Both Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red have sold out concerts in Toronto this week. Tagaq is set to perform for 350+ people at The Great Hall on November 6 and Tribe is taking over the Danforth Music Hall on November 7 (a 1,400 capacity room).
This coincidence is really exciting because it demonstrates that there is a significant market for uniquely Indigenous music in one of Canada's most competitive scenes.
Unfortunately it doesn't mean that every Indigenous artist will experience the same kind of success in the upcoming months or years. Tagaq and Tribe are exceptional and just like Jay-Z or Bill Gates they had exactly what the world was looking for at a time when it was ready to look.
The lessons that I think Indigenous artists should take away from the successes of Tagaq and Tribe include:
- Good music matters the most
- Good management matters the second most
- Media attention follows intelligent artists
- Performances at mainstream music festivals help artists build markets
- Aboriginal music festivals and music award shows are only stepping stones
- Being nice is super important
Tagaq's November 6 show kicks off a seven stop tour in November, which is set to pick up again with six dates at performing arts centres throughout the US after the holidays. Tribe's November 7 show is one of three that the boys have planned for November because they spent most of the summer months hitting the festival circuit pretty hard and need a little break from the airports and take out food of tour life.
Visit tanyatagaq.com for more information about Tagaq and sixshooterrecords.com for more information about her management.
Visit atribecalledred.com for more information about Tribe and craft-services.com for more information about their management.
-- Alan Greyeyes is a member of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and has been working full time in the music industry since 2005. In 2013, Greyeyes was honoured with the Future Leaders of Manitoba award for his contributions to the arts. Greyeyes graduated from Trent University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Economics and was featured on the cover of the Spring 2013 edition of the university's alumni magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @alangreyeyes