When I first started throat singing it woke something up within me; it became a way for me to express my Inuit culture. My interest wasn’t triggered until I was in my early twenties when my Mom sent me some throat singing on cassette tapes, but from there I really started digging into it.
To be honest, it comes naturally to me; it feels as if I have no choice to make the music I’m making. The sounds of music already exist; I’m just pulling them out of the universe and through my voice so other people can hear what’s already there too. I wasn’t trying to make it that way, it just kind of happened. I want to give people something a little unexpected with my music. Although my music seems experimental, I feel like I’m taking throat singing back to how it used to be. The songs that are considered traditional now – someone created them at some point. Now I’m just creating new songs and new sounds; and who knows how they will be considered 100 or 200 years from now. I mean people used to sing right into each other’s mouths! But since interference from western culture nobody knows what the really old traditions are anymore.
“People from the South came and all of a sudden our culture became savage, wrong, and bad…”
Before missionaries and militaries and Canadian government representatives came North we had our own belief system. Now a lot of the youth seem to carry so much shame. It’s like this society is set up so that we’re not even supposed to feel good about ourselves anymore. People from the South came and all of a sudden our culture became savage, wrong, and bad and we needed to become more like them. Christianity brought shame. Throat singing stopped; when you discourage creativity cultures won’t progress. Abolishing that shame is important to me. If I can help just one person feel better in my whole music career, then I’m doing my job; as long as somebody is getting it.
“With my music I do my best to reflect the world back to itself”
With my music I do my best to reflect the world back to itself. I believe everybody has their own sounds and instincts inside of them but do not listen to them anymore. People are too busy thinking only with their minds and not listening to their feelings. It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when you work in a square room all day and drive a square car all evening and then you go to sleep in another square room all night. Society is that exact same square forcing us to be boxed into a certain way of living. You’re only supposed to act one way and nobody’s supposed to be messed up. It’s bullshit. We need to start taking care of ourselves emotionally and spiritually and I want to shed some light on that.
My music helps me leave it all behind, all the terrible things we’ve done to our environment and to ourselves. In my day-to-day life I think a lot about life but during my performances there’s definitely no thought to it. No, instead I dive into my subconscious, not necessarily to forget but to expose what’s actually there. I’m chasing a state of complete peace that you only get every once and a while, like during a very long run or eating a very perfect meal, or giving birth. Only at those times are you completely and totally aware of that moment; you’re not worried about the past or the future. It feels how everything should be if we weren’t confined. I chase that feeling time and time again through art, exercise, or singing.
“I get angry because Canada thinks it’s such a nice multicultural country but it’s still very racist”
Another thing really driving my music is my anger with the effects of colonialism and the state of Nunavut right now. Life is hard, especially here, where abuse is normal. It’s tough. I’m really mad about a lot of things and it wasn’t until I started travelling and I saw a little more of how other people lived that I really got upset about the socioeconomic things going on in Nunavut. For example when I went to Europe I gained a way deeper respect for “white people” because I learned the roots of their culture because, let’s be frank, they spent the last couple thousand years scrapping over every little piece of land there was over there. Europeans were warring people and so when they came over to our land they were still warring people.
I get angry because Canada thinks it’s such a nice multicultural country but it’s still very racist. All you have to do is look at any internet news story concerning native people. The comment sections have oceans of people saying “when are these natives going to get over this?” and “Aboriginal people should quit asking for handouts.” The problem is that there is not a properly executed native studies curriculum in the public school system. Kids don’t learn that Aboriginal Peoples were strong and independent people living in harmony with nature before colonialism and treaty systems, so later they see these news stories without any context. It’s really difficult to witness this all happen.
Whenever my band travels to Germany we’ve noticed things are different, there is still kind of a shame about what happened during WWII. And that’s what I want in Canada. I want the systematic genocide of Indigenous Canadians to be held with reverence. I just want respect and knowledge surrounding our history.
“I don’t want to spoon-feed people with my music. People can take what they want out of it”
I believe Canadians are good people and I think that if we were educated properly there would be a lot more understanding. We all need to do work. Aboriginal Peoples, the rest of the public, and the government need to work hand-in-hand to improve things.
That being said, I don’t want to spoon-feed people with my music. People can take what they want out of it because I don’t use lyrics. I just use what I feel about the situation to drive my singing and hopefully people will be clever enough to understand where that’s coming from. When I’m doing my music the last thing I want to do is be pointing fingers because it’s not about that. It’s about loving, understanding, helping out, and not being judgmental. I can’t blame the rest of Canada for not understanding the plights of Indigenous people but I can believe that if we spread the right knowledge, they will be on our side. It’s idyllic I know but I can hope.