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Indigenous Music Countdown #1 Chart-Topping & Nunavut Alt-Rocker Joey Nowyuk Releases “Pray”

Indigenous Music Countdown #1 Chart-Topping & Nunavut Alt-Rocker Joey Nowyuk Releases “Pray”

Song Lands Ahead of Forthcoming Debut, Tumitit

Chart-topping, award-winning alt-rocker Joey Nowyuk has released his newest single and video, “Pray” — available now.

Produced by Thor Simonsen (Kelly Fraser, Aasiva), and Dale Penner (Nickelback, The Matthew Good Band), “Pray” is the latest preview for the Nunavut-based artist’s forthcoming debut, Tumitit. Set for release this July via Hitmakerz, the album also features Inuit throat singing performed by JUNO Award-nominated band Silla + Rise’s Qattuu Evic; the video for “Pray” was directed, filmed, and edited by Paris-born filmmaker, Aïda Maigre-Touchet.

Joey Nowyuk’s name has been top of mind for some time now, with his previous release “Nalligigakku (Because I Love Her)” hitting #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown. Currently nominated for the CBC Searchlight Contest, the track has stacked more than 100,000+ streams across platforms, adding to his previous hundreds of thousands via Soundcloud.

Hailing from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Nowyuk first picked up the guitar when a travelling music workshop visited, he recalls. “I was inspired to keep playing, but that wasn’t an easy feat when guitar strings could not even be purchased in my community, being so remote!”

Nevertheless, Joey Nowyuk’s beat-heavy, guitar-driven songs have beamed beyond Northern borders like the rays of optimism and hope they espouse — including translations across Inuktitut, English, French, and Japanese. “I want to reach people around the world, just as much as Nunavut and Canada,” he says. “Tumitit is the Inuktitut word for ‘footsteps’ in English and, as the title suggests, I want others to walk in my footsteps by continuing to improve their lives and reach for their goals.”

A talented multi-instrumentalist on guitar and drums, in addition to powerhouse vocals, Nowyuk’s extensive songwriting repertoire has also taken top prize at the annual Qilaut Songwriting Contest three times — including its most recent 2021 event. “At their root, many of my songs are very personal, and Nunavummiuit often tell me they can relate; I touch on a lot of topics such as growing up an Inuk, mental health and suicide awareness, as well as living in the North.”

Joey Nowyuk has performed at the Pang Fest, Alianait Arts Festival, Toonik Tyme Festival, QIA Gala, and more, and previously released “Christmas Together” (2020) with Brenda Montana.

Funding for the album and music video was provided by the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, and the MVP Project, a joint initiative of RBCxMusic and the Prism Prize (administered by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television).

“Pray” is available now. Tumitit is available July 16, 2021.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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