Beatrice Deer on Creating the “Inuindie” Genre of Music with ‘Basic Folk’

Podcast host Cindy Howes dives deep with Inuit artist Beatrice Deer. Deer discusses growing up in a community of fewer than 400 people, her cultural upbringing of native music and pop music, and the difficult experiences of her life that have taught her wisdom.

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Growing up in Northern Quebec, Beatrice Deer spent a lot of time outside in her Inuit community of Quaqtaq. Her village was small (population of about 350/400) and very tight-knit. Raised in a big family, her parents brought music into their house and would often play around the house. They also exposed Beatrice to music in their church where they served as pastors. Even though her town is remote (you can only access it by plane), she had access to plenty of popular music: Disney soundtracks, Grease, Michael Jackson and so many music videos from MuchMusic (the MTV of Canada).

She sings in English and French, but she mostly sings in her native Inuktitut, through which she feels most comfortable in expressing herself. Through the influence of her community and the pop music she loved growing up, she created a genre of music: “Inuindie” and has released three albums in that style.

From podcast host Cindy Howes: Beatrice has overcome a lot in her life: sexual abuse, alcoholism, toxic relationships, depression and thoughts of suicide. The starting point for her latest album, My All To You, was a desire to relive the moment in which she decided to transform her outlook and do some serious work on herself. Now an advocate for mental and physical well-being as well as for her Inuit community, she travels the North in Canada visiting First Nation communities. She plays with her band, performs speaking engagements about overcoming trauma and offers professional development training. I’m grateful to Beatrice for sharing her story on the podcast!

Check out some of Beatrice Deer’s music below and tune in to Basic Folk for more conversations like this one.

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