The creation of meaningful art can only occur in moments of despair or triumph; there is no grey area.
iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”) is an award-winning Indigenous creator whose catalogue drips of a spectrum of emotions and is powered by resilience. Following several seasons of high highs being met with low lows, the Cree Métis artist retreated south to Mexico and inward to her soul to paint a 10-song collection that illustrates the gut-wrenching roller coaster ride that has been her recent life.

nīna, the opus of iskwē’s rebirth, is the Cree translation for “me” and was chosen as the title of her fourth solo album as an ode to the profoundly autobiographical elements. The album is the sonic manifestation of the divine feminine explored through vignettes of love, passion, anger, betrayal, and loss.

To bring her incredible stories to life, iskwē teamed up with 10x Grammy-nominated producer Damian Taylor (Björk, The Killers, Bomba Estereo.) Damian also co-wrote a selection of the songs, including the Top 20 Alt-Rock charting lead single “I Get High” ft. Nina Hagen. The culmination of their sounds resulted in an offering of ethereal eclecticism, reminiscent of the sensuality of late 90s R&B with the most delicious twist of Esthero.

Allow nīna to seduce you as you bathe in the rhythmic beats and feel hints of tropical sea breezes and the electrical current of Mexico City. This album is a realist’s journey through the deep, visceral experience of love.

nīna follows iskwē’s travels back to herself in real-time. The opening track, “A Little Piece,” sets the scene with a look behind the mask of someone lonely and overwhelmed by an extra-marital affair. We get caught up to the seemingly insurmountable crossroads where iskwē currently resides, and thus begins an incredible auditory journey of resilience.

The album then escorts us along the winding path of leaving a marriage to finding oneself in the passionate throes of being against new skin and the incomparable delight of brand-new love. The middle of the album offers your first climax with “The Other Side,” a deliciously insatiable introspective into sex—the intoxicating, back-breaking kind.

The journey then dives quickly into the depths of despair and then up to the heights of triumph with “I Get High,” a whimsically gothic tale of being torn apart by strangers and using every ounce of strength to defend and rebuild. Through the album’s final tracks, we collectively rise from beneath the weight of cumulative tragedies as iskwē bookends the album with the elegance of humble triumph. “Exhale,” nīna’s final track, offers the retro sensibilities inspired by David Bowie, laced with the unmistakable cadence of Indigenous percussion.

iskwē’s sound is incomparable, and nīna will leave you in awe of her ability to weave together life’s journey with compelling and undeniable artistry. It’s an ode to the journey home to ourselves, the most beautiful odyssey cultivated by imagination and devastatingly beautiful lived experience.

Her 2017 debut album, The Fight Within, was Juno-nominated for Indigenous Album of the Year and garnered her a spot on the Polaris Music Prize Long List. 2019’s acākosīk features the powerful single “Little Star” and took home the Juno Award for Music Video of the Year (2020). In 2021, she released The Stars – a reimagination of her album acākosīk. The independent release featured new arrangements (by Darren Fung) of six songs with iskwē accompanied by a trio of piano, cello, and violin recorded live-off-the-floor at Revolution Recording in Toronto and a dramatic orchestral reimagining of “Night Danger (Lovers Mix)” recorded with the FILMharmonic Orchestra (Prague). In 2022, she released Mother Love with Tom Wilson – a collaborative album reflecting the nature of love and culture as the pair’s individual contributions blended together seamlessly.

Known for her impactful stage presence as she incorporates dance and multimedia to present a completely engulfing and cathartic experience, iskwē has performed hundreds of shows worldwide at iconic locations, including Canada’s Parliament Hill, in New York City at the Met and SummerStage in Central Park, and beyond for the King and Queen of Sweden, Reeperbahn in Germany, and Border Crossing’s Origins Festival in England. She received the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Award in 2022 and is an ambassador for the PRS Keychange initiative. iskwē is originally from Treaty 1 and is currently spending her time in Montreal, QC.

iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ is pronounced iss-kway
Name is lowercase
She is Cree Métis
acākosīk | ᐊᒐᑯᓯᐠ is pronounced acha-ko-suk




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