Back to the Future Star… Top 5 Top 40 Artists

Every month, iHeartRadio picks a new Future Star to highlight across iHeartRadio stations nationwide – a way to acknowledge young Canadian talent on the rise.

Shawn Mendes – Aug 2014

Before he came to the fore with his infectious top 10 hit “Stitches”, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes was just your average Canadian teen living in Pickering, Ontario. Posting covers to the popular app Vine, the 18-year-old was soon discovered by A&R at Island Records, where he eventually signed.

Mendes released his hit album Handwritten in 2015, which debuted at number one. He followed it up with 2016’s Illuminate, which spawned the top tracks “Mercy” and “Treat You Better”. His most recent single – “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” – is almost a dictum for the trajectory of Mendes’ show-stopping career. Now, the singer-songwriter is on tour with Illuminate, and will be criss-crossing the globe until December 2017.


Scott Helman – Mar 2015

21-year-old Toronto native Scott Helman’s name might not be household yet, but you’ve certainly heard his earworms if your radio has been switched on in the past few years. Helman’s brand of indie rock has been favourably compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Vance Joy. After being gifted a guitar for his 10th birthday, Helman learned his way around the frets and was quickly signed to Warner Music at the age of 15.

His debut EP, Augusta, came out October 2014 and brought with it songs like “Bungalow” and “That Sweater”, which fellow Canuck Shawn Mendes named one of his favourite songs in an issue of Us Weekly. In 2016, he garnered two JUNO Award nominations for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. Since, Helman has released his follow up album, Hotel de Ville.


Alessia Cara – July 2015

Alessia Caracciolo, best known as simply Alessia Cara, has gone from strength to strength since her 2015 debut with the chart-climbing “Here”. Though she hasn’t been around very long, the 20-year-old R&B star counts Drake, Zedd and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson among her varied fans. Discovered, as most young talents seem to be these days, through covers posted to YouTube, Cara signed to Def Jam in 2015.

“Here” became her breakout hit, but she didn’t take long to eclipse that success with songs like 2016’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” and 2017’s collab with producer Zedd, “Stay”, which peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her third top 10 hit. Cara was also tapped for Disney’s Moana soundtrack. She performed the song “How Far I’ll Go”. Cara will co-host the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards and perform later this summer at the Calgary Stampede.


Coleman Hell – Oct 2015

Thunder Bay’s Coleman Hell is pushing the borders of music genre further with his fusion of country and EDM. It’s been labeled as “folktronica”, among other things. After a brief stint rapping as part of group Burnz n’ Hell, Hell left to form Sideways, a Toronto-based collective along with friends La+ch, Shan Vincent De Paul and Michah. While a part of Sideways, he came up with “2 Heads”, which has spent more than 20 weeks on Billboard’s Alternative Chart.

His debut album, Summerland, was released in 2016 and hit number 13 on the charts in Canada. It produced the Platinum-selling record “Fireproof”. He also spent most of 2016 touring with Twenty-One Pilots.


Ruth B – May 2016

Ruth B., full name Ruth Berhe, is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. Her influences include Lauryn Hill, The Beatles, Carole King, Grouplove, Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. While working part-time at fashion chain Reitman’s, Ruth began posting six-second clips on social media service Vine. It was there that she began to get recognition for her talent. She signed to Columbia Records off of the back of her original song, “Lost Boy”, inspired by the TV series Once Upon A Time in July 2015.

The song was included on her debut EP, The Intro, released on November 27, 2015. This month, Ruth B. kept the momentum going with her debut album, cowritten with Joel Little (who has worked with Lorde, among others), Safe Haven. It peaked at number 17 on the Canadian music charts.