UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA AND ISHKŌDÉ RECORDS PARTNER TO CO-SIGN MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST R&B SINGER-SONGWRITER SEBASTIAN GASKIN
GASKIN JOINS LINEUP FOR ISHKŌDÉ RECORDS’ MARCH 2 SHOW FIRE STARTER: SONGS FOR THE EIGHTH FIRE ALONGSIDE DIGGING ROOTS, AYSANABEE AND AMANDA RHEAUME
01 MARCH 2023 (Toronto, ON) – Today, Universal Music Canada (UMC), the country’s leading music company, and Ishkōdé Records, the artist-led, Indigenous women-owned record label, announce the co-signing of self-produced R&B singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Gaskin. Together with Gaskin’s management team at Red Music Rising, UMC and Ishkōdé will collaborate to amplify the stories Gaskin shares while supporting their upcoming releases.
With eclectic musical tastes in R&B, Hip Hop, Metal and Punk, Gaskin’s music is anything but formulaic. Born in Tataskweyak Cree Nation, or Split Lake Manitoba as it is better known, Gaskin’s smooth vocals, mixed with hits of hip-hop and rap, and rounded out with emotive thoughtful lyrics, have a musical style that’s been described as “Post Malone mixed with Frank Ocean” (The Winnipeg Free Press).
“My musical journey has been an organic one, and this next step with UMC feels natural and exciting,” said Gaskin. “I am extremely grateful to have found my tribe in the folks at Red Music Rising, and with the matriarchs, ShoShona Kish and Amanda Rheaume, at Ishkōdé Records. I look forward to sharing this music that I’ve been working on for the past several years; I know that these songs will change a lot of people’s minds on what ‘Indigenous’ music is.”
“ShoShona and Amanda are building a powerful platform and incredible roster with Ishkōdé Records. Through this collaboration, it has been our privilege to learn from and support their work championing Indigenous voices,” said Jeffrey Remedios, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Canada. “We’re proud to deepen our partnership in co-signing Sebastian - a very special and exceptionally talented artist.”
“We launched Ishkōdé Records in 2021 to amplify an incredible roster of artists who are sharing essential stories and shaping the future of music. Sebastian’s is a voice for the generations and their gifts as a songwriter and storyteller are incomparable,” said ShoShona Kish, co-founder of Ishkōdé Records. “Jeffrey and the team at UMC continue to be vital allies and collaborators for us – as label partners and in this, our first co-signed act.”
Gaskin is the recipient of the 2021 Western Canadian Music Award for R&B Artist of the Year, the 2021 Kevin Walters Song Writing Award, and was also chosen to attend the 2021 Allan Slaight JUNO Masterclass. Following the release of Gaskin’s debut EP, Contradictions, on their own imprint, LieBoy Concepts, Gaskin made some impressive strides headlining a cross-Canada club tour and appearing at established festivals throughout the country including Festival du voyageur, Canadian Music Week, Interstellar Rodeo, and Calgary Stampede. They have supported artists including Common and T-Pain, and have toured supporting the iconic songwriter and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie. Gaskin is currently working on new projects set for release in the months ahead.
Launched in 2021, this year marks Ishkōdé Records’ first JUNO Award nominations with Digging Roots (Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), and first-time nominee Aysanabee (also Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), reflecting a momentous time of hard work and successes by all measures: artistic achievement, critical and commercial success, and more broadly in the label’s important roles as catalysts and conduits of opportunities for Indigenous artists.
UMC and Ishkōdé Records are proud to have Gaskin join the line-up for Fire Starter: Songs for the Eighth Fire, an expansive and incendiary multi-artist concert featuring Ishkōdé’s talented roster of artists, and a celebratory event recognizing the label’s achievements ahead of the 2023 JUNO Awards Broadcast.
Gaskin performs alongside Digging Roots, Aysanabee, Amanda Rheaume, and Morgan Toney on March 2, 2023, at Toronto’s Axis Club. Buy tickets here.
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