Artist IskwÃ© is in Charlottetown this week to brighten up the music scene with the release of her new album â€˜The Fight Withinâ€™. IskwÃ© (pronounced â€˜iss-kwayâ€™), is a Winnipeg born artist and she has been making and performing her combination of Jazz, Electronic and R&B music for quite some time.
IskwÃ© won Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year at the 2017 West Coast Music Awards (WCMA). Her stage name â€˜IskwÃ©â€™, which means â€˜Womanâ€™ in her native language of Cree /Dene embodies the message behind her music. In conversation, IskwÃ© opened up about her love for music and what she is trying to accomplish through this medium.
â€œI grew up in Winnipeg and during those years I was exposed to some serious issues that people in my community faced. Iâ€™m of Cree heritage on my motherâ€™s side and my father is Irish. Through my music, Iâ€™m trying to draw attention to these pressing issues that have become commonplace in many aboriginal communities. Disappearing and murdered women, the high suicide rate in indigenous youth and the lack of access to clean drinking water are some issues that spring to mind and need to be taken seriously,â€ explained IskwÃ©.
â€œI feel like there has been a strong dichotomy between native and non-native people for far too long in Canada. Through my music, I am trying to unite everyone so we can begin including indigenous people and indigenous realities in our thought processes and in our hearts. I am trying to reconcile the indigenous and non-indigenous people so that we as a nation can progress together and nobody gets left behind,â€ she added.
When asked about Charlottetown she said, â€œIâ€™m very excited to plant my feet on your territory and learn more about the east coast life. I have never been to the east coast but I love the ocean and I feel a strong connection with the Atlantic. I simply canâ€™t wait to get there!â€
IskwÃ© said that she looks forward to interacting with the youth of PEI after her show,â€œI have always drawn strength and inspiration from the young people that I am fortunate enough to interact as part of my tours.Â Iâ€™m amazed at the courage and strength that some of these youngsters show in dealing with the issues in their lives. Fighting off problems like abuse, depression, and addictions are not simple tasks which is why to me they are the real heroes!â€
IskwÃ© will perform at Babas Lounge in downtown Charlottetown on the November 9th. Tickets are available at door, for more details on the performance check out this Facebook page of the event! Â https://www.facebook.com/events/2491840801137641/
By: Adi Vella