VideoAli Fontaine takes home Native American Music Award
Posted by Anna Lazowski, SCENE Producer | Tuesday May 14, 2013
Ali Fontaine has been collecting awards since releasing her debut album. (courtesy Ali Fontaine)
Country singer Ali Fontaine added another music award to her collection over the weekend.
She was nominated in multiple categories at the Native American Music Awards (NAMAs), including for Songwriter of the Year and Best Female Artist but took the trophy for Best Country Recording.
"It was very exciting and overwhelming in a very positive way to be
winning awards at the start of my career. My first wins at the APCMAs
in 2011 really helped jump start my career and bring exposure to my
music," she said.
Ali Fontaine at the 2011 APCMA awards (CBC)
Originally from Sagkeeng First Nation, the Manitoba singer has attracted a lot of attention in her relatively short musical career.
Her self-titled debut earned Fontaine Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in two categories in 2011, for an album she completed while still in high school.
Fontaine is still finding the balance between studying while working as a musician. After high school, she enrolled at the University of Manitoba intending to earn degrees in history and native studies before pursuing a law degree, but changed her mind.
"After my first year I realized the path and courses I was taking were not the field I wanted to get into. So I decided to switch and enroll in the business administration program at Red River College," she said. "Being a musician is a job that requires a lot of self motivation and is a lot like running your own business. I figure with this field I can apply my business skills with my music and take full control of my career."
When she's not performing or studying, Fontaine also does motivational speaking, sharing her own
experiences with bullying, pursuing a career in music and being proud of
"Growing up as a kid I was really insecure and reserved, but by singing,
writing and creating, my self esteem grew and most importantly messages I
wanted to send out were being released without feeling shy," she explained.
"I feel compelled to speak because it not only lets me
get to know more people but it also gives me the opportunity to share
the lessons I've learned."