Ansley Simpson (Alderville FN) is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe musician known for poetic lyrics, dream-like arrangements and deeply moving vocal-only performances that hold audiences spellbound with storytelling embedded in song. In 2018 they won an Indigenous Music Award for their debut album “Breakwall” and a place on the 2021 Polaris Shortlist for their collaboration with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s “Theory of Ice”. Ansley’s original score enlivened the powerful message throughout Tanya Talaga’s award-winning documentary “Spirit to Soar” and their highly anticipated sophomore album “She Fell from the Sky” is a journey through Indigenous reclamation coming out May 2022 on Gizhiiwe.
For me being an artist is both a challenging and deeply rewarding profession that allows me to be in this world in a way where I can both nurture my own innate desire to create and use that created work to help others. I find this very true in songwriting in particular. When I have hit on the right lyrics, enhanced those words with music and finally play the songs live or recorded them, I can deliver what is maybe an important or powerful message right into the ears of those listening. If I tried to deliver the same message through a conversation it is less powerful or perhaps brushed off. Art has the ability to lower our guards, to let things in we normally wouldn’t even notice or hear. For me, it is a huge honour and responsibility to create art, to be an artist, it’s a path I will continue to be on for as long as I’m alive. It’s a path that has allowed me the space to feel and create on a timeline that works in balance with both my daughter and myself.