Kelly Fraser, Juno Nominated Canadian Inuk Singer-Songwriter
Episode 008 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!
My guest today is Juno nominated Canadian Inuk singer-songwriter Kelly Fraser. Originally, from Nunavut, she has attracted a large fan base with her blend of traditional Inuit music and modern pop EDM and hip hop.
We had a fascinating conversation about what it was like growing up in Nunavut where her parents suffered from the colonization of their land. They were forced into residential schools where her mother was abused from 5 years old. The cultural genocide resulted in a lot of trauma for her community and her own father committed suicide when Kelly was only 16 years old. Through her music and advocacy, Kelly is on a mission to educate Canada and the world on the realities of what happened and what is still happening in her community today.
She shares the Legend of Sedna the Sea Goddess, who was the inspiration for her second album Sedna and tells us about some of the songs on Kelly’s new album called De-colonize. The first single “Rebound Girl” is out next week and the video April 15.
Hello, and welcome to episode number eight of Sing Dance Act Thrive. My guest today is JUNO nominated artist Kelly Fraser. Originally from Nunavut, she has attracted a large fan base with her blend of traditional Inuit music and modern pop EDM and hip hop. We had a fascinating conversation about what it’s like growing up in Nunavut where her parents suffered from the colonization of their land. They were forced into residential schools, where her mother was abused from age five. The cultural genocide resulted in a lot of trauma for her community, and her own father committed suicide when Kelly was only 16 years old. For her music and advocacy, Kelly is on a mission to educate Canada and the world on the realities of what happened and what is still happening in her community today. She shares the legend of Sedna, the Sea Goddess, who was the inspiration for her second album Sedna. He tells us about some of the songs on Kelly’s new album called De-colonize, with the first single “Rebound Girl” coming out next week and the video April 15.
Diane Foy: Hello Kelly. Welcome to the show.
Kelly Fraser: Hello, Diane. Thank you. I’m honored to be in your show.
Diane Foy: So you’re working on your third album? Tell us about that.
Kelly Fraser: Yes, my third album is called De-colonized and I love to de-colonize the hell out of this country.
Diane Foy: Fantastic. And you’re releasing the first single “Rebound Girl”?
Kelly Fraser: My first single is a single by itself and yeah, Rebound Girl, It’s all in English and it’s a EDM pop song that people will dance to at the club and they’re going to play after their breakup. It’s the 2019 breakup Song of the Year
Diane Foy: Wow. It’s amazing. So tell me all about the new album.
Kelly Fraser: De-colonize is an album, to help mediums and the rest of the world see the way that I see the world. And the thing is what I can see from my point of view is, there is a lot of work has to be done not only with indigenous people but with everyone else because we are on stolen land. We are benefiting from the pain of genocide. So I’m not here to say I’m not at a race people at people in power. I just want to ensure that we are working towards reconciliation and that we’re doing it in a way that we know consciously what we’re doing. So my album is to help open people’s eyes in what me, an Inuit, has gone through because, for the benefit of other people.
Diane Foy: And you recently won an Inspire Award is that what it’s called?
Kelly Fraser: Yes, this 2019 in February I won $10,000 for the Inuit Youth recipient award, it’s an Inspire Award and I’m very proud of it. I am very blessed to be at where I am today.
Diane Foy: You were nominated for JUNO for Sedna? Tell me about that. Like, what was it a shock?
Kelly Fraser: Yes it was. It really was because by the time I was nominated for a JUNO Award, I actually believed that I wasn’t going to make any more progress in the music industry, I’ve accepted that I was now going to be only popular in the Arctic. It’s actually really sad that I had accepted that when I should have been more persistent on pushing for success.
Diane Foy: You started to feel discouraged?
Kelly Fraser: I started to feel like nobody wanted to listen to an Inuit. When I was 19, some people told me like your band will never get anywhere, you should quit while you’re ahead. There’s not a lot of English speakers anyway, because you’re an Inuit, nobody will want to hear your music. This is the kind of the types of information I was told by non-Inuit, by Inuit. And it was very discouraging. So by the time I was 24 years old, I kind of accepted that I guess they were right. This isn’t for me, I was only going to become very popular in the north. And I was done with that popularity. But what I didn’t know is the fact that I was popular up north, helped me get that JUNO nomination and I will forever and forever in debt with Inuit my people, and I will forever always acknowledge and thank them for being to where I am today, and where I am today is I live from my art, I pay rent with my art. And that, in itself is success as an artist.
