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Celebrating Episode 2 of Fido’s Off-Mute Campaign: Q&A with Inuk Singer-Songwriter Elisapie

April 30, 2021

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In March, Fido announced the launch of their “Off-Mute” campaign aimed at supporting and amplifying the voices of Canadian BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ musicians and driving important conversations in support of these communities. Today, Fido released the second episode in the series, featuring Inuk singer-songwriter Elisapie and Djiboutian-French musician Shay Lia, both based in Montreal. The episode includes powerful performances and an intimate artist-to-artist interview, where they talk culture, heritage, and inspiration.  

In partnership with inspiring Canadian talent, Off-Mute takes an in-depth look at several musicians who are carving their own paths and shaping Canadian culture with raw performances and stories in their own words. The series kicked-off in March with Colombian-Canadian Afro-Indigenous singer, and 2021 Grammy nominee, Lido Pimienta and Toronto-based Ethiopian/Eritrean singer-songwriter, Witch Prophet. A third episode, launching in May, will feature Juno Award-winning tenor and Indigenous activist Jeremy Dutcher and Polaris Prize-winning rapper, singer, producer and DJ, Haviah Mighty.

We had a chance to catch-up with Elisapie to chat about her inspirations, accomplishments and how she deals with tough times. Check it out below and follow the Off-Mute content series on Instagram TV via Fido’s channel, @FidoMobile!

In your Off-Mute episode, you mention being inspired by folk artists like Neil Young. Where else do you find inspiration?

Chloé Zhao (director of The Rider, Nomadland, etc.). As a director, producer and editor, she is owning her art. She has such a sensitive approach to telling the truth and I love her view of beauty and her genuine and very personal storytelling. I think she is very inspiring for all women.

The last year has been a difficult time for so many, what helps you stay positive?

The feeling of having worked so hard the last 2-3 years before COVID hit makes me grateful to be spending some much-needed time at home and catching up with my younger 2-year-old child.

Also, in terms of Indigenous rights, it was a big year. It was hard, but also really felt like ears are finally opening.

When you look back in 5 years – what do you hope to have accomplished? 

So much, maybe too much! But I’d love to have at least 2 albums on the horizon, and I’d also love to get the chance to produce films. And hopefully be done with the feature film I’m working on now.

What are a few things you wish people knew about you? 

  • I love country music (I’m Indigenous after all ;))
  • I also love Québécois French swear words
  • I was raised by old school Inuit elders
  • I worked with kids in difficulty

What are you most proud of in your journey so far? Can be personal or professional.

Having a balanced motherhood and career life. Learning to take care of myself and finding life to be pretty exciting!!!

As part of the Off-Mute campaign, Fido also launched a fund-raising initiative in support of Pflag Canada, to help build awareness and expand support to the Pflag chapters across Canada. Fido has designed an Off-Mute t-shirt, which is being sold exclusively through TSC (Today’s Shopping Choice). All proceeds from Off-Mute t-shirt sales go directly to Pflag Canada. You can visit TSC.ca/fido to make a purchase.