Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Colonizer’ By Tanya Tagaq
The following article was originally published at Ongoing History Of Protest Music.
The latest single from Canadian indigenous throat singer Tanya Tagaq’s forthcoming album, “Tongues,” is about accountability. “Oh, you’re guilty,” she sings. “It’s not a question,” a press release from her states.
“Tongues” will be released on March 11, 2022, and it “speaks not to horrors and crisis, as previous Tanya Tagaq albums wordlessly, powerfully encircled, but directly of these things.” She says the album is Tagaq at “her most explicit and specific.”
The music is a balance of “industrial, electronic sounds with poetic passages from Tagaq’s bestselling mytho-biography, Split Tooth.”
“Colonizer” comes from Tagaq’s improvised live show with Nanook of the North in Manchester,
which overlooks New York City’s Columbus Circle. The tune serves as a response to Tagaq’s performing in
both visible and symbolic colonial spaces.
Tagaq also released a second version, “Colonizer (Tundra Mix),” which will appear on the album.
This mix is a collaboration with producers Saul Williams and Gonjasufi. It is starker and
slow-building yet well suited to the song’s theme.
“These two mixes of ‘Colonizer’ are so different, but we liked them both equally,” Tagaq wrote on
Twitter, describing both versions as “a reflection on accountability and action.”
Tagaq’s album is an invitation to listeners to “join her in a personal victory over colonization, over those who take without consent.”
Listen to both versions of “Colonizer”: