NEXT Magazine’s Top 21 articles from 2021

From TikTok scoops to musings about mega-star misfortunes, our readers turn to website to find out what’s NEXT in record numbers

Felt like more than a year’s worth of action to cover in the first 12 months creating NEXT Magazine — in print and online at: Here are the NEXT Top 21 in 21, the most read articles online at NEXT Magazine

1 – Brooklynne Webb is In Control

Brooklynne headshot

NEXT’s Associate editor Rayne Fisher-Quann is a bit of a social media force herself –check her out on TikTok @raynecorp and Instagram @rayneincoporated — so, no surprise she was following the nuanced tale of TikTok megastar @xobrooklynne. When Brooklynne decided to reveal the story behind her “performance art” piece, she gave the exclusive scoop to Rayne.

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2 – Why Didn’t We Think She Was Too Young?

Taylor Swift sitting in a red convertible, top down, wearing a orange-brown hat and camel coloured coat.

Shortly after her own 20th birthday, Rayne Fisher-Quann asks the Taylor Swift question that should haunt us all, “Why didn’t we think she was too young?” And why was Swift always the “bad guy” when her story was told?

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3 – Selling Sunset and the Shimmering Edifice of Feminist Capitalism

Mary Fitzgerald in Selling Sunset Season 4.

What and who is really being sold on bourgeois lifestyle porn show Selling Sunset? Rayne Fisher-Quann isn’t so sure that the women claiming to have it all, have that much – or maybe they’re being had?

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4 – Shawnee Kish’s Star Is Rising

Shawnee Kish posing

Indigenous rising star Shawnee Kish’s powerful combination of blues rock and ballads keeps winning her fans – and accolades. NEXT caught up with the talented Metis singer as she received Allan Slaight Master Class honours.

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5 – The Time I Convinced Michael Nesmith to Come to Toronto and Jam With the Sadies

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

NEXT editor/publisher, Michael Hollett remembers his friend, Michael Nesmith and the time he convinced the ex-Monkee to come to Toronto and jam with The Sadies.

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6 – Electric Circus Rewinds With ‘90s Pop Stars

A member of the band Aqua performing on stage.

Who doesn’t love a ‘90s dance party? Calgary sure does as this preview of Aqua, S Club 7 and Vengaboys appearance at Millenium Park in September clearly struck a synth-powered chord.

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7 – Ashnikko: Tiktok hitmaker scores Stupid Boys win

Ashnikko posing

We’ll write lots of stories about TikTok music stars in 2021 and second issue cover star, Ashnikko, is our first. “Stupid Boys” won’t feel so smart after she’s done with them.

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8 – Manila Grey bring West Coast sonics to their sound

Manila Grey bandmates posing

You’ll feel like you’ve joined NEXT’s Laura Robinson and sizzling hip hop duo Manila Grey as they race along their hometown Vancouver ‘s Knight Street looking for the everlasting party.

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9 – The Rebirth of 21 Pilots

Twenty One Pilots bandmates posing

Mid-teenaged Rayne Fisher-Quann was ready to take flight with 21 Pilots as a young girl. As she catches up with her onetime heroes, turns out she – and the band – have grown and changed. And that’s a good thing.

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10 – Crown Lands rock fueled by Rush and righteousness

Crown Lands bandmates posing

With Rush among their inspirations, Oshawa, ON based rockers add an Indigenous perspective and fresh riffs to their prog rock progression.

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11 – Ayla Tesler-Mabe Wants a Rock Resurgence

Ayla posing in front of green wall

Vancouver-based guitar wizard Ayla Teslaer-Mabe is in big demand – from working with WILLOW, playing in Calpurnia to fronting her own band Ludic. And she’s doing her best to help propel a rock resurgence.

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12 – The Futuristic Folklore of Caroline Polachek

Caroline Polachek sitting in a car, licking the tip of a knife

Drawing on 17th Century folkloric engravings for inspiration, surreal pop siren Caroline Polachek has a deft hand with the hits, producing So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings and Bunny is A Rider in quick succession. She explores her Muses with NEXT.

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13 – Lucy Dacus is Not Your Sadgirl

Lucy Ducas posing with flower

Ethereal singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus maintains her songs aren’t necessarily sad, just “emotionally evocative.” Whatever she’s calling them, we think her album, Home Video, was an important 2021 release and we discuss it with her in this feature.

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14 – The Great Swedish Come Back: ABBA’s Voyage

Members of ABBA standing around a piano in a recording studio.

The highly anticipated ABBA reunion might have the emphasis on the domestic over the disco, but NEXT’s Laura Robinson says this album — where they act their age — was worth the 40 year wait.

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15 – Courtney Barnett Takes Her Time

Courtney Barnett leaning against a full length mirror in a black and white top.

Checking in with NEXT from the desert, alt rock icon Courtney Barnett explains how she created her latest album, Things Take Time, Take Time, which we’re calling her best release yet.

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16 – Top (Corn) Dogs: Where to Score Great Tokkebi in Your Town

An assortment of tokkebi (Korean corn dogs) from Toronto's K Seoul Hot Dog.

Who knew it was possible to improve on the hot dog? NEXT food writer Nicole Richie did and she found the best devilishly delicious, Korean-inspired dawgs in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

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17 – The Magic of National Treasure Annie Murphy

Annie Murphy headshot

The world may have gone to shit lately but it’s all been pretty Schitt-hot for Canadian actor Annie Murphy. NEXT associate editor Laura Robinson caught up with the Emmy awarded star of Schitt’s Creek for an exclusive interview with one of the country’s hottest stars.

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18 – Triumphant Long Weekend with The Arkells

Arkells performing on the Budweiser stage

NEXT music writer Amy Lloyd cautiously joined a half-capacity crowd at Budweiser Stage in Toronto for The Arkells triumphant return to live performing. Like thousands of others, she was thrilled to be back at a live show.

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19 – Finneas Flies Solo

Finneas sitting in front of red velvet drapes, looking up.

Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas wrapped his first headlining tour in Toronto and editor/publisher Michael Hollett was blown away. He’s certain Finneas’s next tour will play in arenas.

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20 – Fuck It, I’m writing Samantha Jones into this show myself

Sex in the City cast walking down a street

Disappointed with a Samantha Jones-free Sex In The City reboot And Just Like That…, Rayne Fisher-Quann writes her version of what could have – and should have – been.

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21 – Mighty Good

Omega Mighty posing

Editor/publisher, Michael Hollett wrote our first ever cover story on Canadian hip hop powerhouse Haviah Mighty. Mighty shares deep details about the musical home that has also launched the career of her sister, Omega, one of NEXT’s Breakout Artists of 2021.

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