This episode of MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman is the second installment of the month-long, Women in Hip Hop special series featuring conversations with Maya Jupiter, Asa Lianess, Kinnie Starr and Ana Tijoux.
This episode features the multi-lingual, multi-talented, highly experimental, politically-charged, Juno-award-winning Kinnie Starr. The Calgary-born, B.C.-based artist was recognized as pioneer in Canadian hip-hop by Toronto's Manifesto Festival in 2011. Her music has been described as "edgy and enchanting" by the New Yorker, and the Record Magazine has described Kinnie as being a "sensual, spiritual, self-possessed [artist]…blazing her own influential trail." Host Charlene Sayo caught up with Starr last week in Vancouver during her tour for her latest album, From Far Away -- she talked about social justice over the music industry, her environmentalism, how hip-hop correlates with her Indigenous ancestry and retiring from the music industry.
Kinnie Starr is one of Canada's most adored and critically acclaimed underground musicians. Widely known in hip-hop circles as an artist with a strikingly authentic voice, Starr has been blazing trails since 1996 with her beat-slamming recordings, outspoken race and gender politics, intelligent and edgy visual art.
Hailing originally from Calgary, Alberta, the multilingual artist pushes artistic boundaries by ignoring them. The mixed-blood Mohawk uses her degree in Women's Studies, her love of hip-hop and street art and her untrained intuitive talent as a pulse in all her music.
In 2010 Starr won a Juno for her production on Digging Roots' second album, We Are and she was nominated at the APCMA's for her video, "It's All You," produced by Big Soul Productions. She also played the Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. with The Borealis String Quartet. In 2011 she was recognized as a pioneer in hip-hop alongside Michee Mee by Toronto's Manifesto Festival.
MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman can also be found at charlenesayo.com
Intro/outro music: " Rainbow" by Emilie Simon. Remix from the original.
Additional music: "A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços" by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio. Remix from the original.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.