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First Play: Iskwé, The Fight Within

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Andrea Gin

We included Winnipeg-born, Hamilton-based electro-pop artist Iskwé as one of our 10 artists to watch in 2016 based on her powerful single “Nobody Knows.” This year, she's back with a followup album to her promising debut, and we have it streaming here a week ahead of its release date.

The Fight Within finds Iskwé expanding on her promising 2013 debut. Her vocals are bolder, her sound is more expansive, and her lyrics more contemplative. She is writing songs that are powerful, emotional, and coming from a very personal place.

"This album is really precious to me, I wrote it from a much more reflective place than my first,” she says via press release. “The issues I touch on here are real, issues that are impacting Indigenous people every day."

From the darkly anthemic “Soldier” to the pulsing, ethereal “The Storm” to the soulful, driving “Disturbed,” The Fight Within is an album of meaningful songs for the dancefloor. It’s also a rallying cry for change, and a way for Iskwé to give back to her community.

"From our Missing and Murdered Women and Girls to youth suicide epidemics within our communities to the land protectors out fighting for our planet each and every day, I wanted to counter the stereotypes cast our way and push back against the idea that we won't or can't succeed,” she continues. “I wanted to give back to the people I care most about — our younger generations. This album is for them."

The Fight Within will be released on Nov. 3. Pre-order the album here. See her tour dates here. Iskwé is also a judge in the 2017 Canadian Music Class Challenge. Find more information about that here.