“It Sounds Like Demons Are Coming Out of Her:" A Conversation with Tanya Tagaq

Watch award-winning Canadian author Joseph Boyden talk to the Inuk throat singer about her latest album 'Retribution.'
November 8, 2016, 9:00pm

When it came time to find an interviewer to talk to Tanya Tagaq about her latest record, Retribution, there was no better choice than Joseph Boyden.

The award-winning Ontario-born, New Orleans-based novelist is longtime friends with the Inuk experimental throat singer—who has collaborated with the likes of Björk, Faith No More's Mike Patton, Fucked Up, and others—while both their work addresses Indigenous issues across the country, past and present. In 2014, they even worked together on a ballet written by Boyden called Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation about the Canadian residential school system (which Tagaq attended in high school), featuring music by the mother of two and the Northern Cree Singers.

We invited them into the VICE office in Toronto to have an intimate conversation about the artist's fourth and perhaps most urgent studio album to date, which follows her 2014 Polaris Prize-winning Animism, and addresses the "rape of women, rape of the land, rape of children, despoiling of traditional lands without consent." Over the course of their chat, they discuss Tagaq's unique singing style, why the record is an "alarm call to start treating people better and the earth better," and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's commitment to Indigenous rights.

Watch the interview above and the singer's "Retribution" music video here.

Retribution is out now on Six Shooter Records.