Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rock Is Red #22 - Susan Aglukark

In speaking with Inuk singer songwriter SUSAN AGLUKARK, it is surprising to learn that her resolve as an artist and a musician was never truly solidified in her mind until after the release of her fourth album THIS CHILD. The 1995 album went three times platinum in Canada and earned her two JUNO AWARDS yet AGLUKARK maintains that her role as singer songwriter felt undefined until the follow up album UNSUNG HERO.  "On that album is a song called STAND UP written around 1997 or 1998." says AGLUKARK. "I remember having this moment of realization . I was the artist the EMI RECORDS had signed. I'm the center of this thing. I am the focus. I have to lead this. If I'm the writing the songs I'm directing he story and with  that knowledge came this profound peace. I needed to stop writing hit songs and just answer the call of the song. I fell inn love with being a conduit using the music as a tool to share the culture. That was when I knew that I had to commit to this musical career. That was when I knew."  And commit she has! AGLUKARK's musical career has been beautifully cataloged on nine albums over the span of twenty-five years. Her sound marries Inuk folk music traditions with contemporary pop and country flourishes. Now she is in the midst of putting together a brand new album with songs that speak to and for her Inuk culture, the wrongs of the past and the frailty of the human condition. While these themes are nothing new to AGLUKARK's music, she maintains that there will be a few surprises.  As she progresses in her life as both a musician and a spokesperson for numerous non-profit organizations working with Aboriginal and Inuit youth AGLUKARK has never lost sight of the importance of her music and it's message.  "Sometimes we (as Native people) feel like we begin when the government says we begin. Our identity comes from an institutional organization and they say this is what you are and this is what you do. When I got into this career it was all too easy to let everyone else make choices and decisions for me. That was how I had been conditioned . The more I engaged art and the more I wrote, the more I was empowered and realized that I had  the opportunity through music, singing and songwriting to share my views and my culture. This is mine but I had to come to that place first. At the core of all of the problems with our youth is this identity crisis." 


No comments:

Post a Comment