Ucluelet artist JESSIA is Canada’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year – Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News

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JESSIA’s jaw dropped dramatically as her name was read aloud at the Juno Awards on May 15 at Budweiser Stage in Toronto.

Her debut single, “I’m not Pretty,” played as she walked to the stage in a dazzling candy pink Birger Christensen dress with matching jacket.

“It’s a lot heavier than I thought,” she said, clutching her “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” trophy. She thanked her team, her producer Elijah Woods and her family for their support.

“Thank you so much to my label, to Republic Records, to Ryan Tedder, but most of all thank you so much to you guys. This is such a dream come true,” JESSIA told her fans.

This is the singer-songwriter’s first Juno win from Ucluelet. JESSIA (née Jessika Harling) was also nominated for the first time for “Single of the Year”, “Pop Album of the Year” and the “TikTok Juno Fan Choice Award”. “I’m Not Pretty” has reached 271 million global streams to date and over 13 million video views. JESSIA was Billboard’s “Chartbreaker” for the month of June, spent 13 consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard Canada’s Emerging Artists chart in 2021, and was the eighth most-viewed Canadian artist on TikTok.

JESSIA’s mother, Beth Harling, was her date for the biggest musical night in Canada. Harling, a music teacher at Ucluelet Elementary School, said she was welcomed back into class with a huge “Congratulations!” Banner and a group of kindergarteners serenaded her with “I’m Not Pretty” from the playground.

“I always knew she had that in her. From a very young age, she showed her talent. The next one will be to get a Grammy,” Harling said five days after the Juno Awards from her music class. .

“Now I can use it with the kids, you know? If you work very hard, this can be you. It’s a great lesson,” she added. “All his music comes from the heart. “Next Time” will make you cry. It’s so intense.

JESSIA’s mother, Beth Harling, a music teacher at Ucluelet Elementary School, beams next to the banner she received after returning from the Juno Awards. (Photo by Nora O’Malley)

A post-Juno win interview with JESSIA is a bit tricky to arrange, according to her publicist, as she’s currently touring Europe with One Republic, performing to over 20,000 people. Harling told the West that JESSIA didn’t even have the chance to attend the after party because she had to leave to catch a flight to Sweden.

“I danced until three in the morning. I’m exhausted. I met Shawn Mendes,” Harling said, noting that she wore a black trouser suit and a shawl with silver feathers. “I kind of wanted to bring in a west coast feel without being too intense.”

Harling didn’t know when her daughter would return to Ucluelet to celebrate her victory with the community.

“His life is week by week,” Harling said.

JESSIA wasn’t the only Vancouver Island star to grace the Juno 2022 stage; Lauren Spencer-Smith of Port Alberni was a presenter and also sang her platinum single “Fingers Crossed”.

RELATED: West Coast Graduate JESSIA Is Now a Rising Canadian Pop Star


nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca
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