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Gizhiiwe: An Indigenous Run Record Label Born out of the Pandemic

Indigenous artist Ansley Simpson spent a lot of her time during the pandemic creating a brandnew record label, Gizhiiwe (pronounced gih-JEE-way), which translates to “speak with a loud voice” in Ojibwe. She had been dreaming of starting her own Indigenous-led record label in order to work with artists and musicians who aren’t always represented in the music industry. When COVID-19 hit and musicians like herself had to regroup around the future of live music, she took the opportunity to focus on her dream project. 

Since Gizhiiwe took off, Ansley worked with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, James Bunton and Sammy Chien to create and share a four track EP called Noopiming Sessions. The spoken word tracks were inspired by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s book, Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladieswhich came out on September 1, 2020 from Anansi Press. You can give the EP a listen here. 

As for what’s next, Ansley Simpson realizes the future is uncertain these days, but she shared she will continue to work with what she has and in her own way to “[dig] out from under the rubble and ashes.” 

Check back soon for David Moses’ Moment of Truth interview with Ansley Simpson, which aired Monday, September 14th on ELMNT FM. 

 

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