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Meet Ziibiwan

August 27th, 2018

Photo of Ziibiwan

Anishinaabe electronic musician Ziibiwan

Get your dancing shoes ready because on September 6, Toronto’s biggest art party will be filled with music and performances to get you moving and grooving.

We recently gave you a sneak peek at some of the amazing artists that will take the stage at First Thursday: Back to Basics, including LA Timpa, Classic Roots and TR/ST. This week we’re spotlighting Anishinaabe electronic musician Ziibiwan, known for moody, genre-bending electronic music. Last year, Ziibiwan was nominated for two Indigenous Music Awards, Best Instrumental Album and Best New Artist, for their Time Limits EP.

We spoke to Ziibiwan about their music, their inspirations and what they’ve got in store for us this September.

AGO: What inspired you to start creating music?
Ziibiwan: As an Indigenous youth who spent half of my youth in foster care, I’ve found that music offers an important way of coping, escaping and healing. I’ve always wanted to create music and I used whatever resources that were available to me, starting with guitars and pianos – eventually leading to me learning how to use recording/editing software to produce more electronic soundscapes.

AGO: Which musicians have most influenced your sound?
Ziibiwan: Radiohead and Frank Ocean are my biggest inspirations, but when I was creating my Time Limits EP, artists like KAYTRANADA, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Tanya Tagaq were also on heavy rotation.

AGO: How does Anishinaabe language and culture inspire your work?
Ziibiwan: Part of the beauty of my culture is that we naturally bridge elements of modern-day influences into the work that we do. A lot of the ideas for my music happen naturally and elements from my culture – like being loon clan and spirit beings whispering around me – are naturally ingrained in my work.

AGO: We can’t wait for your performance at First Thursday. What can visitors expect from your set?
Ziibiwan: I like to blend a mixture of my music with songs from emerging producers around the world. It’s like a DJ mix but not conventional. It’s a sound that I’ve fallen in love with recently, and I’m excited to bring my sound into the AGO.

First Thursday: Back to Basics is sure to be one of September’s hottest tickets, so get yours today. Advance tickets are $11 for AGO Members and $13 for the public, and they’re available on our website.

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