Haviah Mighty becomes first female to win Rap Album or EP of the Year at JUNOs

Interrobang video reporter Kate Otterbein sat down with Music Industry Arts (MIA) program coordinator, Dan Brodbeck to discuss Haviah Mighty’s history-making win at the JUNOs.

At the recent JUNO Awards hosted on May 15, many Fanshawe alumni made the nominations list. One that came out on top was Haviah Mighty. She took home the award for Rap Album or EP of the Year, marking her as the very first woman to ever win the category at the JUNOs.

Mighty was a Fanshawe student in the Music Industry Arts (MIA) program from 2011 to 2013. When program coordinator Dan Brodbeck saw that she won, he said he was stoked.

“I screamed like my team just won the Super Bowl to be totally honest,” said Brodbeck. “I got really nervous as if I was maybe winning. Hands up, screaming as if a goal was just scored or something.”

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Brodbeck has experienced people he knows winning awards like this, but never one of his own students.

“When it’s a student of yours, when they’re grads that maybe I didn’t teach but they’re friends of mine, it’s amazing for the program and it’s great for them. But when you taught someone, it’s a lot different of a feeling.”

According to Brodbeck, when Mighty attended Fanshawe, she was very professional and really put in the work for what she wanted.

“We had our first Share the Land concert and we saw her perform there as a first year. Everybody’s jaws dropped. We all went, ‘she’s a rockstar, it’s just a matter of time,’ It’s not like we always knew. You always think somebody’s really good, but there’s a next level of performer where they just get it. She just always had that, it’s cheesy, it factor.”

Brodbeck said she was an awesome student and that the drive she had to learn everything about the industry, even if it wasn’t all her favourite, showed just how passionate she is about what she does.

In terms of the JUNOs, this monumental win will forever change them.

“It’s a huge thing because it gives people the idea like, ‘I guess I could win that,’ There are lots of extremely famous people that have never won an award. They get nominated but don’t win, or they don’t get recognized because they don’t quite fit the category. She doesn’t take it lightly what she did. She knows what happened and how important that is.”

The win also brought success for another Fanshawe alumni from the same program, Spencer Heaslip, professionally known as Taabu. He helped produce Mighty’s award-winning album.

“I believe they worked together at a music store when they graduated,” said Brodbeck. “So they’ve worked together on and off for years. Also, for somebody to keep working with the people they’ve always worked with is an amazing thing to me. [Producers] don’t always get as much credit but they’re just as important as the person out there that everybody sees on the front.”

Brodbeck added that the JUNO are loaded with Fanshawe alumni, which just shows what the college is capable of doing for students.