Diane Foy: 6:11 So where did you grow up?
Kelly Fraser: I grew up in a small island in the middle of the Hudson Bay called Belcher Islands in a town called Sanikiluaq and it is a part of Nunavut. But it’s not Nunavut at all. It’s the Hawaii of Nunavut. We’re right near Quebec, right above Ontario, not quite in James Bay, but right in the middle of Hudson Bay on the right side.
Diane Foy: And what was it like? For me, I don’t know anything about growing up there. So if you could let us know. What was it really like?
Kelly Fraser: So essentially, Nunavut is the Arctic. And so it’s the treeless tundra. So if you’re on our little island Sanikiluaq in the Belcher islands, we are near the tree line. So the next community we fly over, they actually have trees. So we’re near the tree line but we don’t have any trees. And so it’s beautiful. It’s very flat. I grew up kayaking on the boat, I grew up hunting and fishing and hunting for walrus, seal, buluga whales. I’ve come hunting, helping hunting by being on a post with other hunters with guns and harpoons. And whales would be literally swimming under our boat. I grew up in a rich culture where our traditions are still very strong. So I know how to pluck a goose and how to cut fish and how to dry fish, I know how to smoke it, and how to sew some silk skin mitts and yeah, but I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba now as a full time performer and singer in my language Inuktitut and in English.
Diane Foy: When you were young like what first inspired you to get into music?
Kelly Fraser: I’ve always loved music. I was always musical. I always love to sing along to song, my parents would play a lot of 80’s rock music 80’s pop music. My cousins who play a lot of pop music of 1890’s 2000’s and so when I was 10 years old, I wrote a song to tell kids not to bully me anymore. It’s called “Please Don’t Tease Me” and when I was 11, I watched a movie called Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan in it, in that electric guitar and all teen band and it inspired me to play guitar. So I told my parents that night that I watched it. Go buy me a guitar and they didn’t want to spoil me. So they told me to take after school guitar lessons. And so yeah, when I was 11, I started playing the guitar, naturally to learn how to play the guitar listening. And when I was singing my guitar teacher who actually was a math and science teacher for the high school, Terry Dunford, he told me that I have a beautiful voice. And I kept singing and playing guitar and what my dream was, was to be an electric guitar player in a band.
Diane Foy: Oh, yeah. Not as the artist, more as a side player?
Kelly Fraser: I wanted to sing too, but I was more interested in the guitar. I thought it was fantastic. I grew up not watching a lot of women play the guitar. So when I started in class, there was no a lot of girls and there was no girls. I was the only one and I inspired other girls in my school to start learning how to play the guitar as well. And at home, there’s actually quite a few girl guitar players and bass players. I joined a band when I was 15 and I was the bass player and yeah, I’ve been playing I was playing with them for about six seven years before I decided to go to solo and moved to Winnipeg at age 22. Before my album Sedna was out when I was 23.
Diane Foy: And so, when did you have your first album?
Kelly Fraser: 10:34
My first album was called Isuma and it was a pop rock album. And there was some gospel music in it. There was a couple of covers like [ inaudible} I had a Inuit artist cover [inaudible] another important Inuit artist called clearly Villa[inaudible] and so yeah what I was famous for in the Arctic was translating pop songs into my language Inuktitut. So I did a rendition of “Gangnam Style” a song called “NS Style” calling people young Inuit people to go to college that I went to study for Inuit studies. I yeah, I made that song and then I’m and I made other songs that we are young ini Inuktitut [inaudible] and many other covers. The recent cover I did this past October was a song called “Havana” and yeah, I made it into Inuktitut.
Diane Foy: 11:51
So then, your second album was Sedna, and it was nominated for JUNO Award, that’s fantastic. Congratulations on that.
Kelly Fraser: 12:00 Thank you.
Diane Foy: 12:02
So tell me about the process about, you know, what made you want to do this for a living? Like was that always your plan? Or did you have? Did you just fall into this what made you want to make this your profession?
