Lenni-KimTo infinity, and beyond! Buzz Lightyear’s famous catchphrase from the Toy Story franchise seems tailor-made for young Lenni-Kim’s ascension to the stars, a totally lit teenager who nonetheless has both feet firmly on the ground.

“I have three great passions in life: singing, the movies, and dance,” he says. “But singing is by far the greatest revelation to me. Cinema is secondary, but I do like the cinematography that can be included in my videos.” Lenni-Kim is part of the movie Le pacte des anges and also plays a young Martin Matte in the TV sitcom Les beaux malaises.

Before the worldwide release of his first album, Les autres, on June 30, 2017, the table was, as the saying goes, already set: nearly two million views for the “Pourquoi tout perdre,” a video created for World Suicide Prevention Day, and directed by Antoine-Olivier Pilon (Mommy). The song dominated Francophone sales charts for weeks.

“It’s a song that helps and soothes people,” says Lenni-Kim. “I can tell just by reading the comments and testimonies on Facebook. Some people even say I saved their lives! That’s a lot of pressure for a 15-year-old kid!” he says from Paris, where he’s currently developing his career.

“I don’t do this for fame, I do this for the music.”

And his online presence doesn’t stop there: a millions views for “Yolo,” and another million for his latest single, “Don’t Stop.” Lenni-Kim’s pop songs are more than a little reminiscent of one Justin Bieber. “Since him, we don’t really count the number of musicians who got a break thanks to YouTube,” he says wisely.

“I don’t dislike the comparison, but I’m still Lenni-Kim, I have my own personality. I do get the association, though: we started at the same age, we’re both pop signers, we’re both popular on YouTube (in his case thanks to covers of Shawn Mendes and Elli Goulding); I like his musical career path, but I can’t say I agree with all of his personal choices.”

“Music is a gateway to the soul,” one reads in bold characters on his website. But how does one open that door to the countless viewers of The Voice Kids, which airs on TF1, in France? Here’s Lenni-Kim’s take on that: “It never crossed my mind to sign up for The Voice Kids. It’s the show’s producers who contacted my singing school to search for candidates for their second season. First, I recorded a demo and the second step was auditioning via Skype.”

Jean-Yves Sénéchal, his agent and manager, jumped on that showcase – Lenni-Kim made it all the way to the face-offs – to have his protégé signed by Warner France and TF1 Music. “I knew right from the start that he has a dazzling personality,” says Sénéchal. “He has an aura and undeniable charisma. But that he’d become a teen idol? That wasn’t our plan, but in light of the public reception and enthusiasm, one might think he was destined for that. For the time being, my role is to manage supply and demand for the Québec and France markets.”

“How do I describe my music?” wonders the young artist. “Well, during the creative process with Louis Côté (K-Maro), who produced the album, we tried all kinds of things with snippets of various styles and sounds, just to see where that would take us. Sometimes it would be darker, so we’d go in that direction. Other times it was sunny and light; nothing was pre-meditated, we were just exploring. There are some darker places in the moods, there are some sad songs. What’s important is to properly latch on to an emotion, the lyrics come after. When you do music, it’s important to carry a message and even help people. I wrote the lyrics to “I Want This,” but all the other songs were written by a team of writers whom I guided for certain passages to make sure that the words fit. It is my first album, after all!”

Lenni-Kim recently participated in the Gala de Ouf! Kids Cabaret until July 23, 2017, at Montréal’s Place des Arts, and will appear as well as in the outdoor Juste pour ados gala on July 29, 2017.

“I don’t do this for fame,” he says. “I do this for the music.”

After her 2011 album, Modern Romantics, Adaline ran out of “emotional fuel.” She was lyrically drained and wanted to take on different challenges.

So she dove into the world of songwriting and scoring music for film and TV shows. In the six-year interim between then and now, her music found a place on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, Flashpoint, Lost Girl and Ringer. She also teamed up with Broken Social Scene co-founder Brendan Canning to score the Bret Easton Ellis film The Canyons.

That work brought Adaline a new sense of joy, one that eventually inspired her to sit down and write a new album.

“I hope people can feel my honesty and desire to connect.”

“I felt ready to share my life again,” she says. Another big inspiration for her was water. Bodies of water became a constant wherever and whenever she wrote and, for her, there was a sense of romance that came from that. “Water has the ability to sustain a whole ecosystem, with millions of mystical living things; it’s incredibly spiritual,” she explains. “But on the other hand, water has the ability to completely destroy and bring panic and immense fear and isn’t this so true with love? It both sustains and destroys.”

The result of those writing sessions was Aquatic, an emotionally-charged collection of songs that runs the pop-rock spectrum, from upbeat, guitar-driven numbers like “Commotion” to more subdued, lush piano melodies like “Break Me Apart.” Somewhere in the middle lies its most vocally stunning and effective track, the soaring “Stronger.” All of this is done with one goal in mind: to connect to listeners through her forthright songwriting.

“I hope people can feel my honesty and desire to connect,” she reveals. “Over the years, I’ve realized the thing that gets me out of bed and into the studio every day is connection.”

Montréal-based, by way of the Outaouais, trio Planet Giza is slowly but surely transitioning from producers to full-fledged artists. With the release of their single “Find My Way 2 Love” last May, they’re now pretenders to the throne as Montréal’s – slightly cooler, let’s be honest – version of PartyNextDoor.

“I found the Jaspects sample,” explains Planet Giza’s Rami, about how the group wrote the single. “I chopped it up, but we figured having Tony on it would be a good thing, because something was missing – and that completed it. He sent us his tracks, and released it the next week!”

Composed of MC Tony $tone, and beat-makers Dumix and Rami B, Planet Giza was created in 2012 when, at the time, $tone and Dumix were called The North Virus. In the wake of their captivating recent live performances, and the enthusiasm that their mixtapes generate on Soundcloud, Planet Giza will undoubtedly make its mark on dancefloors and in homes everywhere over the coming months. Using an irresistible mix of sampling, up-to-the-minute rhythms, and Caribbean flavours, their music is utterly contemporary, and bears a very distinct signature.

Planet Giza has built relationships with fans via Soundcloud, and elsewhere in the industry – to date, that includes Lou Phelps, Kaytranada’s brother, Kaytranada himself, and virtually the entire Montréal beat-making scene, to name but a few. Their performances have had considerable impact, especially those at the Artgang All Star, and their opening slot for Kaytranada at Métropolis last fall.

All that considered, it’s crystal-clear that Planet Giza (pronounced GEE-za, with a hard “G,” in reference to the pyramids at Giza in Egypt) will generate a lot of buzz throughout 2017, as the stars of the industry continue to align for them.