Saskatoon record label mentors young Indigenous artists

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A new record label in Saskatoon offers unique perspectives and opportunities for young artists across the province.

Stay Royal Records co-creators Raistlin Morning Owl and Michael Tootoosis say their goal is to support and uplift the province’s young Indigenous artists. Their decision to create the label during the pandemic was fueled in part by their own experiences as individual artists.

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Morning Owl and Tootoosis are currently making their own music through the label and offering events to promote new artists who join their collective.

The co-creators are also called a one-stop-shop. concert

“We obviously aim to guide and nurture the artist in them and stuff like that,” said Morning Owl, “But once that’s done, we also offer production services. Visual and music production, engineering audio, recording, mixing and mastering, as well as promotional items.

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“We like to give them as much choice as possible of what they are going to do and what they want to create and we just help alongside them,” he added.

They also offer advice on applying for government grants, which is usually intimidating for their young artists.

“We like to keep it as a community, as a family, as a strong group that everyone has their backs with everything they need,” Tootoosis said. “We always come back to our main goal of supporting young people because a lot of them are anxious or less confident in themselves.”

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After less than a year of operation, the label is currently supporting seven artists and is looking to grow.

Saskatoon hip-hop artist Damien Daniels says he’s honored to be one of the first.

Daniels is releasing new music this year with the label and kicking things off with a photoshoot.

“They opened new doors for me in terms of photoshoots, video clips… Just more opportunities,” Daniels said. “It was like family and it was the most important thing for me.

“It was more like a comfortable state of mind all the time – warm and welcoming. It was just fun from the start. It made me want to do more, write better lyrics, really harness my skills and show them what I have to offer.

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He said his passion started when he was just a teenager in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.

“It was around 13 or 14 years old that I really started to get into music. The community there is still grappling with their youth… They don’t really find their place in life, ”Daniels said.

“Just to come out of there and now be this model is like a breath of fresh air.”

He said pursuing his dreams with the help of the new label is something he hopes to make proud of his family and community.

“It’s really great to be a part of something like this,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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