The Fight Within

Iskwé engages in poignant, compelling internal and external conversations on The Fight Within.


There’s no denying that Iskwé’s latest full length is a politically charged release driven by electro beats and the Cree/Métis/European-descended artist’s immersive, committed performance. But for all its extroverted tendencies, Iskwé has chosen to name the album The Fight Within, suggesting there’s just as much inner struggle and strife as there is external, whether for her individually or for the indigenous community as a whole.

That inner dialogue is most resonant on “Will I See”. The song is a stirring dialogue between the singer and the multitude of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Iskwé says the song came to her immediately following a solidarity walk in Winnipeg that travelled the distance from where Tina Fontaine’s body was discovered to the monument for missing and murdered women in Winnipeg. “Nobody Knows” is ferocious and steadfast in its resolve: “I won’t let you look away anymore,” she sings and snarls, a double-edged statement. It is part promise, part threat.

By the time The Fight Within closes with “Say It Sweet”, Iskwé engages in the album’s most poignant conversation. “Say you love me for me,” she sings, “Say that you’ll be there for me”. Another pledge and vow that not one life will have been lost in vain, and that the sins of the past won’t soon be forgotten.

Jim Di Gioia

CoFounder at
Jim started the music blog Quick Before It Melts. In 2016, he ended it. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim's served on the Polaris Music Prize jury since 2009 (always a jurist, never a grand jurist), and the Prism Prize since 2013. He never says no to poutine. Like ever.

Latest posts by Jim Di Gioia (see all)

Join the Conversation