TANYA TAGAQ was born in the remote Inuit town of Cambridge Bay. She originally began her career as an accomplished painter, moving to Halifax in the 1990s to study visual arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
When southern living caused her to be homesick for the sounds of the Arctic, she began to teach herself traditional Inuit throat singing. This is an unaccompanied pattern of improvised vocalization, usually sung in harmony by two women and emulating the sounds of nature. Soon, Tagaq was performing solo at festivals and clubs in Canada and Europe. In 2001, she toured with Icelandic phenomenon Björk, and won favorable reviews of her own.
Tagaq often incorporates many non-traditional musical styles – including electronica, dance music, and rave – into her singing. The collaboration of Tanya Tagaq and DJ Michael Deveau in 2002 takes traditional music from Canada’s North and blends it effortlessly with an underpinning of urban music to create something quite new and breathtaking.
In 2003, Tagaq took part in the “Sonic Weave Tour,” where she performed in many European cities, including Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. She also recorded the special project Erren with Basque txalapartaris Ugarte Anaiak.