Luke Boyd is in his car as we speak. It’s somewhat fitting. The fact that as acclaimed MC/producer Classified he’s been nominated for a Juno award seven times – with nary a win to date – is something he puts firmly in the rear-view mirror.
“It’s not like I put out an album and sit back thinking I can’t wait to get that Juno,” says Boyd over the phone. “But it’s good in that you’re recognized for what you did in the past year. It’s a good thing – definitely not a bad thing – but it’s not something that you think about (when) in the studio.”
Nominated this year for the well-received hip-hop album Handshakes and Middle Fingers, the Enfield, N.S., native feels he’s in a great place career-wise. The album was a hit both commercially and critically, and it’s up for the best rap recording Juno against a field that includes Kardinal Offishall, Swollen Members, D-Sisive and Drake. When it comes to making predictions, Boyd’s no betting man. “Could be tough, man,” he says with a laugh. “It was [a] good year for hip-hop and it really could go to any artist.”
Although Boyd admits that he’s not as plugged in as he wants to be, the East Coast music scene continues to thrive, particularly when it comes to hip-hop. “I may not go to every jam that I used to, but I still pay attention to what’s going on. There’s a lot of good new artists coming up,” he says.
Busy working his Halflife Records production label, collaborating with artists such as fellow Nova Scotian David Myles and contemplating the Handshakes and Middle Fingers followup, Boyd notes that his plate is full when it comes to making music. His discography stands 14 albums deep (dating back to 1995), he’s had cross-Canada touring successes and he’s worked with a who’s who of Canadian artists ranging from hip-hop icon Maestro to Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. “I think just the fact that I can live making music on a day-to-day basis is great and I’m fortunate enough to do that.”
Regardless of who ultimately drives away with the Juno this April, Boyd notes that he can’t wait for Juno weekend. “It’s great the three or four days you’re up there. You play shows and get to see people that you haven’t seen all year. It’s just a good thing for Canadian music in general.”
Visit cbcmusic.ca/Junos for complete coverage of the 2012 Juno Awards.
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on Mar 14, 2012