Elisapie In The Sky

As a child, Elisapie Isaac was known as “that little singing girl.” Her mother recognized her natural ability right away, encouraging her to voice her talent to the community. But growing up in the most northern village in the Nunavik region of Quebec was a rather unlikely springboard for a singing career. Releasing an album, performing nationwide — these were but pie in the sky ideas to Elisapie. Until the day that the little singing girl realized that life is what you make it.

“When you’re from the North, you don’t necessarily have those kind of dreams,” says Elisapie, who has since received a Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year, industry buzz for her solo albums There Will Be Stars and Travelling Love and the Claude Jutra Award for best new director for her documentary If the Weather Permits. “We’re all dreamers when we’re young, but you know, to actually do it as a career, it was just not possible. We didn’t have a lot of references or examples of people making it. It took a while, but it grew on me, and I realized, gosh, I just hope to give it a try.”

For Elisapie, making her mark in an industry fraught with challenges encompasses more than just recognition or applause. It means going back to the drawing board, fuelling up on inventive approaches and undergoing a process of renewal that will hopefully continue to keep her growing fan base enthused.

The result is an ethereal experience, with string instruments dotted by synth elements and moving lyrics in multiple languages. “I go to a place when I write songs, a place where it’s so personal. There’s a lot of reflecting on the life we choose to live,” says the folk-pop artist, whose distinctively sensual song “Navvaatara” is featured in the soundtrack of Jean-Marc Vallée’s moving drama film Café de Flore. A self-described city girl living in Montreal with her daughter, Elisapie has recently scored a song and the role of Sedna in the 3D animated children’s film The Legend of Sarila, featuring Christopher Plummer. Her 2013 tour for Travelling Love has begun to pick up cross-province momentum.

Revealing raw, intense emotions on love, understanding and the doubts we encounter as humans, songs such as the catchy “Life Is What You Make It” and the dreamlike “It’s All Your Fault” are resonating with her fans, leaving Elisapie overwhelmed with gratitude. “They’re totally getting it. There’s a connection that’s there and it’s fun for me to continue in that direction.”


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Amanda Storey

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