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Baker's Dozen

Northern Uproar: Tanya Tagaq's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , November 30th, 2016 10:06

With the release of her phenomenal new album, Retribution, the Inuit throat singer talks to John Freeman about the albums that make her laugh and cry. And laugh some more.


Peter Tosh - Equal Rights
This is a beautiful album. In the 1970s, my mother and father took us to St Lucia – all the way from Resolute Bay. We spent some time on vacation there. They came back with Peter Tosh and Bob Marley albums. As I said, we were in this tiny community of 250 people, listening to reggae albums before they had touched many other places in Canada. It was very beautiful music – I remember listening to 'Downpressor Man' and asking my dad what Peter Tosh was singing about. My dad told me that he was singing about karma, and that the oppressors and colonisers would get their comeuppance and that people were going to stand up to them. And, when everything has fallen, there will be nowhere for them to run. I remember thinking "Holy shit!" That was a deep message for a little girl to hear. I think that school of thought has kept with me all these years. When I see impoverished people or minorities going through economic oppression, I often reminisce about that album. And, of course, music about equality has a little bit more weight to it than music about getting laid.