Musicians and industry members from Newfoundland and Labrador have landed 59 nominations for the 2023 East Coast Music Awards.
The province is represented in more than 30 categories, including album of the year, country recording of the year and Indigenous artist of the year.
Reggie Morales of St. John's, nominated for rap/hip-hop recording of the year for his album Regicide, said it feels "pretty crazy" to be nominated alongside prominent Canadian rapper Classified.
"I, like, grew up listening to Classified," he said.
Fellow nominee Albert Dalton — up for his album If I Can't Have It — mastered Morales's album. Morales said more young people in the province are becoming more involved in hip-hop.
"The hip-hop scene is definitely growing around here," he said.
Kellie Loder of St. John's earned her nomination for songwriter of the year — where they're competing against Conception Bay South band Quote the Raven — on the back of songs they wrote for Mallory Johnson and the Ennis Sisters.
"I love writing songs and I really love writing songs for other artists. And that's the reason I'm nominated this year for songwriter of the year," they said.
Loder, the runner-up in Canada's Got Talent in 2022, is also nominated for entertainer of the year, which is voted on by music fans.
Peter McDonald of St. John's, known professionally as Pete, is up for children's entertainer of the year.
While he says he never thought that he would be considered for this category, he is excited about the nomination.
"This particular album all came about when my brother had a little girl named Macy. And when she was born, my sister-in-law, Megan, kept on saying I'd love to have some music for her to fall asleep with," he said.
At the same time, two of the other writers on the album, Sarah Newell and Spencer Fitzgerald and Sarah Newell, became an aunt and uncle.
"There was a lot of love in the room and a lot of thoughts about babies. A lot of thoughts about lullabies and just being relaxed and chill. And that's kind of what we wrote about," he said.
Other nominees from Newfoundland and Labrador include Fortunate Ones, Jason Benoit, Andrew Staniland, Rawlins Cross, Mallory Johnson, Kubasonics, Deantha Edmunds and Nick Earle.
The ECMAs take place May 3-7 in Halifax.