When Angela Amarualik became Miss Iglulik in a January pageant, she said she would use her platform to help promote healthy living for youth.
Now she’s also using her voice to communicate her thoughts and emotions through song. Her self-titled debut album will be available on Nov. 16, and she’s holding a release party that evening at the Black Heart Cafe in Iqaluit.
Performing in front of an audience has forced Amarualik, 19, to build her confidence. She described herself as a “closet singer,” who has used periodic talent shows in Iglulik to try to become more comfortable with a crowd watching and listening.
“It took time to get out of the closet, I guess,” she said, chuckling. “I still get really nervous.”
The idea of recording an album arose in March. A trip to the Hitmakerz recording studio in Iqaluit followed in July. There are seven tracks on the album – she wrote four of them herself and co-wrote the other three with Thor Simonsen of Hitmakerz. The seven songs, all solos, are in Inuktitut with one having an English chorus. She plays her ukulele on a couple of the tracks.
Asked if she has a favourite, Amarualik joked, “I can’t choose from my children.”
But, after a moment of reflection, she selected Upirnngaaq, a song about spring, as the one she likes best.
One of the tunes – Angirrarviga – was uploaded to SoundCloud in the summer to whet the public’s appetite.
“It went really great,” Amarualik said of the reaction to her first single, adding that people have been complimentary and encouraging.
A remix of one of the album’s tunes will be released separately, she added.
She listed Iglulik band Kikkukia and Arviat songstress Susan Aglukark among her musical influences. Like Aglukark, Amarualik would like to perform at music festivals and eventually go on tour across Canada and even around the world.
“It’s kind of what I want to do. For a career, I would like to travel,” she said, “the main goal is worldwide, I guess, but around the country would be awesome.”
Funding from the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Department of Economic Development helped cover the cost of recording, Amarualik noted.