Nunavut artists Joey Nowyuk, Jacob Okatisak, Brenda Montana and Angela Amarualik

"Creative energy" is captured by Nunavut artists at an Ottawa music retreat.

Folk and classical musicians were matched together in this workshop.

Seize Nunavut artists have just finished a week of hard composition and production at an Ottawa house.

Music producers who've worked with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Led Zeppelin, Sting, and Nickelback were brought in by the Nunavut record company Hitmakerz who hired a residence in town.

There are 25 villages in Nunavut, all of which can only be reached by plane.

According to Thor Simonsen, CEO of the record label, "There's such a creative atmosphere here, and it's really a city on the rise".

Nunavut artists Joey Nowyuk, Jacob Okatisak, Brenda Montana and Angela Amarualik
A total of four artists — Joey Nowyuk, Jacob Okatisak, Brenda Montana and Angela Amarualik — participated in the Ottawa music retreat and developed songs for their next albums, which will be released in 2019. Aocelyn and Shauna Seeteenak also filmed music videos for new tunes that will be released in the near future.

Because Nunavut has no dedicated performing spaces, Simonsen sought to introduce Nunavut musicians to the city's music infrastructure, which he compared to Austin, Texas, in the United States.

Amarualik's future album will have songs written by Nowyuk, Jacob Okatisak, Montana and Angela. Aocelyn and Shauna Seeteenak also filmed music videos for new tunes that will be released in the near future.

His second album, which features covers of some of the great Inuktitut songs he grew up listening to, was being recorded while Nowyuk was there.

As the Pangnirtung artist explained, the album is a departure, not only in terms of substance, but also in terms of the collaboration with other musicians. A Native Music Award was given to his debut album.

There was a lot of harmony in everything," Nowyuk added.

Each day, 15 songs are made.

This week, the artists set a goal of creating four albums, and they succeeded. Some days they generated as much as fifteen tunes.

Artists from Ottawa and Nunavut joined the Nunavut artists and respected producers in the studio.

When Simonsen was a child, he would work in groups of two or three persons, randomly chosen, and each group would write their own songs.

According to Simonsen, the mix allowed the artists to blend classic traditions with modern sounds to create something completely fresh.

"Ideally, we'd have a throat singer writing songs with a francophone musician. Then we'd have a classically-trained musician and a drummer dancing "she replied.

As a native Nunavut Inuit who identifies as Scandinavian, Simonsen is passionate about the fusion of the two cultures.

A win-win situation for all involved, he added, adding he would like to conduct more similar events in the future.

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