Multi-award winning, chart-topping Indigenous folk artists Twin Flames combines the talents of husband and wife duo Chelsey June, métis (Algonquin Cree) from Ottawa, and Jaaji, Inuk and Mohawk from Nunavik. Twin Flames are long celebrated for their sonic landscapes spanning Canada and the Arctic, and honouring their ancestors through song in English, Inuttitut, and French, along the way.
Using unique sounds, Indigenous Spirit flutes, traditional drums, and western instruments, synthesizing harmonies, Twin Flames unveils a raw and honest experience. A unique eye-opening show that leaves audiences with a greater sense of knowledge and sensitivity.
They’ve been nominated for 24 awards — including two Canadian Folk Music Award wins, and three Native American Music Award wins — Two number 1 Hits on the Indigenous Music Countdown’s Top 40, played more than 1000+ shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the United States, Australia, and France, were selected as artist-in-residence for the 2019 Folk Alliance International conference, partnered with UNESCO to write the official song celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages “Human”. The song Human was later chosen as part of CBC’s Music class challenge. Their music video for Broke Down Ski’tuuq was the first Inuttitut music video to be featured on MuchMusic.
- What passion project are you working on these days?
Our new Album OMEN! It is almost finished and we will be releasing it on August 28, 2020.
- What first inspired you to become a musician/actor/dancer? What was your training?
Chelsey: Music was the one thing that could take me away from it all, allow me to dream of a life I could create for myself. I trained vocally as a child and teenager, was in a few musicals.
Jaaji: My cousin had an Inuk Metal Rock Band called Angava and I sat in a couple of their rehearsals and thought that It was awesome.. I wanted to be that. Fast forward 20 years and I decided to give it a go.. Now the road inspires me. It’s addictive.
- What are some challenges that you have faced while building a career in the arts and how did you overcome them?
Chelsey: The hardest was leaving a government job to pursue music full time. People thought I had lost my mind lol If I had a dollar for every time I heard “but what is your real job?” I would be rich. Holding on to the dream and goal is what keeps me going. Every time I thought I couldn’t pack my bag another time something wonderful would happen in our career showing me that I need to continue. The most challenging part has been having to be away from my children while touring. Our fans and the experiences we get to live make it all so worthwhile.
Jaaji: The unfortunate brown box we call which is the segregation within the Music Industry, We’ve even experienced this within the Indigenous World where we aren’t Indigenous enough. But slowly with our constant efforts to ensure that our music hasn’t got a colour religion or language .. Slowly our music has reached out to not the one demographic but to all walks of life..
- What lessons have you learned that have proven the most valuable?
Chelsey: To trust my instincts and if something is important to me in life, I have to work hard for it. The value of building a super team! Surrounding myself with people I can trust and taking my time to do that. What is shiny and bright or the shortcut never turns out with the outcome I envisioned. That’s why the tortoise wins the race…
Jaaji: Focussing on our own work and like Chelsey says, following our instincts and treating everyone in the industry that they are just people.
- What is your WHY? (why do you do what you do?)
Chelsey: Music gives me life, I am a creative being and with every thought, I am creating. With every song, we write we feel as though we have a chance to make an impact to leave a positive footprint. The opportunity to be with someone at any point in their lives and make them feel good listening to something we have created. To show the world that art matters that music can be “a real job” and that dreams can come true.
Jaaji: Same as Chelsey 😉