“We didn’t set out to impress anybody,” stated former Red Deer College student Tiffany Ayalik.
But Ayalik — along with her Quantum Tangle partner Grey Gritt — certainly did impress, winning a 2017 Juno Award for top indigenous music album on Sunday.
Ayalik graduated from the RDC acting program a few years ago. “Its pretty exciting to see her win a Juno on the weekend,” said her former instructor, Thomas Usher.
The former student, who has returned to live in her hometown of Yellowknife, told the CBC that she and Gritt “jumped up, screamed, hugged each other and cried” after winning the national award for their album Tiny Hands. It combines Ayalik’s traditional Inuit throat singing with some soulful blues by Gritt, who’s Métis.
As Quantum Tangle, the duo’s stage performances combine storytelling along the theme of identity with an experimental blend of traditional and contemporary music.
Ayalik, who’s embarking on a scheduled European tour with Quantum Tangle, stated that she plans to use her Juno win to inspire a new generation of northern artists to explore their own creativity.