in which i chat with elisapie issac

so, often dubbed “polar-pop” (man, they really do have a name for everything!), elisapie isaac’s music is, in fact, a lovely mixture of french cabaret, folk melodies, traditional inuk influences, and good old-fashioned pop.

born to an inuk mother and a newfoundland father, elisapie was adopted and raised by an inuk family. as a child, she sang in her uncle’s gospel group, but eventually focused more on radio and tv/film communications through high school and college. she didn’t return to singing until 2000, when she formed the musical project taima with instramentalist alain auger. nowadays, elisapie is on her own, crafting gorgeous, highly-listenable to music.

recently, elisapie was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

have you met heather: many of your songs are a mixture of english, french, and inuktitut. how has your inuk upbringing influenced your music and art?

elisapie isaac: After a bit of distance from my home and after 12 yrs living in Montréal, I realise that the north will never leave me and it has become a big part of inspiration. It is a place where we find horizon and vastness, so it is only normal that I look for that to inspire me and keep me balanced in life, so therefore I need to be able to look in large.

hymh: you’re also part of the group taima, along with alain auger. what are some of the differences between writing and performing solo versus being in a group that you’ve discovered?

elisapie: I am no longer with the group. I really decided to do my own thing. It is scary at the beginning to go in a solo career because it is less reponsibility when you have someone to work with, but the thrill is quite fun to be on your own and all of a sudden to be able to decide on your own like a big girl…

hymh: you’ve got some really lovely lyrics, such as the ones found in butterfly. where do you find the inspirations for your songs? what is your creative process typically like?

elisapie: I am usually moody, perhaps a bit melancolic and then I tend to look out the window, I really need the window… Take my guitar and just look for some nice chords and then the melody and then it might inspire a line or two. And then from there, I have an idea where I’m going… but then from there the lyrics might take a while… I’m a bit all over the place, so the challenge is to focus and just sit and write!

hymh: you’re also an accomplished filmaker – any plans to continue making more films?

elisapie: Yes – started to get my idea going, probably a short film for 2012… And a new album maybe!

hymh: what’s up next for you musically? any plans to tour once there will be stars is released in the states?

elisapie: Of course, it’s all about touring. Really wanna go places like all the amazing pow wow’s I’ve heard about in Arizona, New Mexico, then god, then US is so vast and huge, and each state is so unique, so looking forward…

thanks, elisapie!

have a listen to the french-tinged turning my back:

i wouldn’t want it more than you
wouldn’t want it more than you
couldn’t carry the pain
carry the pain for you
qilammu takusavatsutit
immini qimaavit
puigurumamut imisigiirivit
i wouldn’t want it more than you
wouldn’t want it more than you
couldn’t carry the pain
carry the pain for you
anuri sangusimalirtu
siqini nuimmat tupalirit
puigurnaru ingipalaurtait

03 Elisapie – Turning My Back by musebox

there will be stars, the album turning my back is off of, will be released on june 7th by avalanche productions in the states (it’s already out in canada). go HERE to learn more about elisapie issac. i’ll have a review of the album up closer to the release date!

2 Comments on “in which i chat with elisapie issac”

  1. Anonymous

    Great interview…just a quick correction, Elisapie’s father was from Newfoundland and her mother was Inuk.
    Elisapie is a wonderful person whose talent is limitless. We are very proud of her.

    Newfoundland cousin

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