Chisasibi’s multi-talented musician Melissa Pash is this year’s winner of the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards’ Music Industry Award. The award is given to an individual making a significant, positive impact on Canadian Aboriginal music.
Pash wasn’t expecting to win the award. She is very flattered, she says, but it doesn’t change her vision: pursuing her own music career as well as helping other Cree musicians to realize theirs.
Pash is currently developing the “Protégé Program,” designed to help aspiring Cree musicians navigate the complex world of the recording industry. She says the music business can be “a very scary place when you’re starting out and it can help when you have someone to beat a path.”
Pash emphasizes the need to support young musicians throughout their career, not just at the beginning. Her program mentors musicians and will give them access to a professional recording studio, as well as to producers, musicians, photographers, and other contacts needed to be successful in the recording industry.
Growing up in Val d’Or, Pash has always tried to use her music to bridge the gap between Native and non-Native communities. The singer-songwriter has been writing music since age four and includes traditional drumming along with a contemporary pop-rock sound in her repertoire.
Pash’s first album, The Rise of Daisy Moon, was recently released and will be available in Eeyou Istchee by late November. You can also check out downloadable clips of her music on her website: www.melisapash.com.
Although she is pursuing her music now, Pash’s background is in business. She was nominated for the CAMA award by the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association (CNACA), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Cree art and artists.
CNACA President Alfred Loon noted that Pash’s win is a tribute to her talent, especially considering the tough competition for the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.
The award will be presented November 30 at the CAMAs Gala Show in Toronto. Other Cree nominees included Roger House of Moose Factory, for CAMA’s Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music Award and Kenny Loon of Oujé-Bougoumou for the Keeper of Traditions in Aboriginal Music Award.
For more information on the other award winners and performers, check out the CAMA website, at www.canab.com.