Kelly Fraser, a Canadian pop artist who received attention for an Inuit language cover of Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” part of her advocacy efforts for her indigenous culture, has died. Kelly Fraser was 26.
Fraser’s friend and producer Thor Simonsen said the singer-songwriter’s family told him the day after Christmas that he had died. Simonsen said on Saturday; the family declined to release details, including the cause of death.
Fraser, who grew up in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, Canada, and was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, released her first album, “Isuma,” in 2016. Her sophomore album, “Sedna,” came out in 2016 and was nominated for the Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the Canadian Juno Music Awards.
When Fraser wrote or translated songs in the Inuktitut, an Inuit language, Simonsen said, a primary objective was “to use pop music as a platform to strengthen his language. He also went as many people as possible He wanted to make music as accessible, She said, so he mixed English and Inuktitut in his recordings and mixed traditional Inuit sounds and themes with contemporary pop.
A video of her version of “Diamonds” was widely seen online.
Simmers said Fraser was “very passionate about trying to improve conditions for Inuit people” as well and wanted to help young people understand the history that contributed to their difficulties.
A 2016 statement that in conjunction with the release of “Sedna,” Fraser stated that the album’s goal was to heal those suffering the consequences of colonization, “including the damaging effects of residential school and forced relocation. Inuit artists from the past There is a great need to speak directly to the affected people.
Simonsen said she was working on a third album at the time of her death, “Decolonize,
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