iskwē: Breaking Down
The Juno-nominated Indigenous singer/songwriter previews a new album with a single featuring powerfully expressive vocals placed atop electro-pop rhythms, and accompanied by a striking video.
By Kerry Doole
iskwē -Breaking Down (Independent): A real industry buzz has developed around this Juno-nominated, Hamilton-based, Indigenous singer/songwriter. A new album, achakosuk, is due out on Nov. 8, and this, the second single, will increase anticipation for that.
In a press release, the singer explains that "Breaking Down, my new song, is about freeing yourself of a toxic relationship to find your sense of self and your personal strength. The question is – what relationship? On the surface, it could be personal, but listen closely and you will discover a deeper meaning. The accompanying video captures this metamorphosis."
"This video sees me finding my way back to my clan – the butterfly clan – which represents my family in the spirit world. I wanted to show the emergence of self by shedding layers of the past while discovering strength in being true to who I am. Our vision was to be as inclusive as possible, with each dancer representing different communities – Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ – as a way to honour the various stages of emergence and growth in taking comfort in who we truly are."
The clip is directed by noted artist/poet/producer/performer Jessica Lea Fleming (Métis-Scottish), and it has a striking cinematic quality that accentuates the torment of the lyrics: "You were just one of those, Now every time I hear your name, I get shook up, get shook up, Left your mark, I wear the stain."
iskwe's powerfully expressive vocals are placed atop electro-pop rhythms, while elements of Indigenous drumming and vocals are incorporated seamlessly.
Clearly a talent to be reckoned with.
iskwe performs at the Niagara Falls Concert Series, Aug. 3, and the Vancouver Mural Fest Park Show, Jonathan Rogers Park, on Aug. 10.
Publicity: Beth Cavanagh, What's The Story?