BIGSOUND 2019 Speaker Focus: Jade Harper

28 August 2019 | 7:40 am | Staff Writer

What you need to know about your BIGSOUND speakers.

Position/Title: Indigenous Music Export Program Coordinator at Manitoba Music 

How did you first become involved in the music industry and how did you end up where you are today? I recently became involved in music after specialising in program development for Indigenous peoples for 17 years. I myself love to play traditional Cree and Ojibwe songs on my hand drum and it is the passion and respect that I carry for my drum that led me to music. 

What's been the biggest change in the music industry you've seen over the past 12 months? Colonisation has had a systemic impact on the way that the music industry is set up, Indigenous peoples view and access music differently, however the industry does not consider our views. This has led to inequitable environments – this is where barriers often come in for Indigenous artists.

What do you think will be the biggest issue affecting the music industry in the next 12 months and why? The wellness of artists and industry professionals who identify as Indigenous and are emerging into export music. 

What advice would you give young practitioners in your area starting out today? Listen to artists. Talk to them. Ask them what they think about their accomplishments and barriers. 

What will you be primarily discussing during your appearance at the BIGSOUND conference and what are you hoping that people will be able to learn from your panel? Developing programs and opportunities that will benefit musicians who identify as Indigenous requires consideration and consultation by the individuals/groups that will be accessing those programs. I will be speaking to the barriers and solutions to supporting the success of indigenous musicians and industry professionals from Canada.

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Which acts are on your must-see list at BIGSOUND and why? Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Renée Lamoureux, Twin Flames, Black Rock Band, Deline Briscoe and DRMNGNOW. 

When and where is your BIGSOUND panel? 5 Sep, Sovereign Sounds: First Nations Governance Models In The Music Industry, Alice Room, Cloudland, 4pm.