Despite polar opposite backgrounds Twin Flames found a common musical language. This captivating duo combines two award-winning unique singer-songwriters Jaaji an Inuk Mohawk from Nunavik and Chelsey June an Algonquin Cree Métis from Ottawa. Twin Flames takes the audience on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic, they echo the voices of their ancestors and depict life on the land as they sing songs in English, Inuktitut and French. They leave audiences fascinated, intrigued and inspired.
They released their debut joint album Twin Flames Jaaji and Chelsey June December 1, 2015, at Cabaret la Basoche where they were chosen as favourite upcoming artists. This powerful husband-wife duo won the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year. Their self-titled album Jaaji & Chelsey June received a total of 5 nominations from several different award platforms which included:
Native American Music Awards in the United States:
Best Folk Recording
Debut Duo of the Year
Independent Music Awards: Best Indigenous Artists
Indigenous Music Awards 2017: Best Folk Album
Their debut album also made it to the top of music charts the song Porchlight reached #1 on The Indigenous Music Countdown top 40. The husband-wife duo has now played over 700 shows in less than three years with performances that have taken them across Canada, The Arctic and The United States. What started as small flame has turned into a raging fire one that is staying lit in the hearts of fans and listeners. They write with a passion that comes from their souls and transcends into their musical creations.
In June 2017 they released their much anticipated second album Signal Fire. Signal Fire has gained much recognition. They won Aboriginal Songwriters of the year for the second time at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards and just brought home two Awards for the Native American Music Awards Best Folk Album and Best Duo.
Other nominations to date include:
2018 -Winners: Native American Music Award - Best Folk Recording
2018 -Winners: Native American Music Award - Duo of the Year
2018 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards - Record of the Year
2018 -Nominated: Native American Music Awards - Song of the Year (Rise Up)
2018 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards - Best Americana Recording
2018 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards - Best Historical/Linguistic Performance
2018 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards - Best Music Video Recording Performance “Broke Down Ski’Tuuq
2018 - Nominated: Indigenous Music Awards, Folk Album of the year
2018 - Nominated: Indian Summer Music Awards, Folk Album of the year
2018 - Nominated: Indian Summer Music Awards, POP song of the year
2018 - Nominated: Indian Summer Music Awards, Best Native American Vocal
2017 - Awarded: Canadian Folk Music Awards, Aboriginal Songwriters of the year
2017 - Nominated: Canadian Folk Music Awards, Vocal Group of the Year
2017 - Nominated: Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Group of the Year
2017 - Nominated: Teweikan Music Awards, Best Folk Band
2017 - Nominated: Teweikan Music Awards, Emerging Artists of the year
2017 - Nominated: Teweikan Music Awards, Album of the year
2016 - Awarded: Canadian Folk Music Awards, Aboriginal Songwriters of the year
2016 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards, Best Folk Recording
2016 - Nominated: Native American Music Awards, Debut Duo of the Year
2016 - Nominated: Independent Music Awards, Best Indigenous Artists
2016 - Nominated: Indigenous Music Awards, Best Folk Album
Jaaji and Chelsey met in the summer of 2014 during the filming of the television series TAM (Talent Autochtones Musicaux) for APTN which both were chosen to appear. Their voices matched one another perfectly right from the start creating soothing melodic harmonies. The two decided to form Twin Flames several months later.
The joining of the two artists was in a sense an experiment. Jaaji was already well known across the arctic and his music was loved and embraced by many. Chelsey also had a following of fans that had taken to her roots storytelling music. Starting out on a summer tour in 2015 and recording a joint album Twin Flames was a gamble. The pair were not sure how they would be accepted because of language barriers in the North and the South. Would the Inuit people be open to Chelsey June’s English/French language music? and would the people of the south be open to Jaaji’s Inuttitut language music?
The Summer tour turned out to be a great success. The openness did not always come right away but once people heard the music of Twin Flames the barriers seemed to disappear. The combination of both their talents proves that music should not have a language, colour or race. Music should be about how it makes the listener feel.
Twin Flames have now played over 800 shows in 4 years. They share a great ability to convey emotions through their lyrics and melodies. Together Jaaji and Chelsey June leave audiences feeling fascinated, moved and inspired. Audience members have expressed their deep gratitude for the stories that Jaaji and Chelsey share along with their love for the original songs that fill people's hearts with so many emotions. Their new Album Signal Fire released June 14, 2017, it is now available for download on iTunes and CDbaby. Their combined musical backgrounds and experience make this album completely unique and a treasure to discover. With thought-provoking songs they gently educate audiences on the realities of Indigenous and Inuit history and current issues.
- The music Video "Broke Down Ski'tuuq nominated Best Music Video Recording Performance is the first Inuttitut music video to make it into best Music video Category! Twin Flames are so proud and honoured to represent our cultures and diversity through music.
