For Saskatoon's Jorgina Sunn, writing what you know means a long journey through childhood abuse, gangs, drug addiction and ultimately – freedom.
It's appropriate then, that the long-time community activist and new recording artist has named her soon to be released debut record Freedom.
"I'm so grateful," Sunn told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
The record finds its roots in the streets, where music served as an outlet for a 16-year-old Indigenous girl struggling to find her way. Sunn said she has drawn on all those experiences to write songs that she believes have universal appeal.
My music for myself is a creative outlet."
- Jorgina Sunn
"Whether it's those tough lessons, whether it's about life, love or you know breaking up, or breaking away or breaking free and so my music for myself is a creative outlet."
The struggle she faced has also served as motivation in her activism. Sunn recently won a national award for her work in helping young people and speaking out about poverty.
"It's really great to be able to share this part of my life now with people who didn't actually think that I was going to make it, or get out of it, or even stop my addiction."