Inez Jasper, 2010 Juno nominee and Aboriginal People's Choice winner, balances music and motherhood
During her 2009 acceptance speech at the Aboriginal People's Choice Awards, Inez held her nine month old son in her arms and acknowledged the struggle of balancing career and motherhood. In addition to achieving an award winning singing career and motherhood while still in her 20s, Inez is a Community Health Nurse for Stó:lō Nation Health Services.
Inez's Stó:lō, Métis and Ojibwa heritage has brought a unique flavour to her music, which falls under the category of R&B. Hopefully, her current Juno nomination will lead to her songs contributing a fresh voice to the mainstream. I caught up with Inez to discuss this exciting chapter of her life.
VO: At the 2009 Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards, you won Best Album Cover, Pop Album of the Year, and Best New Artist and Single of the Year for 'Breathe' (featuring Magic Touch). Last week you found out that you've been nominated for a Juno. How does it feel to receive so much recognition for your work?
Inez: Wow! It's amazing! The team worked really hard to promote this album given all the things that were going on for me at the time (pregnancy, newborn baby, sleep deprivation, etc.) We worked really hard and it's great to see that hard work paying off!
VO: You were performing throughout the Olympics. Can you explain what this was like? What was the highlight of these performances?
Inez: Performing at the Olympic venues was a huge rush. There was a time where I really had to consider if I was going to perform at the Olympics. There's lots of controversy in the native community about the Olympics which I heard a lot about. I took the opportunities to perform as my way of sharing who I am: young, hardworking and ambitious. The world needs to see more of the positives about natives instead of all the doom and gloom that exsists in the media about our people.
The highlight of the performances was when me and the band travelled up to Whistler to perform on the mainstage, "Whistler Live". I was stoked to have landed a gig up where most of the action was happening!
VO: When you were interviewed by 'Whistler LIVE' during the Olympics, you introduced yourself from the unceded Stó:lō Territory. Do you think anyone understood the meaning of this statement?
Inez: I'm pretty sure many people did not understand what I meant when I said that I am from the unceded Stó:lō Territory. At first I was disappointed, but then again, there's never a better time than NOW to share information and learn from one another.
VO: In addition to your success in the music industry, you are a Community Health Nurse for 'Stó:lō Nation Health Services'. You also became a mother recently. How do you balance all these aspects of your life?
Inez: I definitely don't balance all the aspects of my life on my own: my family and I do the balance. I'm blessed to have a strong network of family and friends that help me to pursue my dreams. Without their support, I wouldn't be where I am today. Props. BIG time.
VO: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue multiple dreams?
Inez: Narrow down your goals and make a plan. Plan out how you're going to navigate obstacles and ask for help. Nobody has achieved great things without the support and inspiration from others.
VO: Do you have any shout outs?
Inez: Shout outs to my rez fam holdin it down for the dream! It's ours baby! Love to the people I've worked with: Magic Touch, OS12, DJ Sichuan, FLC, BIGHOUSE, a-Slam, Stressed Street Brothas, Oka, KAYA, Jason Burnstick and all you across ndn country and beyond...keep doin your thang.