So-Called Patriots Are Pissed About Karan Aujla Making JUNO Awards History, Because of Course

Is ThIs CaNaDiAn MuSiC?

Photo: CARAS / Ryan Bolton Photography

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 26, 2024

One of the cooler things that occurred during the JUNO Awards last weekend was Punjabi-wave groundbreaker Karan Aujla making history as the first artist of Punjabi descent to ever win the coveted Fan Choice Award. So, naturally, some people are mad about it.

Yesterday (March 25), Harrison Faulkner, journalist at right-wing Toronto media company True North, took to Twitter to share a clip of Aujla's live performance during the awards broadcast on Sunday (March 24), questioning if it qualified as Canadian music or Indian music.

"There are some who want you to believe that this is Canadian music as it was performed at the JUNOs last night," he wrote. "Karan Aujla, who won a JUNO, was born in India and is a citizen of India. He holds PR status in Canada."

You said it yourself, Faulkner — the musician is a permanent resident of Canada, having emigrated here when he was a teenager. Aujla went to high school in Burnaby, BC, and worked part-time as a longshoreman in Surrey. 

To qualify as Canadian content under the MAPL system, a song needs to fulfill at least two of the following conditions: be composed by a Canadian, be performed by a Canadian, be recorded/performed in Canada, and have lyrics written by a Canadian. (By the CRTC's CanCon regulations, a Canadian is one of the following: a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a person whose ordinary place of residence was Canada for the six months preceding their contribution to the musical composition, or a licensee.)

Aujla and producer Ikky, who joined him on stage during the JUNO Awards in Halifax, both live and record here in Canada — the former in Vancouver, the latter in Toronto.

Questions about whether or not this is "Canadian" seem irrelevant when, by our qualification system, it definitely is. Patriotism? So close! That's just racism again.

See Faulkner's tweet below, and wade through the rancid commentary in the replies at your own risk.


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