Haviah Mighty wins 2019 Polaris Music Prize

Haviah Mighty wins the 2019 Polaris Music Prize in Toronto on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Haviah Mighty has won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for her debut album, 13th Floor.

The 26-year old became the first-ever female rapper to earn the accolade on Monday night. The selection was made by an 11-member jury as the Canadian album of the year based on its artistic merit.

The Polaris Music Prize winner receives a $50,000 cash prize and heightened awareness for their album.

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Mighty has released a number of EPs, mixtapes and albums, both as a solo artist and as part of Toronto-based hip hop trio The Sorority.

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According to the Blame rapper, 13th Floor reflects on the obstacles that came with growing up as a woman of colour in Canada as well as the positive reinforcement she felt from her family.

Mighty later revealed the meaning behind the album’s title. She said it came from the fact that the 13th floor does not exist in North American buildings, adding that it draws a parallel between that missing floor and communities that are ignored and discriminated against in western culture.

WATCH: Official music video for Haviah Mighty’s ‘Blame’

“My truth, how important it is and how dismissed it often is, I don’t care about that,” she said in her acceptance speech.

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“I’ve had the same thoughts and the same sentiments since high school, and every time it was ‘not the time’ and it ‘wasn’t the place,’ and here, at the Polaris 2019, it is the time and the place.”

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Mighty performed an eight-minute medley of songs from 13th Floor to celebrate her win and conclude the ceremony.

The up-and-coming musician joins a number of well-known Canadian artists who have won the accolade, including Arcade Fire, Feist, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Jeremy Dutcher, who won the award in 2018 with his Wolastoq-language album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.

Haviah Mighty, right, reacts after winning the 2019 Polaris Music Prize in Toronto on Monday, Sept.16, 2019. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

13th Floor is now available on all major streaming services.

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Haviah Mighty’s remaining 2019 Canadian tour dates

Sept. 27  — Montreal, Que. @ Piccolo Rialto
Oct. 26  — Halifax, N.S. @ The Seahorse Tavern
Nov. 7 — Edmonton, Alta. @ The Rec Room
Nov. 8 — Calgary, Alta. @ Royal Canadian Legion

— With files from the Canadian Press

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