Kelly Fraser: 12:18
When I was 15 years old, I was determined to become a famous rock star famous in a rock star. A famous Inuit rock star. I recognize that we didn’t have any of those yet. And I wanted to reach to the top so that other Inuit can learn, you know, we are worthy. We are amazing. And I wanted to inspire other people to try to do that as well. I love to sing ever since when I was 15. It was either become a famous singer or a lawyer.
Diane Foy: 12:59 Yeah well, I saw in your bio that you’re studying to be a lawyer.
Kelly Fraser: 13:03
I used to study Indigenous Studies. I studied Inuit studies for two years when I was 18 to 20. And when I was 22, I went to study Indigenous Studies for a couple of years. So I have a lot of knowledge of the history of how Canada came to be. And I also have a lot of knowledge of the fact that we are on land that has actually tortured and killed indigenous people, for money for power. And unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of Canadians understand that. So in my next album, De-colonize, I’m hoping to reach out and change people’s minds on the stereotypes they have of this nation’s native and Inuit.
Diane Foy: 14:05
Right. Sometimes Canadians down here in the south, we kind of think that Canada ends above the provinces and we have no idea what’s going on up there. So it’s great that you’re kind of spreading the word and educating people.
Kelly Fraser: 14:21
Yes, I want people to know that indigenous people are alive very much alive. We are doing well. I mean, not as well as we could be. But we are currently pressed by laws that have been there for too long. And so I’m hoping that this album that I reach out to the heart of Canadians make them to make decisions to ensure that we do live in an equal country where everyone has a chance to live a happy, wonderful life with without worrying about the cost of food, without worrying about if you have clothes and welcome you have 20 people in a house of three rooms, and hoping we go into a place where we’re not dying from TB, or have the highest rate of suicide and hoping for a country that people are in rage that Inuit community as we speak, that we have a boil advisory and even if you boil the water, you will get sick. And so I just want to live in the country, where people are in our community live a happy life and a life where their self-esteem is, I believe Inuit were hard workers, but we’ve been forced into a welfare state. And I just want people to know that and if you know that, we can move on to the healing process. Process where we’re consciously making decisions on who we vote for, what we want to complain about to the government, and how we can change our minds on how you see the people that own the land before other people.
Diane Foy: 16:17
Right. And I’ve heard you say that there’s a high percentage of mental health illnesses in your community. We can talk about that.
Kelly Fraser: 16:30
Yes. So because of all the trauma from residential schools, for example, my own mother went to a residential school where she was severely abused, told not to speak her language, abusing also in ways as five years old, five years old, get sexually abused, raped by men and women, people in power and her own classmate. So there’s a lot of trauma in my community and what trauma gives birth to is post-traumatic stress disorder. So I believe that there’s too many of us walking around with mental health illness or a mental illness that we don’t know how to deal with. So, I’m hoping through my music I can make people understand that as Inuit as indigenous people need to reach out and say, I need help. I want someone to talk to. There is something wrong. There is something wrong with this country. And I’m hoping more and more people will heal by understanding that they, they themselves are also kind of broken. And I’m not saying we are all broken. There are wonderful Inuit that are doing amazing things and what makes them amazing and successful is they take care of their mental health.
Diane Foy: 18:09
I know for most of Canada that sometimes getting the help, there’s not enough resources. Is it worse up there I assume?
Kelly Fraser: 18:19
It’s really hard to be able to get any help when the mental health worker comes every six months. I’m not sure how it works now, I heard that things are a little bit better. But in the end, we do need more resources as a country as a whole. I do have friends and family in the south of Canada that struggle with mental health services. So I’m hoping even in my album people will recognize we need more help in Canada healing everybody because it’s not just a race thing. But the thing is, we are we indigenous people are not getting access to those mental health resources. And I myself, have resources because I live in a city. There are places where you can get counseling for free. Unfortunately, where I come from, in [inaudible]it’s harder to get. I myself have been saved by a mental hospital when I was in dealing with my father’s suicide. And so I’m thankful every day of my life that this wonderful mental health worker has helped me realize that I am worth and I only hope that every person in this country can get that kind of help the way I get when I was 16.
Diane Foy: 19:57
Yeah. How was that? I guess dealing with your father was a shock or was he dealing with issues his whole life?
