Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer, and best-selling author. A member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, and recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, Tagaq is one of the country’s most original and celebrated artists.
In 2014, Tagaq sent shockwaves through the music world with Animism. The album’s Polaris Music Prize victory disrupted the music industry and contributed to a change in conversation about Indigenous artists. The follow-up, 2017’s Retribution, brought Tagaq’s inimitable and powerful artistic vision to even broader audiences. Tagaq’s recent projects include debut novel Split Tooth, nominated for the Giller Prize and other awards, and National Maritime Museum commission Toothsayer, a soundscape for the permanent “Polar Worlds” exhibit. Tagaq’s improvisational approach lends itself to collaboration across genres and forms. Her work includes numerous guest vocal appearances (Buffy Sainte-Marie, Weaves, A Tribe Called Red, Fucked Up), original avant-garde classical compositions (Kronos Quartet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra), commissions (National Maritime Museum in London, UK) and more. Her music appears in film soundtracks (Thoroughbreds, Searchers) and television (Vikings, Sirens). In its many forms Tanya Tagaq’s art challenges static ideas of genre and culture, and contends with themes of environmentalism, human rights and post-colonial issues.
“Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.” – The Wire (UK).