Cadence Weapon Ready to Pass Polaris Prize Torch: 'Winning the Award Changed My Life'

·2 min read
Image via Getty
Image via Getty

On Monday, a new Polaris Music Prize winner will be crowned. To coincide with the changing of the guard, last year’s winner Cadence Weapon posted his thoughts on the victory on his Substack.

“Winning the award changed my life,” he said. “Seeing my name on a list next to Buffy Sainte-Marie, Caribou and Godspeed You! Black Emperor will never stop feeling surreal.”

Last September, he became the third consecutive hip-hop act to win the $50,000 award for his album Parallel World, and the fact that it happened during the pandemic with a virtual gala meant missing out on the festive aspect of winning.


“I found out that I won while sitting at my laptop on Zoom in the one bedroom condo I shared with my partner on Eglinton and Caledonia,” he said in the post.

“So much has happened since that night,” he added. Since then, he bought a house, got married, wrote memoir Bedroom Rapper and toured.

Not only did the award afford him the chance to “make music and write stories” at his own pace, he said it also cemented his reputation after two decades in the business.

“What I’ve found most interesting about my post-Polaris life is how I’m perceived by others. Some musicians look at me like The Oracle, asking ‘How did you do it?!’ Winning has solidified my legacy in Canadian music. That said I’ve always seen myself the same way, no matter how washed or successful I may have appeared to the outside observer.”

Cadence also wondered if an overtly political record like Parallel World would’ve received the same reaction today in a world with relaxed pandemic rules.

“Sometimes it really is just about being the right person with the right album at the right time.”

To make up for the fact that he couldn’t perform last year, Cadence Weapon will take the stage at the 2022 Polaris Music Prize Gala on Monday, Sept. 19 at The Carlu in Toronto.