Indigenous Artist Spotlight: Elisapie

Started in 2018, the Indigenous Artist Spotlight series is intended to foster greater awareness and understanding of the strength and diversity of Indigenous art available in Ontario and beyond. Find all of our past Spotlight interviews here. This month, we spoke with Elisapie.

Headshot of Elisapie.

Elisapie’s unconditional attachment to her territory and her language, Inuktitut, remains at the core of her creative journey. Born and raised in Salluit, a small village in Nunavik which is only accessible by plane, Elisapie is an emblematic Canadian Inuk singer-songwriter. Her 4th solo record “Inuktitut” is composed of ten covers of classic rock and pop songs ranging from the 1960’s to the 90’s translated into Inuktitut, mother tongue. Elisapie reimagines these songs to make them her own. Through this musical road trip, she captures the way in which music travels and the way it takes on the baggage and history of those who listen to it. Elisapie tells her story by this act of cultural reappropriation. She performed with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal at the invitation of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, at the SummerStage Festival in New York City’s Central Park and in the NPR office for her own Tiny Desk Session, as well as in several venues and festivals locally and internationally. Always surrounded by the best musicians from the Montreal indie and folk scenes, Elisapie makes her culture resonate with finesse by mixing modernity and tradition.


Please take a moment to introduce yourself to our audience for those who may not know you.

Could you tell us a little about what inspires your work? Are there specific themes you find yourself drawn to explore? Or a process you follow when making music?

Your album Inuktitut is nominated for two JUNOs this year, including Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year. Congratulations! The album consists of 10 covers of classic rock and pop songs translated into your native language Inuktitut. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind this project and the process of creating the album?

Is there a performance or moment in your career that you are most proud of? Why?

Which song would you recommend to your first time listeners?

Is there anything else that you would like to share? Do you have any upcoming work that we should look out for?

Keep up with Elisapie