Aysanabee Releases New Video, Highlighted at Indigenous Music Awards

By Wendy Wright

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Evan Pang has northern roots stretching from Sandy Lake First Nation to Thunder Bay and Kaministiquia. Performing under his mother’s maiden name, Aysanabee, is special to this talented artist and gives light to his Oji-Cree background. Aysanabee learned to play guitar from his brother and continued learning by ear. His style of play is unique and he adds percussion and varying string work. Pure heart and soul run deep with his message and beat.

Aysanabee’s foray into creating his music video for the Indigenous Music Awards was hectic, however it still was an experience that produced an intoxicating video on YouTube and an invitation to be part of the IMA’s emerging artists forum. The video for “The Dawn” was shot in Toronto by a friend, Michael Villamor from the band Big City Lights, who was interested in shooting music videos. The collaboration was that of good timing and exploration for both. “The video was shot in a very small rehearsal space in downtown Toronto,” Aysanabee says. “He [Villamor] was able to get it in one shot in a windowless, basement room.” They “talked out how to shoot the video,” and came up with something that looks nothing like a basement.

The future is bright for this emerging artist. Aysanabee has played with multiple bands but is steering more towards a solo effort with his own music. “There is a certain sensitivity with your own lyrics and melody that cannot always be captured by others,” he says. Representing his own motivation and emotion through song seems to be Aysanabee’s style.

“One good thing about the pandemic is that it forced people to become creative with their time,” he says. “I have a whole series of songs I’m starting to record.” A big goal is to have at least one song recorded and released by his birthday in January 2021. 

During 2020 there were also a couple of remarkably interesting opportunities for Aysanabee to play live. One was in an apple orchard and another on a stage with a small audience but with the artist and patrons in their own plexiglas boxes. It was “an experience for sure that will never happen again,” Aysanabee says, laughing.

Check out Aysanabee on Instagram @_aysanabee_ and on Facebook at @AysanabeeOfficial. You can also search YouTube for his video for “The Dawn,” and learn more about his recent work at the Indigenous Music Awards website indigenousmusicawards.com.