Only 11,000 people live on the 171,000 square miles that comprise Nunavik, the northernmost, frigid cold section of Québec . Only the Internet could make a young artist — who writes songs in English, French, and the Inuit language of Inuk — break out from beyond these borders.
Not all music enthusiasts may understand the Inuk lyrics that compose the songs written and sung by Elisapie Isaac, a world-folk musician from Salluit, Nunavik, but the 25,000 sales she has already made with her new album, “There will be Stars” in Québec alone, translates into every language.
“There will be Stars,” a trilingual album that switches from English, French, to Inuk words, was released in Canada since 2010 and is anticipated to make its appearance in New York in the near future.
“I was just a little girl when I first wrote songs,” Isaac said when describing her start in music. Later when she was 19, she collaborated with Alain Auger in the musical project Taima. Three years later she had the album Taima under her belt.
“It’s modern music,” she said.
She described her melodies as very simple and different because of its language. “I guess you would find it in the folk pop section,” she added. In comparison to her first album which had a masculine approach, There will be Stars has a more feminine feeling about it according to Isaac.
When writing, Isaac doesn’t like to draw inspiration from others; however, she enjoys the work of fellow musicians like Fleet Foxes and Bob Dylan. Her music is set apart because her lyrics are based upon personal experiences.
“I’m not a big story teller. I’m an emotional song writer. It’s something very deep,” she said. In total, her soundtracks are 80 percent her own words and the remainder are collaboration pieces. Isaac’s personal favorites include “Turning my Back” and “Butterfly”. The melodies are very soothing and laid back.
Isaac’s itinerary with music has included over 100 shows so far this year including work in France, a continuation of her touring in Québec, a folk and jazz fest in West Canada, and the beginning of her work in New York City.
Obstacles down the road like moving out of her isolated community into a bigger city like Montreal have definitely affected Isaac, but issues such as these are not holding her back from achieving goals like touring in the United States and working on a new album.
“Making music is not only about making music. It’s about fighting for your songs and yourself,” Isaac said. “It’s constantly nerve-racking, but I’ve learned to be strong.”
Another thing that feeds Isaac’s desire to move forward within the music industry is the support and feedback that she receives from her fans. Isaac spoke highly of one particular diehard fan who regularly attends paid and free shows.
“I thought I was going to be scared of him and that he was going to be weird, but the last time he saw one of our shows he said that it had been a very powerful one with a lot of energy,” as Isaac had described.
The open interest that fans have expressed in her music is namely one of the most rewarding things that Isaac has taken away from her work with music.
Throughout July Isaac will be performing in Orilla, Ontario, but fans should visit her homepage at elisapie.com and follow Isaac’s touring schedule on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.