Meet Debby Friday, winner of the 2023 Polaris Music Prize

Debby Friday, a Nigerian-born, Toronto-based electronic artiste, has won the 2023 Polaris Music Prize for her debut album Good Luck. The album was selected by a panel of Canadian journalists and industry professionals as the country’s best album of the year.

Good Luck was released in March via Sub Pop and features the standout single “So Hard to Tell.” The album has been praised for its innovative and genre-bending sound, which blends elements of electronic music, R&B and pop.

Friday’s win is a significant accomplishment, as the Polaris Music Prize is one of the most prestigious music awards in Canada. Past winners have included artistes such as Backxwash, Jeremy Dutcher, Haviah Mighty, Lido Pimienta, Kaytranada, and Tanya Tagaq.

In an interview with Pitchfork, Friday said that she was “honoured and humbled” to win the Polaris Music Prize. She also spoke about the importance of representation in the music industry.

“It’s important to me to see other people of colour, especially Black women, represented in the music industry,” she said. “I want to show that there is a space for us here, and that we can make music that is just as good as anyone else’s.”

Friday’s win is a victory for all Canadian artistes, but it is especially meaningful for Black women and other artists of colour. It shows that the Canadian music industry is becoming more inclusive and that there is a growing appetite for music that reflects the diversity of the country.

In addition to being a significant achievement for Friday, her win is also a testament to the strength of the Canadian music scene. Canada has a long history of producing world-class music, and Friday’s win shows that this tradition continues.

Friday was born in Nigeria, and raised in Montreal. In 2018, she moved from Montreal to Vancouver. Friday released her first EP, Bitchpunk, in 2018. In August of 2019, she released her second EP, Death Drive. The album was named Bandcamp’s Album of the Day and received a 7.2 from Pitchfork. 

She has been a two-time Prism Prize nominee as co-director with Ryan Ermacora of the videos for her songs “Fatal” in 2020 and “Focus” in 2022.

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