A Chilliwack-raised hip-hop artist has been nominated for a Juno Award.
Boslen, whose real name is Corben Bowen, is up for Rap Album/EP of the Year for his album Gonzo.
“To be acknowledged in Canada alongside such talented creatives can mean I am now at that level,” Boslen said in an email to The Progress. “To my team, it is a sign that we are doing something right. But to me, and I am sure the other acts can say the same — you have to believe you are that person before you are.”
He’s been nominated alongside four other artists for their rap albums: Retrospected (Acoustic) by Classified, The Fleur Print Vol. 2 by Jazz Cartier, Demons Protected by Angels by Nav, and Shall I Continue? by Tobi.
He is one of two Chilliwack artists nominated for a 2023 Juno Award. Chilliwack’s Jamison Isaak, who goes by Teen Daze, was nominated in the category of Electronic Album of the Year.
Boslen lives in Vancouver and grew up in Chilliwack from the age of three.
When he was 12, hip-hop became part of his life when his mom and stepdad briefly separated and the music of American rapper Kid Cudi provided a crutch. Boslen would listen to ‘Up, Up and Away’ over and over again.
He played rugby as a teen in high school and went off to the University of Victoria. Shortly after he arrived, back-to-back ACL tears sabotaged his rugby scholarship and plans for a future in sports, so he left university and began writing his own music in 2018.
From those emotional experiences as a child and teenager came his first singles and albums, including his full-length album Dusk to Dawn (2021).
His Juno-nominated, seven-song EP Gonzo was released on June 24, 2022 and the award nominees were announced on Jan. 31.
He said it feels “amazing” to be among those selected.
“To be noticed for your art is an achievement that I know I could have only gotten with the people around me to help,” Boslen said. “When I got the news, I was in Sweden working on my next album so it definitely came as a surprise. But I remember years prior saying to my friends around me in Chilliwack that I would get one, one day. I am very grateful that day is today.”
Boslen wanted to acknowledge many people who helped him get to where he is today, including “All of Chaos Club Digital, Isaac, Buk, Matija, Jeremy, Max, Tp, Natasha, Cam, all of 254 from Toronto, Zack Djurch, Chris Laroca, Adriano, Jamie Kuse, all of Capitol Records, all of UMG Canada, my mother, my father, all my sisters, my brother, my beautiful girlfriend, one of my best friends Parker.
“And some of the most important people are my fans. I am and will be forever grateful to them.”
Boslen said this nomination is just the beginning of his career as a rapper and singer.
“I think this is an amazing moment for my career, and I am so proud of my team and my supporters who got me here. But I am no where near where I envision my career going,” he said. “I want to leave a trail of inspiration for kids that grew up in places just like me. This just happens to be one of the first steps you are seeing.”
He is currently working on his next album called Conversations Over Dinner which will be released later this year.
The 2023 Juno Awards take place on Monday, March 13 at Edmonton’s Rogers Place.
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