Aysanabee discusses his rising career & his two historic JUNO Award wins

Recently, Alternative-Indie musician Aysanabee marked a pinnacle in his career with two historic JUNO wins.

SWOMP caught up Aysanabee for an interview. Listen, below:

Additionally, he graced the official broadcast with a performance alongside his recent tour companion, Allison Russell, paying tribute to Gordon Lightfoot and Robbie Robertson.

In a year that witnessed numerous Indigenous artists earning JUNO nominations across various categories, Aysanabee won the coveted Songwriter of the Year (presented by SOCAN), as well as Alternative Album of the Year for Here and Now.

He’s the first Indigenous artist to win in either of those categories.

He was also nominated for Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year (presented by Destination Indigenous).

“To be seen, to be heard, to be recognized by my peers, by people who I have the deepest respect for, is humbling and it is a light that will help guide me as we continue to do the work, as we continue to push boundaries and as we continue to carry and tell the stories of our time,” shares Aysanabee.

Aysanabee is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer songwriter currently based in Toronto.

He is Oji-Cree, Sucker Clan of the Sandy Lake First Nation a remote fly-in community in the far reaches of Northwestern Ontario.

In a short while, he has gone from releasing his debut album, the powerful interweaving of generations, memory, and storytelling of Watin (Nov 2022), to arriving centre stage in his career.

From making history as the first Indigenous artist to reach #1 on Canadian Alternative Rock Radio, to being shortlisted and performing at the Polaris Music Prize Gala, Aysanabee has travelled an impressive distance from unsigned artist to internationally touring, award-winning breakout.

In 2023 he embarked on a new sonic path with his EP, Here and Now (released October 20, 2023 via Ishkōdé Records).

From the generational work of preserving and transforming his grandfather’s stories, Aysanabee moved in a new direction, towards his own experiences of love’s end and his process of unflinching self-examination.

With high voltage production, Aysanabee shifts Watin’s finger-picked acoustic foundation into soundscape waves that carry his voice forward.

With its sharper edges and towering sound, Here and Now is shot through with a feeling of decisiveness, of acceptance.

It’s the sound of letting go.

The JUNO winning album features the singles “Somebody Else,” “Alone,” and “Here and Now”.

He began 2024 with the release of “Come Out” feat. Raye Zaragoza.

Billboard Canada featured the single as their Song of the Week sharing, “Aysanabee’s rich and robust voice grabs your attention at the start, then Zaragoza chimes in with an equally engaging lead vocal turn, before the pair harmonize sweetly,” and CBC Music included the track on their Songs You Need To Hear.

The track is climbing the Indigenous Music Countdown, and was also added to SiriusXM’s “The Verge,” “North Americana”, and “The Indigiverse.”

Learn more at https://www.aysanabee.com/.

Photo credit: Lindsay Duncan

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