North

Award winning song marks change of theme for Iqaluit rapper

Iqaluit rapper Thomas Lambe after taking home the award for best original song at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto earlier this week.

Thomas Lambe, originally from Grise Fiord, says he hopes award opens doors for him

Thomas Lambe, left, won the award for best original song at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards for Trials, from the soundtrack for The Grizzlies. Lambe's sister, Anna Lambe, was nominated for her role in the movie as well. (Submitted by Thomas Lambe)

Reality is setting in for Iqaluit rapper Thomas Lambe after taking home the award for best original song at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto earlier this week.

Lambe, 21, wrote and performed the song Trials, featured in the score for the movie The Grizzlies. The movie tells the true story of Inuit students in Kugluktuk who are changed forever through the power of sport. Lambe, who was born in Yellowknife and grew up in Grise Fiord, Nunavut, says the recognition was a transformative moment for himself as well.

"It's just … such a humbling experience," he said. "I still feel the same but I have more pride in my music and … more confidence for sure than I did before."

The Inuk rapper says Trials — an energetic track rapped over an infectious drum beat and distinctly Indigenous vocalizations — is unlike any song he's ever performed. Lambe said he got the invitation to work on the track after his music was discovered online by soundtrack producers involved with the movie.

"They wanted me to use the flow that I usually use with songs that I usually write," he said. "I just did what I did over a traditional First Nations drum beat and just blended really well. I don't know, it was very natural."

Lambe said he hopes the recognition will open doors in his burgeoning career. He goes by 666God on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify, where his tracks are available to stream. He's been writing and rapping about dark themes he says need exposure, if they're ever to be dealt with.

"If people are uncomfortable with things the only way to get comfortable with it is getting through that uncomfortableness," he said. "I talk about suicide, talk about ... drug abuse, alcoholism and like … I don't know, just my experience from what I've seen and what I've experienced growing up here."

Lambe says he hopes that by bringing challenging topics to light, he "can make a positive change."

New song, new sense of responsibility

Trials is a departure for Lambe from his musings on the darker side of life. "It's a very uplifting song," he said. "It's basically saying ... no matter what, you're going to reach your goals if you work for it."

His new celebrity as a national award winning artist is his biggest recognition to date, he says, and with it comes a new sense of responsibility.

"I can't be singing like everything's about money because that's not real life. And that's not who I really am. I've got to be real. I want to give back to the community … I want to repay the community for what it's done for me."

Lambe had family at the awards show. His sister, Anna Lambe, was nominated for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for her part in The Grizzlies. Dan General, the producer for Trials, was included on the nomination for best song, as was Adam Tanuyak who goes by the stage name Hyper-T. 

Lambe said Trials is not yet commercially available for download.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Lambe was born in Grise Fiord. In fact, he was born in Yellowknife.
    Apr 06, 2019 10:29 AM CT

Written by Walter Strong, based on an interview with Lucy Burke

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