Kely Fraser: 20:06
My father seemed like a hero. He seemed like nothing could ever hurt him. And I think at the end, that’s what caused him to do what he did is he acted like there was nothing wrong. And the thing is with humans, there’s something we’re not perfect. We weren’t born to be perfect. This whole world isn’t set up to for everything to work out. We need to consciously make decisions to ensure that we are taking care of ourselves that we’re that we accept that we’re not always going to be.
Diane Foy: 20:50
Yeah, and sometimes just even admitting that you need help is hard for people. So that’s something you know by you being so open about it and in your music, it kind of tells people that it’s okay to admit that there’s, they’re struggling with something, and then ask for help?
Kelly Fraser: 21:10
Everyone struggles. That’s something I recognize. And in my music, I’m so happy I have even non-indigenous people telling me I love your music. Your music helps me. I listen to every day and it saves my own life. So what I want people to know is my music is for everyone it’s not only to indigenous, it was not only about indigenous people, it’s about being human. We’re all human, and we all need help. And we all need love and all those wonderful things that makeup who we are.
Diane Foy: 21:46 Yeah. Tell me about the Aboriginal School of Dance.
Kelly Fraser: 21:50
So I work with the Aboriginal School of Dance. They are my backup dancers when I perform and I also travel with them to other reserves and other performances where I perform and they dance with me and Buffy Handel the owner and I have worked together at the Inspire Awards last year in2018. I performed my songs “Sedna”, and Buffy Handel choreographs the dance with me and Holly. And Holly is a dancer and we dance together. And my dress was actually hanging from the ceiling connected to my dress. It was amazing. And so me and Buffy, we bonded right away. And so I started working for her in August and we continue to work together and she’s been the dancers to my show. At the Palmino in Winnepeg for April 11 at 9:30pm having a wonderful performance to show people my new single “Rebound Girl” and PJ Vegas from LA will be flying up open for me and also he will be in my music video. My Rebound Girl music video has a I have choreography in it and actually in a dance studio practicing the choreography. We’re going to be filming in a car in a fancy car. We’re going to be filming on the street. I’m going to have a smock on in a room to look like I’m in an insane asylum because in the song I do say don’t let him get you to where I’ve been in a loony bin. It was such a sin so we can have the path we’re going to do the filming at the Palomino also in the afternoon before all the crowd comes. The music video is professionally done by Ryan, Carl Suzuki, and I’m very excited to work with him even more. Rebound Girl is coming up April 1st. I’m very excited for when it’s coming out. EDM songs all in English it’s going to be awesome.
Diane Foy: 24:20
There’s a compilation album coming out soon with Thor Simonson. How did you hook up with him?
Kelly Fraser: 24:31
So when I was 19 years old, fresh out of college, I was doing a tour with my band across the Arctic. And I was performing at the [inaudible] and Thor Simonson had watched me perform, I was very sick that day, I had a strep and I think I do the best that I usually do when I’m not sick and he told me after the show that he was really impressed with, like, what I did and that he’d love to work with me. So our first song we worked on was a song called “The Struggle” a rap song by Brian _____ before recorded us currently on first album, Teritorial, and it was the start of a very beautiful relationship, friendship where we would make songs. He’s helped me make a song called Para, Para Para Para. It’s about butter and how much I love it. And how I’d put it on panic and like, meat. So Thor helped me record some songs. And then when I lived in Winnipeg at age 22, he said, you know what, Kelly, we should get together and we should record an album and we should also tour the Arctic by having something called the Nunavut hitmakers something he got off, something he endorse it. He said, Let’s travel across the territory of Nunavut and let’s make songs with kids or with anybody who wants to. So that’s what we started doing these in 2016 we started traveling to three communities and now it’s 2019 we’ve travelled for quite community and thanks to all our funders in us a money hear that government of Nunavut and so on. In store sensing, we’re working together on De-Colonize on my third album, and I have a lot to thank him for helping me create Sedna, for helping me put out this single fight for the rights first is, fight for thr rights is what’s the song is all about telling Inuit for know for a long referendum whether or not we don’t want to sell municipal land. And we released it on a Friday, in May 26 2016. And it came out. Yeah, it came out on Friday on the radio on CBC. On the Monday, there was a vote. On a Monday Nunavut voted, no, just somebody’s land, whether or not I helped him decide that, I can never be sure, but the community was the most voter turnout. So that’s something I’m really proud of. And I believe the fact that I made a song about it, made them know for even more my community of ________
Diane Foy: 27:54
Yeah that’s amazing to have that much influence and to be able to educate people on certain issues with your music. It’s amazing.