- Their first single titled Isuma "Thought" Inspired by the Journal of Abraham Ulkirab has been featured in CBC's David Suzuki's Nature of things: Trapped in a Human Zoo. Abraham Ulkirab was an Inuit man taken away from Labrador in the 1800's by ship to Europe where he became a human exhibition for the world to see. Unfortunately, he did not survive more than six months he passed away along with his wife and daughter he never returned home to his community. Isuma was written by Jaaji with a French dialogue written by Chelsey June the song is portrayed as an Inner monologue to ones self a conversation between the heart and the mind it depicts a longing for loved ones and familiar surroundings. Isuma has been embraced by many. A preview can be heard on SoundCloud Listen here. To learn more about Abraham's Story check out the book In The Footsteps Of Abraham Ulrikab by France Rivet.
Television Features: In Focus APTN, TAM APTN, Rogers “Entre Nous”, CTV Morning, Radio Canada, TVA Arts and Culture, CBC News
- Jaaji IMA winner Best Indigenous Language Album Nunaga 2015
- Chelsey June IMA nomination Best Folk Album Finding me 2015
- Regular spinning on CBC Radio across Canada
- Regular Spinning on Sirius XM
- Earth Song radio special feature in LA
- Top Indie Band 2016 for Native Trailblazers radio over broadcast to over 500 communities
- CBC Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild
- Campus radio charts CKCU
- # 1 song Porchlight on Top 40 Aboriginal music countdown
- Song Isuma Chosen for CBC David Suzuki’s Nature of things “Trapped in a Human Zoo”
- Song Nunaga Chosen for Award-winning Documentary “Okpik’s Dream”
Chelsey June - Lead Vocal and Songwriter
Chelsey June has been capturing the hearts of audiences with her soulful voice and unique songwriting skills. Chelsey grew up in Ottawa and Gatineau with her mother who was from Maniwaki she spent her childhood surrounded by music, it was this early introduction to a wide variety of songs that helped shape her unique sound and style.
During her teenage years, Chelsey began to write poetry. In her 20’s she decided to try songwriting. Songs came very naturally and writing became an instant passion. Chelsey grew up with little information regarding her Indigenous heritage she was just told that she was Indigenous. Her culture was, unfortunately, something that was lost in her family due to the fear and the stigma associated with being Métis.
In her adult years, Chelsey met with many Aboriginal elders and embarked on her personal journey of learning about her roots. Not only did she reconnect with her culture but she also shared it with her family. Chelsey was able to connect with the traditional teachings and stories and for the first time in her life she finally felt like she was "home". She refers to these feelings as blood memories thoughts and feelings that she always carried. "Although I did not get the opportunity to grow up with my culture I always felt like it was a part of me." Chelsey makes a point to be an advocate for all people who find it hard to find their place." I am proud to be a Métis woman and humbled that I get to have a voice in this great big world."
She released her first album “Seize the day” in 2013 and her EP “Finding me” which was nominated best Folk album at the 2015 Indigenous music awards and the debut album Jaaji & Chelsey June Twin Flames in 2015.
Jaaji - Lead Vocal and Songwriter
PRONOUNCED: Yaah Ye
Jaaji is an Inuit name derived from the English name George. Jaaji grew up in a humble little community called Quaqtaq in Northern Nunavik where he was raised by his Grandparents with the Traditional ways of the Inuit. Many of his influence in songwriting depicts life on the land.
Jaaji spent his summers as a child with his biological father in Kahnawake, a reserve of the traditionally Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk nation on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Jaaji’s biological father attempted to teach him how to play guitar at the age of 7 but Jaaji preferred to play outside. It was only later in life that Jaaji picked up Guitar and started to write his own songs.
A former police officer it was only in In 2014 Jaaji decided to commit to music full time and see where it would take him. Jaaji has now become a household name in Inuit based Music. He is working hard to ensure that his voice and musical storytelling is heard around the Arctic and the world. Jaaji was busy in his debut year on the music scene breaking internet records for the North with his hit song Nunaga he also TV appeared on TAM (Talente Autochtone Musicaux) which showcases Aboriginal Music. His Album Nunaga won Best Indigenous Language album at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards.
He has been featured on CBC North CBC Montreal, Radio Canada, K103.9 FM, just to name a few. Aside from playing in a band, Jaaji teaches Inuttitut songwriting at the Nunavut Sivuniksavut College in Ottawa in 2015 and is also studying to be a Sound Engineer at the Technical Audio Recording Academy. Jaaji is also a public figure and does seminars and workshops with his partner and Bandmate Chelsey June regarding Social Awareness, Alternative Measures to healthy living. Check out Twin Flames workshops Tab for more info.
Ursula Schultz - Fiddle
Ursula has been sharing her music through the Pontiac and Ottawa Valley. At eleven she was introduced to the fiddle. She fell in love with Traditional Ottawa Valley music and has a perfect unique style. Along the way, she has been influenced by quite a few music legends and this shows in how she plays with so much passion.
Chris Zimmerman - Percussionist
Chris is a working Musician who has played over 500 shows since 2010. Covering styles from Jazz to Rock. Chris has been playing the drums since the age of 13. Chris is also a music teacher. With Twin Flames Chirs plays a hybrid version of percussion which includes a T shaped Cajon, a kick drum and a snare. The groove he makes is original and leaves audience members intrigued.
Francis Dupuis - Bassist
Francis has over 20 years of experience in music. He has played with various bands and is happy to now be part of the Twin Flames team. He is an excellent player and adds a tremendous heartbeat to the band.