Julian Taylor, a Toronto-based musician – with ties to Maple Ridge – earned himself two JUNO nominationss this past weekend. (Julian Taylor/Special to The News)

Julian Taylor, a Toronto-based musician – with ties to Maple Ridge – earned himself two JUNO nominationss this past weekend. (Julian Taylor/Special to The News)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge-inspired album earn musician two JUNO nominations

Summers at his grandparents’ local farm spawn song and namesake CD garnering national recognition

A musician with ties to Maple Ridge almost walked away with two JUNO Awards this weekend.

Julian Taylor wrote and sang about his experiences in Maple Ridge as a child, and those adventures – now reflected in his latest album – helped garner accolades for the singer, songwriter, and multi-talented musician.

His album, called The Ridge, earned Taylor nominations for best Indigenous artist/group of the year, as well as contemporary album of the year at the JUNOs. He didn’t win in either category, but did make the shortlist.

During the nationally broadcast ceremonies this past weekend, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the JUNOs – Canada’s biggest night in music.

RELATED: Childhood memories in Maple Ridge rekindled in new album

The Toronto-based musician – a baritone vocalist who plays guitar and piano – released his winning eight-song Americana album last fall, with one of songs – the title track, The Ridge – sharing some of his childhood memories of time spent in Maple Ridge.

From age four to 14, he spent summers with his grandparents, John and Carol Shanks, on their local farm. And in the namesake song, he shares some of his fondest recollections of following his older sister around the barn, chicken coop, and pastures of that farm wearing his little rainboots, catching frogs, shovelling manure, and chasing chickens.

Each song on The Ridge represents an acoustic-driven mixture of styles that reflects Taylor’s range as a creative force. It builds, he said, upon the templates forged during his tenure fronting the alt-rocking collective Staggered Crossing, as well as the fine funk and R&B-driven foundation he continues to mine with the still-active Julian Taylor Band.

 “Everything I write about on this album is a true story,” he confirmed.

“Yeah, I did make up a few stories on some of the other records I’ve done, but I decided to stop doing that. Everything since then is something that happened to me, or to people I know. Everything is true.”

Taylor describes himself as a musical chameleon who can be found performing rhythm and blues one day, and funk, soul, or rock the next. It’s a reflection he said of his long career in music.

While he’s not a household name, he is well known and respected in the industry, and some of his songs have appeared in television series such as Degrassi: The Next Generation, Elementary, and Haven.

Both new and experienced artists were celebrated for their excellence and took home some of JUNO weekend’s most prized awards.

In addition to Julian Taylor, there were many other notable artists recognized.

llowing his three major wins announced Friday night at the 2021 JUNO opening night awards, The Weeknd also won artist of the year and album of the year, taking home an total of five JUNO Awards this year. This brings his overall total to 15 JUNOs, making The Weeknd the sixth most awarded artist in JUNO history.

Global superstar Justin Bieber walked away with the award for pop album of the year for his record-breaking album Changes and graced viewers with a knockout performance of his hit, Somebody.

Shawn Mendes took home the coveted JUNO fan choice. For the first time this year, Canadians were given the option to vote on TikTok as the official voting platform. This marks the third time Mendes has won JUNO fan choice, bringing his total JUNO count to an impressive 11 awards.

One of Canada’s most buzzworthy talents, R&B singer Savannah Ré, took home traditional R&B/soul recording of the year, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective for her single, Solid, and emerging soulful singer-songwriter JP Saxe was awarded breakthrough artist of the year. Saxe also performed his song, Like That, and was then joined by multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Julia Michaels with a beautiful performance of the hit song, If The World Was Ending.

Complete list of JUNO Award winners online.


Is there more to the story? Email: editor@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

maple ridgeMusic


Julian Taylor’s first gig was a battle of the bands in 1994. Now, his most recent album, The Ridge, has earned him two JUNO nominations. (Julian Taylor/Special to The News)

Julian Taylor’s first gig was a battle of the bands in 1994. Now, his most recent album, The Ridge, has earned him two JUNO nominations. (Julian Taylor/Special to The News)

Just Posted

After clocking in at 207km/hr in Maple Ridge, the driver’s car was impounded, and their licence was suspended. (File photo)
Speedster busted travelling 127 km/hr over limit in Maple Ridge

RCMP nabbed the offender on Lougheed Highway and 287 Street this weekend

Building Interfaith Bridges organized a special crossing of Dewdney Trunk Road in commemoration of the Afzaal family who were killed in London, Ontario. (Special to The News)
Group marches across Maple Ridge intersection for Muslim family killed in Ontario

Participants dressed in traditional outfits to create awareness against Islamophobia

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Old-growth logging tip of a much bigger issue

Letter writer erects flagpole and fly national and provincial flags upside down as sign of distress

A rendering of the proposed six-storey apartment building on Dewdney Trunk Road. (Billard Architecture)
Green rooftop planned on Maple Ridge condo building

Council considers 127-unit apartment building on Dewdney Trunk Road

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge high school has COVID-19 exposure

Westview secondary is latest listed by Fraser Health

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read