Kelly Fraser: 27:59
Yes and Sedna is about the Inuit Sea Goddess, Inuit belief in before we were forced to believe in other beliefs. I have a song called Sedna on my Sedna album singing as if I’m the sea goddess herself, we have a creation story at growing up in my language by an elder. So her name was Luledoo, That’s her traditional name. She was named Sedna by some people that travel up north. Sedna was a young, beautiful Inuit girl, just like myself, just kidding. And she didn’t want to marry anyone in the camp so her father said, since you don’t want to marry anyone in the camp, I’m gonna marry you to my lead sled dog. So she met the dog and they had four children and the four children the color is like somewhere black, red, white and yellow. The father had to kill seal once a week to their island because the dog did not hunt he did not have have a horrible. So then the dog would come help him bring the seal to feed the kids and Sedna and her husband. And one day the father tired of bringing seal to the dog. He was very resentful that the dog did not hunt. So he decided one day he was going to kill him. So he stabbed him and the dog fell into the water and drowned, and so Sedna was sad that her children no longer have a father. So because she loved her father a lot. She decided she was going to give her children away to the world because she didn’t want them to grow up and kill her own father. And so she stood up for escape to achieve with them. And she put them, north, west, east, south. And these puppies populated the world. So, essentially in my culture. What the elders told me was, right was for indigenous people. Black was for black people, White was for Europeans and yellow was for Asia. That’s how we understand our creation story is that these start from us birth. And so Sedna, she stood up by herself, out in the land, single again. And she found a handsome man and they fell in love. And one day he turned into a raven and she was very upset because she said, I thought I was done with animals. So then she told her father through her dreams to her thoughts that she wants to pick her up. So he had a dream that she wanted to come so he went on his boat and went to see and the raven man he had he was flying up hunting. She was trying to run away from him like what on her dad going on for that boat. So they left they’re about to leave the vicinity of the island when the raven saw them try and run away and he started swooping down trying to catch them off the boat. And so Sedna’s father, and then made out of his instinct, survival instinct, he decided he was going to push his daughter off of the boat, she was trying to hold onto the boat, then he get his knife and he sliced her fingers off the boat, she went down into the water, and then Sedna’s dying. She threw a pale, her hands turned into seal flippers And she could control the animals in the water on the land and the web. So when Inuit any broke the boat. Sedna would take all the animals and put them in her hair. And the way that they would get them back is Inuit would have to tell their Shaman also under the sea and comb the animals out of her hair with their hands, and it that they have not any chance, seal flippers as hands the last time we get tattoos, vines on our fingers. Sedna was the goddess of the sea. And she was one to be feared. And so Shaman’s were under the sea ice or if it was summer under the water, we comb her hair how beautiful shes is, how powerful she is. She bring the animals in to land in the water and if she liked it, she’d say yes here you go. And you see me love This is too bad for your cat. Because forInuit, if you don’t find the animals you die, you just cease to live your whole family dies. You just always gotta keep up out on a hunt. So, people came to Inuit land in the Arctic and they take this and the way that he converted is they said these people who came they said only if you convert we will give you the medicine to survive. So Inuit may know have instinct converted their belief from Sedna, Shamanism, [inaudible], traditional Inuit tattoos into a different religion and survived. Inuit survived we are 60,000 in Canada about 150,000 across the whole sector of the Arctic. One thing that’s happening in our communities more people are getting traditional tattoos, more women are [inaudible]. That’s how I start because I want to show the people where I come. The junk. Lost in my communities, I learned it when I was studying Inuit studies at school in Ottawa, so I probably jump back to my community and I used to jump in my performances and my recordings. And I sing as if I’m Sedna herself because my father committed suicide when I was 16 acting, I feel like that in the Sedna story. Her father cut her fingers off the hook. I felt like he kept me out of this world. Sedna gave away her children. When I was 17 years old, I got pregnant, and I have to give up my child for adoption because I could not sustain living with myself and her in my small community where there’s no housing, there’s not a lot of jobs, even though I was graduated from high school. I felt a deep connection. I feel that the connections Sedna herself. And I felt like if I was going to defend my land, I might as well sing as if I’m Sedna herself, Inuit sea goddess, because I felt like I had the right, I suffered just like she did. And so I thank her every day for helping me get to where I am today and I believe she comes up when I sing and that she loves it.
