February 20, 2024

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Iskwe | Image source: AMPLIFY

This week AMPLIFY’s episode is called Littlestar and will feature the very talented iskwē along with activist, Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Every week AMPLIFY showcases 13 Indigenous songwriters, their creative processes, and their thoughts on issues today. Iskwē speaks about the writing process of a new song dedicated to the loss of Anishinaabe youth, Tina Fontaine, while Blackstock examines the effects that colonial policies have had on many Indigenous youth. 

MM: What do you hope audiences take away from your episode?

ISKWE: A lot of love and thought went into each step and every moment of this episode, so I hope that people can feel that love as we came together trying to tackle such a big, difficult conversation.

MM: What was the experience like while working on the episode you were featured in?

ISKWE: It was wonderful being able to work with such a diverse team! It was a fantastic learning experience, as we each had the opportunity to push ourselves in our respective areas while supporting each other in theirs.

MM: What can we expect from you next?

ISKWE: I’m currently working on a project through an exciting partnership with Stanford University – a performance piece I’ve been designing for my current album, acākosīk!


Iskwe singing
Iskwe on AMPLIFY

BIO: iskwē  is, among many other things, an artist – a creator and communicator of music and of movement, of pictures, poetry, and prose. And through it all, she’s a teller of stories that have impacted our past and will inform our future. acākosīk | ᐊᒐᑯᓯᐠ is the culmination of her creation and collaboration to this point. It’s a collection of seven sonic explorations that not only blur lines between sources and styles but also between the actual and the ideal, the real and imagined. acākosīk has received critical praise since the release on November 8, 2019. The video for “Little Star” garnered a JUNO Award for Best Music Video in 2020, the album was nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, and “Breaking Down” was nominated for a Prism Prize and SOCAN Songwriting Prize. Building on the foundation of potent, cross-cultural electro-pop established on her self-titled 2013 debut and the Juno-nominated, Polaris Music Prize Long-Listed 2017 follow-up The Fight Within, acākosīk incorporates more intense and urgent tinges of alternative, post-rock, and even industrial. The cohesive-yet-combustible result tips a cap to modern innovators like Florence + The Machine and FKA twigs while simultaneously borrowing sounds accumulated over centuries by iskwē’s Cree and Métis ancestors.

Instagram – @iskwe 

Twitter – @iskwe 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/iskwemusic/


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About The Author

Erica Commanda

Born in Toronto, Erica Commanda (Algonquin/Ojibwe) grew up in the small community of Pikwakanagan. From there she moved across Canada living in Ottawa, Vancouver and now Toronto, working in the bar/hospitality industry, mastering the art of listening to stories from her regulars while slinging and spilling drinks (at them or to them). And now through a series of random decisions and events in life she is on a journey discovering and mastering her own knack for storytelling as Associate Editor for MUSKRAT Magazine.

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