Iskwé & Special Guest Sierra Noble Performing At Winnipeg West End Cultural Centre In October
WINNIPEG, MB – In a world where we are constantly defining the sum of our lives through the filter of another’s gaze, genuinely unchained artists like Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based singer-songwriter IsKwé (pronounced iss-kway) are becoming a rare breed.
Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch’ by CBC Music, IsKwé (which means ‘woman’ in her native language) is fostering an unmistakable sound that weaves together her Irish and Cree/Dené roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats.
Captured fully on her brand new single “Sometimes,” which is the first release off of her sophomore album The Fight Within (Summer 2017), the song is a brooding and introspective anthem to an ex that sees IsKwé drawing upon the poise and power she felt in learning to let go of love. “I think that in any relationship, even the unhealthy ones, it’s important to own yourself and to be able to say, ‘Okay, I’m making the choice right now to stay’ or ‘I’m making the choice to leave,’ and then feeling confident in that decision because it’s yours. This song is very much about the power I felt in leaving. Even though there was anger and sadness inside me when I wrote it, it wasn’t born out of animosity––I was really pulling from a place of empowerment on this one.”
While Iskwé’s music is undoubtedly a source of deep personal strength it is also a form of protest––protest against the continued hardships of the Canadian Indigenous community and protest against the fallout she has faced as a female speaking out on the subject openly in the music industry.
Inspired by both Dené and Inuit facial tattooing, IsKwé views the face paint as an act of rebellion against cultural appropriation and the limitations that have been imposed upon her as an artist. “Even if it isn’t entirely understood, painting my face prompts people to ask me, ‘Why?’ If I were to be subtle about it, I’d risk the message being lost in translation but when I’m loud and over the top with it, I think people find it harder to look away. That’s important to me because it prompts dialogue and it lets me know that the conversation is still very much alive.”
Unafraid to challenge the convictions of her detractors by honouring her heritage, standing steadfast in her viewpoints, and embracing her sexuality, IsKwé’s artistry knows no bounds. Blending soulful, breathlessly delivered lyrics that are coloured by the many shades of human nature with a sonic palette that takes its queue from the shadowy atmospherics of the 1990s Bristol sound, IsKwé’s music revels in her strength of self and that is her true rallying cry.
Listen to Iskwé HERE
Iskwé and special guest Sierra Noble will be performing on Friday, October 13th. Doors open at 7:15 pm, and the show begins at 8:00 pm.
-West End Cultural Centre