Elisapie's mother is Inuk and her father is from Newfoundland. She was adopted at birth by an Inuit family and raised in that culture. Her cradle: Salluit, Nunavik. For Elisapie, the North is not at the end of the earth; rather, it is at the centre. “My grandfather said that in order not to get lost, we must always look to where we came from,” in her words.
Great singers are, above all, great communicators. Elisapie possesses this precious ability to instill messages with probing light onto realities that are often overlooked. She has worked in radio, television, and finally film, where she has won numerous prizes for her documentary Si le temps le permet, produced by the National Film Board.
Her album There Will Be Stars, which appeared in 2009, fits perfectly into this pattern. Following the success of her duo Taima, with guitarist and composer Alain Auger, which won the Juno prize for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2005, her first solo album was an eloquent portrait of the past, present and future of her muse, the North. It takes only a few listenings to appreciate the perfect balance between depth and nature of this remarkable multidisciplinary artist.
“Although she comes from the north, Elisapie Isaac possesses a voice and a stage presence capable of radiating heat that leaves no-one cold. In the intimate Basoche Hall—where she will make another sold-out appearance tonight—she literally melted the entire audience last night.” – Le Droit
After the release of the first album, which has sold over 25,000 copies to date, she undertook a massive, 150-date tour of Quebec. Elisapie, along with her band, traversed the country without pause for two years. And after the U.S. launch of There Will Be Stars in 2011, she made highly publicized appearances in both New York City and Los Angeles.
Elisapie, who won the Ambassador Prize at the 2011 Teweikan Awards for her work throughout Canada, will release her second album, entitled Travelling Love, in autumn of 2012.
“Love cannot be owned. It is something that is always moving, always flowing. That’s what I mean by ‘Travelling Love’,” explains Elisapie.
Éloi Painchaud and François Lafontaine produced the album. With its organic pop sonorities, it is also a meeting between English and Inuktitut, the poetry of the north making a fascinating foray southward. Many collaborators must be mentioned, including singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Manuel Gasse et Gabriel Gratton, who are also the rising “Polar Pop” star’s faithful touring companions. The album also features guitarist and songwriter/composer Brad Barr (The Slip, Barr Brothers), and Jim Corcoran co-wrote the lyrics to some songs.
“I allowed myself to be impulsive, to create without fear. To accept one’s weaknesses and clumsiness, and to confront them, can sometimes be beneficial,” Elisapie confides. Travelling Love further explores the duality between sensitive woman and ferocious spirit that lives within Elisapie Isaac. This is the promise of a work which is sure to elicit many passions yet again.