TORONTO — A new record label owned and operated by two prominent Indigenous women is striving to “foster and amplify Indigenous voices” under a partnership with Universal Music Canada.
Ishk?de Records is led by musicians ShoShona Kish and Amanda Rheaume, founders of the International Indigenous Music Summit.
In their launch announcement, they say the label’s name “Ishk?de” means fire in Anishinaabemowin.
The guiding principle of the record label is “Songs for the Eighth Fire,” a reference to the Anishinaabe’s Seven Fires prophecy, which “heralds an epoch of eternal peace when Indigenous peoples and settler communities together build the eighth and final fire of justice and harmony.”
The label says its first release under a distribution deal with Universal will be a single from husband-and-wife duo Digging Roots, comprised of Kish and Raven Kanatakta Polson-Lahache, due on Aug. 5.
Then there will be new music from Rheaume and the first tracks from guitarist and saxophonist Aysanabee, the label’s first signed artist.
Universal Music Canada head Jeffrey Remedios said in a statement he has been “deeply inspired” by the pair’s efforts to create “a vital new platform driven by artist-centred partnerships.”