After producing hip-hop music for more than a decade, Rooks McCoy took home the award for Best New Artist at this year’s Oshawa Music Week awards ceremony.
He was up against Nothing Special, Weapons, and ZAFTIG in his category, but McCoy’s active contribution to Durham Region’s music scene and great potential for growth won the public’s vote.
The Oshawa rapper describes his sound as “rebel without a cause” because it strays from the typical “bubble-gum” music on today’s charts. He said he’s always admired the concentration and intelligence put into rap music and the effect this has on listeners.
McCoy said winning the award for Best New Artist means a lot to him.
“Being nominated was award enough for me,” he said with a smile. “Actually winning is crazy.”
He said he’s currently working on new music which should be released later this year.
However, McCoy was not the only artist who went home with an award.
Oshawa rock duo, Crown Lands won Best Artist for their outstanding success within and outside of Durham Region.
“We’ve been very lucky to call Oshawa our home for many, many years and we will for many, many more,” said the band’s guitarist, Kevin Comeau. “Thank you very much for believing in us.”
Best Live Venue was awarded to the Music Hall Night Club and Concert Theatre for its recognizable work with both local and travelling musicians.
Owner and operator of DieselMusic, Jeff Dalziel, was the night’s recipient for the Industry Leader award for his role in strengthening the Oshawa music community.
The Lifetime Achievement award was handed to Roberta Michele, founder of the Bird Loft School of Voice, for the substantial impact her work has on the music industry.
The final award of the night was the Music Business Management (MBM) Alumni Achievement award. It recognized the work and achievement MBM alumnus have brought to Canada’s music industry.
Melissa Dandeno was the first ever recipient of this award.
Dandeno was enrolled at Durham College from 2004-06. After graduating, she immediately began her career in the music industry as a label liaison for Columbus House at Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA).
She said she was the only MBM graduate working at CMRRA and knew she had to make a change.
“I’m very proud to say that the halls of CMRRA are completely full now with MBM graduates and it’s amazing to see,” she said. “It has been my honour and privilege to have welcomed and supported field placement students from Durham over the years…That’s probably one of my proudest achievements.”
Dandeno said she was honoured to be the first recipient of the award. She said her role in the industry is something she cherishes and she couldn’t be happier to share her workplace with the students from MBM.
“This program brings incredible people of all different backgrounds [and] all different strengths,” she said. “It’s wonderful to get to work with these people. Durham will always hold a special place in my heart.”