednesday night while on tour with Down with Webster. The hip hop artist, born Aaron Hoffman, has been nominated for his second Juno for Rap Recording of the Year.  - Lee Watkins/LMW Photos
Vernon’s SonReal performs for fans in Thunder Bay Wednesday night while on tour with Down with Webster. The hip hop artist, born Aaron Hoffman, has been nominated for his second Juno for Rap Recording of the Year.
— image credit: Lee Watkins/LMW Photos

Halifax produced Classified. Toronto has Drake. And Vernon has its own hip hop star on a mega rise with SonReal.

The 28-year-old rapper, who is now based in Vancouver, has just been nominated for his second Juno award for Rap Recording of the Year with his song, Everywhere We Go.

Known as Aaron Hoffman when he was a W.L. Seaton Secondary School student, SonReal is no stranger to award nominations.

He was nominated in the same category at the Junos last year for his album, The Closers, with Toronto’s Rich Kidd and was also nominated at the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards for Hip Hop Video of the Year for the song, Hometown, which was partially filmed in Vernon and Coldstream.

“Being nominated for a Juno is amazing,” said SonReal. “We work relentlessly at this craft and to get recognized on this type of platform is always humbling.”

Everywhere We Go has also made a splash, literally, with its video, directed by Peter Haung and produced by Mad Ruk Ent. It features SonReal as a Napoleon Dynamite-type character hanging out pool-side, trying to stay cool.

The video has been on regular rotation on MuchMusic since it was released last fall, has received close to one million views on YouTube,  and according to The Georgia Strait, is the biggest independently released song to ever be produced by a Vancouver artist.

“When we recorded Everywhere We Go we knew we had something special, but it really was the video that really made the song what it became,” said SonReal.

The prolific hip hop artist, who is currently touring the country with band Down with Webster,  has released seven mixtapes since 2008.

His latest, One Long Day, is available for free online at www.iamsonreal.com and features a who’s who of Canadian hip hop talent including Kardinal Offishall and Shad.

Up against some pretty heavy competition at the Junos, including the aforementioned Drake and Classified as well as his former music partner Rich Kidd and Shad, SonReal says he’s optimistic about his chances and thanks his team for getting him there.

“As previous awards have proven, any one nominee has a chance,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to have the nomination if I didn’t have a great team behind me. Shouts to my manager Byron Wilson, my DJ Rich-A, my label Black Box Records, Adam Sylvester, MuchFACT/Much Music, Universal, and all the fans that continually push the music.”

This year’s televised broadcast of the Juno awards takes place in Winnipeg March 30.

 

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