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Throat Singer Tanya Tagaq Takes Home Studded $30K Polaris Music Prize for Record 'Animism'

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Sep 23, 2014 08:14 PM EDT

Nunavut throat singing isn't your average pop sensation — that is, to say that us Westerners are even familiar with it at all. But revered throat singer Tanya Tagaq has claimed the $30,000 Polaris Music Prize for her record Animism, beating pop icon Drake.

The award is gifted to the best Canadian album of the year (as determined by a group of journalists). Past winners include Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett.

After her unparalleled performance, with the help of a choir, the singer gave a most unorthodox speech.

"The album itself came from a very awesome place," Tagaq said in her acceptance, "I couldn't be more happy."

But then she continued, "People should wear and eat seal as much as possible because if you can imagine an indigenous culture thriving and surviving on sustainable resource, wearing seal and eating it, it's delicious and there's lots of them."

Tagaq was one of only three first-time nominees for the Polaris award, along with Edmonton-raised Mac DeMarco and Hamilton electronic songwriter Jessy Lanza.

She's something else, so here's a preview of what her singing can do.

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TagsNunavut Throat Singing, Tanya Tagaq, Animism, Polaris Music Prize