Lido Pimienta’s self-released album, La Papessa, has beaten out the likes of Leonard Cohen, Feist, BADBADNOTGOOD, A Tribe Called Quest, Tanya Tagaq, Good Downie, Lisa Leblanc, Leif Vollebekk and Weaves for the prestigious 2017 Polaris Music Prize.
Pimienta is a Columbian born, Toronto based interdisciplinary artist who has been curating art and performing music since 2002. Pimienta explores gender, race, motherhood and identity in her work. In particular, she focuses on the Latin American diaspora and how it is connected to her home in Canada.
The Polaris Music Prize is awarded each year to a Canadian artist whose album was of extraordinary caliber and was released between June 1st-May 31st of the following year. According to the non profit organization, a select panel of music critics select the album with the “…highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history…” Each year the group makes a long list of around 40 artists that are up for consideration. They then narrow the list now to 10 first-rate artists, before finally announcing the one winner. The nine runner ups receive 3,000 dollars for their, “creative and diverse,” efforts, while the winner receives 50,000 dollars.
According to Pitchfork, last year’s winner, Kaytranada, was at the gala and presented the award to current winner Pimienta. Pimienta beat out long time collaborators A Tribe Called Quest, along with the 2014 winner, Tanya Tagaq and the 2012 winner First. Some of the other recent winners of the prestigious award are: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arcade Fire, Karkwa, Fucked Up, Caribou and Patrick Watson.