With the likes of Drake, Justin Bieber, Deadmau5, Grimes and The Weeknd producing hit after hit, there’s no denying that Canada is a breeding ground for musical talent. Unfortunately, for every one international artist, there are 20 other struggling acts just hoping to crack the top 40 charts.
Thanks to the Internet’s obsession with all things old, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the short-lived Canadian acts that brought me so much joy as a kid. While they may have disappeared as quickly as they even appeared, let’s all rejoice in the fact that the world never really forgets.
Without further ado, let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember 5 Canadian one hit wonders we love.
I.D (Identically Different)
“Busted, that’s the end. You’re never gonna see my face again.”
Oh, how I miss this song. Thanks to the lyrics and catchy beats, “Busted” still gets quoted by yours truly.
Comprised of Gary Laranja, Joe Abbruscatto, Mark Ghezzo, Darryl Snider and Jesse Labelle, I.D. may not have been the most popular boy band in the late 1990s/early 2000s, but they did perform one of my favourite sings as a kid. And how could it not be? “Busted,” a single from their 2001 eponymous debut album, was a mainstay on YTV’s The Hit List (remember that?!).
It’s also quite nice to know that not all boy band tales end in tragedy. I.D.’s Jesse Labelle is now a solo singer-songwriter who has worked with artists such as Lights, Alyssa Reid and Fefe Dobson. Yay, Jesse!
LISTEN TO “BUSTED” BY I.D. BELOW:
“If you get down on me, I’ll get down on you.”
Years after B4-4’s one and only breakout hit “Get Down” was released in 2000, I still wonder, “What exactly did I listen to as a child?”
If you somehow managed to avoid this early 2000 gem of a song, “Get Down” included such classy lyrics like, “Communicate, and I’ll go undercover / Gonna make you come tonight / Over to my house” and it was very much about oral sex. So yes, a boy band corrupted my mind at a tender age and I didn’t even know it.
B4-4 was made up of three frosted, spike-y haired young lads by the name of Ryan and Dan Kowarsky, and Ohad Einbinder. Formed in 1999, they manage to achieve success in Canada and were even nominated for a JUNO award in 2001 for Best New Group. They then headed off to Germany where they were simply known as “Before Four.”
Today, twins Ryan and Dan are a songwriting, producing duo called RyanDan.
“How can I help looking in your eyes / Wondering why you and I haven’t hit it / Can we get it on…”
Their name might not ring any immediate bells but trust me, you probably danced along to their early 2000 tunes at some point. SoulDecision’s Trevor Guthrie, David Bowman and Ken Lewko’s song “Faded” was not a something to be trifled with. It hit no. 1 in Canada and, like B4-4, it was nominated for a JUNO Award in 2001.
These days, you probably recognize Trevor Guthrie as the lad with great vocals in Armin Van Buuren’s “This is What It Feels Like.” No, really. That’s him. Crazy, right?
“Early morning / I got Mona Lisa by my side / What’s the story / Behind that devious smile?”
So I’m cheating a little bit here. Brothers Scott, Clint, Bob and Dave Moffatt had more than just one hit on their hands, and even managed to garner a little international success thanks to songs like “Miss You Like Crazy” and “I’ll Be There For You.” But just thinking about the days they ruled YTV’s The Hit List made me feel like I was obligated to include them on this list.
Their 2000 hit “Bang Bang Boom” became the fastest rising no. 1 track in Canada at the time of its release. They even had another song, “Until You Loved Me,” featured in the film Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore.
“I know it’s up for me /If you steal my sunshine…”
Consisting of brother-sister duo Marc and Sharon Costanzo, Len may have just stolen your sunshine back in the 1999 with their poppy, light alternative rock sound. They even managed to grab three MuchMusic Music Video Awards for Best Video, Best Pop Video and Favourite Canadian Video for their sun soaked music video.
Fast forward to 2012, Len even managed to release another album, It’s Easy If You Try. Sadly, it barely made a blimp on our radar.
Who’s your favourite Canadian One Hit Wonder? TWEET US at @ANDPOP!