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My Indigeneity & Creativity

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

Some obstacles are introduced throughout our lives, and others we are born into. Being Indigenous in Canada has initiated a series of adversities. Many Canadians have recently realized the tragic legacy of residential schools, but it has been a part of my lived experience. I have been deeply impacted by the generational traumas that my people combat, yet, my story is one of victory as I have overcome and used these hardships to bolster my character and find creative outlets to partner with my healing. To some degree, I am grateful for the adversity I have walked through because it gave birth to my passion for music, film, art, and entrepreneurship.

My memories are occupied by car rides with my mother where she would play The Doors, and I would deconstruct the bluesy songs in my mind, wondering how each tone – from sombre to edgy to peculiar – was made. This inquisitive spirit morphed into creativity as I began teaching myself how to layer sounds in my downloaded demo version of FL Studio, putting together my first compositions. It became a habit for me to come home and experiment with music while my peers played video games or found other more trendy ways to entertain themselves. Though people would poke fun at me for my interest in music artistry, I remained engaged with this pursuit. Music and movies became my safe space as I contended with the antagonistic atmosphere of my home and family life. It was the only non-destructive coping mechanism I leaned on, and I will forever be grateful for its presence in my life. Though I didn’t realize it then, that adolescent season of making became a foundation for the skills I would develop in my young adulthood. When I graduated High School, I enrolled in a Music Production and Audio Engineering Diploma course at Harbourside Institute of Technology (now SAE Institute). During this experience, I learned the foundation of what it means to be a music producer. As I came of age, my career developed in concert. Alongside my music artistry, I began to learn digital marketing and video editing, empowering myself with the skills to create visuals to pair with the sounds I was designing.

Today, I am committed to adding beauty to the world by breaking the cycle of Indigenous generational trauma so that my children and the kin in the larger Indigenous community will not experience it. The darkness in life can lead to continued gloom, or it can allow us to be better stewards of the light. I create to communicate feelings, constructing worlds and creating compelling content through sound and moving image. I started out as a client at this studio and later began to partner with the mission by joining the team. At Atelier Oluwatosin, I compose music and edit video content. Thank you for reading a bit of my story and for joining us at the Atelier.

XO, J.

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