Diane Foy: 35:27
I assume it affects your songwriting. Maybe tell me some of the songs on Sedna.
Kelly Fraser: 35:30
Anyway my album Sedna I sing not only about Sedna. I sing for example, the first check of my album Sedna it’s called The Gate, and it’s how, how people tell me I’m not good enough. I will never reach the stages. I will always just be a small cow girl and never succeed. And so in my song, I’m like, I am succeeding, I am playing in this game. I even reference that my butt looks really good. It’s like and in hip hop I learned you kind of have to say you know, I’m kind of better than you but I’m not in the top but at the same time I do rapping. And so that song has rap in it in my language Inuktitut which I’m very proud of. I am an EDM artist, pop music, and I sing about my culture in a song “Immamiit” about kayaking in the water. [inaudible]. I have a song about my father and a letter that I wrote him and having a message to other people to stay strong. I tell my story that my father committed suicide. I myself have battled depression and suicidal ideation, I no longer struggle that much anymore. But through my music I’ve healed myself, I play love song, I play songs about the song called “Parachutes” about racism and how I had to some I have to work a little bit harder than other people to get to where I am. And not in my chorus and patientience I’m actually singing things that people say to me when I call up North where I can sing? who are you dating? All kinds of those questions. So what am I going to say? What am I going to do? Is what they say true? These questions and make sure and so on top in these questions and make sure this chain. In that song, I sing only about my success, but the fact that I live in a country where we spend more on guns than the fact that you barely have enough for your education, not having enough for mental health issues. And so, in the end of the song in my first essay, I’m not racist. I’m not trying to say what race is better. I just want to make money, I just want to make chedddar like stop being racist towards me, I just need to survive. My album is full of these kinds of messages to tell people I’m a human, I feel things and I feel things when people say, I don’t believe you, or who you are in your ID, so I’m going to have to ask for another one, or I think you’re a thief or there’s just so many things that happen when I’m just trying to do my daily business. This is racism is a constant barrier for me to get checks done, to hire people to ensure my business keeps growing as an artist. That’s one thing I will always be vocal about is, I’m just a human. I’m just want to, I just want to survive.
Diane Foy: 39:19
Yeah and so maybe talk about De-Colonize some of the songs that we’re going to hear. So the album comes out when?
Kelly Fraser: 39:27
Sometime in July and my single or the album will come up April 30. And I’m hoping to perform it at in [Inaudible] which I got invited to. So De-colonized rhymes is basically a rap song that say, De-colonize rhymes is a song to say we need to change. It’s a rap song talking about the things my grandfather look through the SMP dogs, developing skills in kayak. My mother being forced into residential school and how we need to change how this is not sustainable we can’t keep pretending that no, that is happening and that we shouldn’t blame indigenous people or the negative things that are happening on our land today. We need to take accountability in what’s happened to be a better a better people a better generation. We want our children to know that if you do something at you call me say your story. And not only do you say your story, but maybe you do things to make sure you don’t do that again. So in my song, again, I’m not against any race. I just want people to know you’re just part of the human race. I want to succeed. Please help me. And then there’s other songs. One is called “Money”. It’s about how I’m succeeding in making money. And it’s a way to help people just because I’m indigenous, it doesn’t mean I’m poor and sick. And all those stereotypes people walk around within their head. I’m a successful musician. And I want indigenous people to know they can succeed and I want non indigenous people to know we are succeed. That one I really like it was inspired after being profiled at a bank, I’m not going to say which one and I have a song called “Where’s my dog”. It’s as if I, my grandfather, who’s dogs have just been shocked many other songs, not only songs about issues but fun songs, love songs it’s like this album won’t just be heavy on trying to educate people. This album is about the fact we’re all human. We all love this thing. We all fight the same battle, similar battles, and we just really work together. And so it’s about how and who because I’ve been fortunate. De-colonize, I’m really happy that I have a great team behind me. And that these are open minded and the whole world will be open minded because it’s not just Canada that has had genocide. There’s the Holocaust. There’s the U.S. the same thing to indigenous people and I think of so many others.
