It requires almost a week of set-up time, closes main Toronto streets, keeps surrounding condo dwellers up late, and is one of the most star-studded events in Canadian music and entertainment.
We’re talking about the MuchMusic Video Awards.
And, of course, we were at the Much HQ last night for all the action as an A-list line-up graced the press room…
Hands down, the biggest babe in the pressroom was a black and white dress-clad Nikki Yanofsky, whose hit “I Believe” was the official promotional song for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“My shoes are definitely a necessary evil – they hurt! So is going to the gym… you gotta stay healthy but I hate working out. I just picture someone really bad chasing me. ”
– Yanofsky on “necessary evils” (the title of her hit song) in her life.
“I think working with Quincy Jones was a huge part for me. He’s such a great mentor and friend… the amount of wisdom and experience this man has is crazy. Also, being able to sing with Stevie Wonder was pretty crazy too.”
– Yanofsky on the best part of the past few years.
The boys from Down With Webster, who made an entrance on the red carpet when they rolled up in a Mack truck, also stopped by.
“I wish we came up with the idea. But we’ve been on tour up until a few days ago. So we saw the truck, and we’re like, yup that looks cool. We basically went with the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious thing.”
– Cam Hunter on the band’s Mack truck arrival.
“Canada is our home base, and it’s where we do really well. So in the US we’re still grinding it out, and we play the kind of club shows that we maybe would have played four years ago in Canada. But it’s good, it’s an intimate, sweaty, punk rock kind of shows and then we come back here.
– Cam Hunter on coming off an American tour.
“I remember seeing that Prince video with Batman. I remember being so young seeing it… and it was like Batman and music at the same time. It was amazing. I kept watching MuchMusic ever since. MuchMusic used to play really strange videos late at night. It was the best thing ever.”
– Martin “Bucky” Seja on the first Much Music video he remembers.
Love it or hate it, MAGIC! and their hit song “Rude” is one of the songs of the summer and has definitely been stuck in your head at some point already.
“There is no best. You know I have my favourites, and I’ve had some good memories. Most recently we worked with Shakira and were featured on her album, and that was pretty amazing. Fans love her. I really love the artists that seem to have a good relationship with their fans. And her hips don’t lie.
– Nasri (MAGIC!) on the best person they’ve worked with so far….
With the album coming out in a few weeks, people are going to know the songs when they go to our shows. That’s the biggest thing we’ve been waiting for… people will know more than just “Rude.”
– Nasri (MAGIC!) on what it means to have success here and in the US, coming out with a new album, and that “Rude” could be the song of the summer.
Fefe Dobson, who has been a staple on the Canadian music scene for the past decade, looked refreshingly mature in a conservative-leaning denim romper.
“Growing up, my mom played everything from MJ, to Lionel Richie to Donna Sommer and the Bee Gees. And then my sister in the other room was playing Guns n Roses and Nirvana. I’ve had all these different genres playing in my ears. And Bob Marley, my mom loved him. When I was a teenager and started rebelling, I started listening to Green Day and putting on my headphones when kids were bullying me. I blocked them out with the music. Then I heard my first Beatles album when I was 16, really late in the game. But after I heard that I never went back, and then it was The Doors. Now I’m appreciating old country too. So I’m always just trying to learn. And now there are people like Lana Del Ray, so there are artists I appreciate in this day too.”
– Fefe Dobson on her musical influences.
Perhaps one of the biggest mega stars at the awards was “Royals” singer Lorde, who picked up an MMVA for International Video of The Year (Artist).
“I found out while just sitting in the airport lounge. And I thought someone had written the wrong name in the e-mail or something. It was amazing to do, such an honour. The guys in the band are three of the loveliest people I’ve met on this journey; it’s a very special day.”
– Lorde on finding out she was going to be singing with Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I think it takes a certain energy to succeed in front of a lot of people but I’ve certainly had to learn. Communicating with one person is one thing but communicating to the whole world is pretty different. Learning about that was a big thing for me.”
– Lorde on what the year has meant both musically and also personally.
Mariana’s Trench was next in the house, and Josh Ramsay assured the crowd that he didn’t have any confidence issues…
“Actually last year, someone asked us how it felt to only win two awards. So we were like, yeah, well how many awards did you win?”
– Josh Ramsay (Mariana’s Trench) on whether they ever receive snarky comments….
“We had no concept for what we were going to do this year. We overslept. All we could do was get here as soon as possible and keep the girls lovin it. We just had to get here.”
– Josh Ramsay (Mariana’s Trench) on ideas for entrances.
Sam Roberts Band, a longtime YP favourite, attracted no shortage of cell phone shots from media. They picked up their sixth MMVA award with their Rock Video of The Year win.
“When making a record you try to control the outcome as much as you can, whereas you hand over your fate to a director when making a video. You may not share the same vision for the song, but in some way you have to keep yourself open to the person’s interpretation. The relinquishing of that control is something we hold onto tightly when making a record. It’s a great form of artistic expression, to try to merry a visual to music. I know when I listen to a Beatles song, there’s reel going on in my mind. So to explore that, to make it real, is a very valuable experience.”
– Sam Roberts on how making a video compares to making a record.
Las Vegas natives Imagine Dragons picked up the International Video of The Year (Group) award.
“Whenever we have off time we lock ourselves in the studio and work on some new stuff. We have all been geeks are entire lives; all we’ve done is music. All four of us seated around a computer writing music and being nerds the majority of time we’re in the hotel room. So we have a ton of material, it’s just a matter of putting it together. We bought a house in Vegas and turned it into a studio.”
– Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on writing new music.
Alyssa Reid stopped by with Virginia to Vegas after their performance of “We Are Stars.”
“I actually owe my career to social media. I got my record deal because I covered a Justin Bieber song and they brought it to a few different perspectives.”
– Alyssa Reid on making music in the internet age.
Hedley stopped by after they scored top honours, nabbing an impressive three MMVAs for Video of the Year, Pop Video of the Year and Your Fave Video.
“We’ve had some girls dress up as catering and then bring drinks into the dressing room and then they just kind of stayed, asking for tissues and stuff. And then it became apparent that they were over 19, so we let them stay.”
– Jacob Hoggard (Hedley) on the craziest thing a fan has ever done.
Sadly, Grammy-nominated performer Ed Sheeran and co-hosts Kendall and Kylie Jenner were absent from the press room. The Jenner sisters didn’t even bother to show in the photo room as scheduled post-show, prompting a bit of drama among photographers when they decided to pack up early as a result. Maybe it was past their bedtime?
Find a full list of MMVA winners here.
Click here to see our full gallery.