Community·Local Music Project

Finding a local connection key to success for musical duo

Formed in 2014 by Forrest Eaglespeaker supported by his partner Nevada Freistadt, The North Sound has seen so much success but it all began in their local community

Forrest Eaglespeaker and Nevada Freistadt are the North Sound

The North Sound is an alternative country roots duo from Saskatoon. (Matt Braden Photo)

Getting worldwide recognition as a musician isn't an easy road.

So having a strong foundation close to home can be a good start. 

No one knows this better than The North Sound.

Forrest Eaglespeaker founded the group in 2014 as a way to share stories grounded in his Blackfoot identity and traditions and now plays with his partner, Nevada Freistadt. The Saskatoon-based alternative country roots duo is passionate about turning those stories into song.

Listen to our Local Music Project Spotify playlist here

One of the goals of the project is to is to equip the local artists who get airplay on our programming with the tools needed to help spread the word to their fans. (CBC)

Getting noticed locally is key to the band's success. 

"Media has been instrumental in showing us where we are in the landscape of Saskatchewan music and art. I also love that a lot of local media isn't afraid to share some things I wanna talk about because they are not exactly easy things to talk about," Eaglespeaker said.

"Like talking about drinking and recovery, drug use, coming out of that and some of the things that we deal with as Indigenous people and what we face in the music industry. Local media seems to be supportive of that in Saskatchewan."

Freistadt said media support has helped the duo find its space.

"It really helps us to become a part of the community and to make connections in the community," she said. "It gives us the chance to meet more people and strengthen those relationships. We've been lucky to have the support of local media in everything that we've been doing."

The North Sound has now played shows across Canada and the U.S.

Although The North Sound now has a publicist, that was not always the case. Eaglespeaker said he spent years pitching to different media outlets on his own and understands when other musical acts in the community have a hard time finding success doing that. He has a word of encouragement for them, however.

"There has been six years where I've been doing all of this myself before getting a publicist. I think the biggest thing for artists trying to reach out to local media is just ask," he said. "Do your research and just reach out and ask. The worse they can do is say no or ignore your email but that's OK. Shoot your shot but if you don't, it's not going to happen."

Eaglespeaker says the group started becoming more visible after a producer on CBC Radio's Q read a feature about the duo in Exclaim Magazine and then got them on the show.

"I found so much of the music I love on CBC Q as a teenager so it was a full circle moment," he said.

CBC Saskatchewan's Local Music Project is one way to make that direct connection. 

The Local Music Project has a simple, one-stop method to get in touch with the producers at CBC Saskatchewan. 

To submit your music to the Local Music Project, visit www.cbc.ca/submitlocalmusic.

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