Scott Roos, Herald contributor
With a slight sidestep from their usual musical offerings, the E.A. Rawlinson Centre For the Arts will be presenting a show by Saskatoon based, award winning, Indigenous hip hop artist Lindsay Knight aka Eekwol Saturday.
“We wanted (with this season of shows) to really focus on acts that are from our region. This opened the stage, literally, to talent that has never been here before,” says EARC marketing and events coordinator Cara Stelmaschuk.
“Hip hop audiences haven’t had much to go and see in Prince Albert, historically speaking. And Eekwol brings her talent in a different genre from what we usually see,” says Stelmaschuk.
Spending her formative years in Winnipeg, but hailing from Muskoday First Nation, Eekwol’s interest in the hip hop genre began at age 13. Her aggressive, hard biting flow, matched with an equal zeal for topical lyrics revolving around social justice, Indigenous rights and women’s issues, Eekwol credits early influences from groups like Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Del The Funky Homosapien-led underground hip hop collective of Hieroglyphics, with inspiring her to get her start in the business.
“I’ve been inspired by conscious hip hop where social issues and realities of oppression have always been prominent in that style… So that’s sort of what motivated me to take it further and I just kept going with it with my own indigeneity and indigenous background and I used that as a way to talk about our issues,” Eekwol said.
“Hip hop itself is such a strong medium to gather attention, to share stories, (and) to have a voice because people love listening to it.”
When Eekwol “drops science” on the listeners it’s not all cutting, though. She sees each performance as an opportunity to inform to be sure, but there’s also a positive spin.
“I’m very vocal about issues but also (vocal) about a hopeful future,” explains Eekwol. “I try not to keep it (all) on the negative ‘hard reality’ stuff. There’s also a lot of hopefulness and that comes with being a mother and seeing a lot of good things in young people of all backgrounds and all nations. (The younger generation) are so much more woke than I was in the 90’s and 2000’s when I was young person. So there’s a lot of hopefulness that I try and bring to the stage too.”
It will be Eekwol’s first live venue, in front of an audience show since February when she and the Snotty Nose Rez Kids performed at Amigos Cantina in Saskatoon. Eekwol is nervous with anticipation but ready to return to action. It will be a rare opportunity to see a hip hop show in a top quality theatre like the Rawlinson.
The show will get started at 7:30 pm. Given the limited seating capacity tickets for this show will likely move very quickly. You can purchase tickets at the EA Rawlinson Centre box office or at www.earc.ca/events.
The concert will be available via livestreamed as well. See the EARC website for details.