Diane Foy: 43:02
Do you have advice for younger artists that look to your success and they want to maybe follow in your footsteps?
Kelly Fraser: 43:10
Yes, I have a lot of advice. First, drink water, eat healthy food, exercise. Just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean you need to fall into those stereotypes. People have a part of being drug addicts or alcoholics or just party animals, that’s not what an artist is. An artist is someone who lives back to what kind of world we live in, sometimes people are so busy trying to survive, they don’t have the time to reflect on that which is why I feel like my job is very important. Artist is fine as much meaning as you can to your art. Share. Find a lot of people to collaborate with is the most successful people are the ones that are collaborating and always sharing and always telling people, encouraging other people. So please, don’t fall into this clique. We cannot with art, we can’t be acting as if we’re the best in our field. We can’t get coffee which maybe impressive, I found myself becoming aggressive. During shows, you have to be kind, you shouldn’t take shit, that’s for sure. You have to have a healthy mental mind, you need to make sure you’re doing all those steps to keep yourself alive. Make sure your finances are checked. Basically, make sure you’re paying your bills and that you’re not overtly spending on things that that will hurt you. Keep making art, keep sharing. Don’t be afraid. Because if you’re true to yourself, the truth will be inevitable. Am I saying it wrong? English language actually have a song in “Parachutes” that says that the tongue but I found out because I read a lot and I didn’t learn a lot on how to say the word. It’s actually not stupidity, but it was nominated for JUNO so I guess.
Diane Foy: 45:30
Yeah, well as the other and just that there’s a lot of like your song titles or even where you’re from, it’s like, I can’t pronounce those. So, it goes both ways. For live shows, have you toured all of Canada?
Kelly Fraser: 45:46
I’ve traveled all throughout Canada. So I was recently doing a Labrador point in December proof world in PI Back in Ontario, Koba. EC, I’ve performed in Alberta, and I have yet to performance at ______, Greenland and going to perform in New York for the UN because I’m going as a delegate for the Canadian delegation for indigenous issues I’m very proud of that. New York, April 22, to be a part of the delegation.
Diane Foy: 46:29
That’s amazing. And I always ask my guests, what is their big picture, why? Why do you do what you do? And that doesn’t necessarily mean just your music, just everything. What drives you?
Kelly Fraser: 46:40
So for me, as an Inuit, I come from a small community in Nunavut on a little island and we speak mostly in Inuktitut my most important thing I want to show people is we need to know our language. That’s why I translate pop songs into Inuktitut so that children and elders can understand what these pop songs are saying. I want to ensure my culture is intact. Even when I leave this physical world. I want to make sure people know what an Inuit is. Not it’s not okay to say Eskimo. It’s not okay to call us drunks. It’s not okay to say we’re all broken because we’re not. We are just like everyone else. And just like everyone else, we need a little bit of hope. And also, as a human being, I love to sing. I love to make people watch me in awe as I sing and dance because I’m a pop singer. And and, and I’m there connecting with my own ancestors as I perform so it’s a very spiritual thing. So the reason why I do what I do is to educate people to ensure pride in my own people and and then make people smile and laugh and, and have a good time and dance. So that’s why I am an artist.
Diane Foy: 48:21 So where can people find you online? on Facebook?
Kelly Fraser: 48:20
I have a Facebook page Kelly Fraser right now I have 6k likes. Let’s make it to a million. I have Instagram its called SPL. All my music is on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, and everywhere and Rebound Girl is coming up on all the music platforms and my music videos coming up April 15 so everything I do is online. It’s right there. Just click on me.
Diane Foy: 48:50 Wonderful. Thank you. Thanks for joining us.
Kelly Fraser: 48:54 Thank you so much, Diane.
Diane Foy: 49:00
I learned a lot talking to Kelly and I hope you did too. She’s a very educated and talented young woman. I believe that her De-colonize album will be the one that breaks through to the mainstream. I think we’ll all be singing and dancing and rapping along to Rebound Girl and De-colonize runs very soon.