New Constellations Mixtape Showcases Songs from Emerging Indigenous Artists
Following the success of New Constellations—a nation(s)wide tour of music and arts which brought together over 50 Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians, writers and poets to perform in 13 communities from Alberta to New Brunswick, as well as an in-community workshop series for Indigenous youth hosted by Revolutions Per Minute, the New Constellations Mixtape showcases the sounds of the Indigenous Next Wave.
Over the last few weeks, 15 Indigenous artists participated in a unique online mentorship program to work on their music in dialogue, conversation, and with guidance from an accomplished group of mentors.
“Being involved in the New Constellations mentorship program was hugely inspirational for me”, said mentor Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Blue Hawaii and Braids. “Both my mentees became mentors for me; we dove together into the deeper spiritual reasons for making music and how we derive purpose from this pursuit.”
Standell-Preston joined an incredible group of artist mentors including: Anishinaabe electronic producer DJ NDN, Iraqi-Canadian hip-hop artist, educator, and MMVA award-winning video director Narcy, 2017 Polaris Prize Winner Lido Pimienta, Cree/Dene musician Iskwé, singer Jasmyn Burke (Weaves), JUNO Award-winning hip-hop artist Shad, and multidisciplinary Métis artist Moe Clark. Each mentor worked with the artists to develop and provide one-on-one feedback on their songs and sound.
“I got a lot out of the sessions that I had with my mentor”, said Tahltan and Dene artist mentee Jasmine Netsena. “We talked about songs as our medicine and rituals around songwriting…and I think that has a huge impact on the future of my music. I really look forward to watching the New Constellations program develop and grow and I think one of the main strengths is its ability to reach Indigenous artists that are based in Northern Canada.”
“The best part for me,” said artist mentor Iskwé, “is that while this was a temporary mentorship program, I feel it was only step one in establishing long lasting, beautiful relationships within the music industry – and highlighting the amazing ways women can work and support each other long term!”
Ranging from hip-hop to folk, electronic to experimental pop, and representing Indigenous nations from across the country, the New Constellations Mixtape is an incredible expression of rising Indigenous artists and the future of Indigenous music.
“As someone who couldn’t go to places where the in-person mentorship workshops were held,” said Métis artist mentee VI Levitt, “I have to say I am grateful. Over the weeks, I received valuable advice from someone whose work I really respect, both about my track and the realities of being an Indigenous musician today.”
“I didn’t expect our conversations to transcend music but I think even as producers or creators it’s important to connect with the artist and figure out their unique voice”, said mentor Jasmyn Burke of Weaves. “Whether talking about depression or how music helps get through tough times, I found the program to be very tender…and a safe space to talk.”
The New Constellations Mixtape is the result of these unique collaborations.
Listen and share below:
New Constellations Mixtape – Tracklist:
Congratulations to all of the participating artists and chi miigwech to all of the mentors!
New Constellations is presented with support from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Government of Canada.
New Constellations est présenté avec le soutien du Centre national pour la vérité et réconciliation de l’Université du Manitoba et du gouvernement du Canada.