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New look to Indigenous Music Countdown

First Nations Voice has been carrying some form of the Indigenous Music Countdown, it was formerly the Aboriginal Music Countdown, since last year.

"The name change is in recognition of the term Indigenous, now commonly used both nationally and globally. Over the last few years we?ve also begun to receive music from as far away as Australia and the U.S., so it?s a natural progression. We?re also experiencing a lot of momentum because of a very wide reach, due to our broadcast partners." said David McLeod, Executive Producer of the IMC.

McLeod said he doesn?t want the countdown to take all the credit but noted it?s part of the thriving local scene of Indigenous music artists from Manitoba.

"Anytime you can get on a chart, you're really happy," said local music legend Ray St. Germain. "To have a vote determine whether you're number one, that's really big."

St. Germain released his first single "She's a Square" back in 1959.

For Vince Fontaine, keeping himself busy with two groups that include Indian City as well as Eagle and Hawk, a chance to see his band name on the charts has always meant a lot to him as an artist.

He remembers when there used to be the NCI Countdown and seeing the Eagle and Hawk song Sundancer on the charts.

"I'm excited to be a part of that," said Fontaine, "and NCI radio and the music countdown helps to support that voice. It gives an incentive and an opportunity for ideas."

He pointed out that Indian City is five years old now and that artists like Pamela Davis and William Prince were just new artists but now have found success as independent artists.

For those who might not know, William Prince is a Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter, who won the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2017 for his debut album Earthly Days.

The Indigenous Music Countdown is also carried by Sirius Radio.

"We began airing the countdown after partnering with NCI in early 2015 to continue recognizing the amazing music that exists within the Indigenous community," said Jeff Leake, Director, Music Programming, SiriusXM Canada. "We've also added a number of singles to our regular rotation from the Indigenous Music Countdown."

Alan Greyeyes, Manitoba Music Aboriginal development coordinator, said that registering with SoundExchange on Sirius XM can definitely have an impact on the royalties an artist receives.

"The copyright owners who have had songs go to number one on the countdown have received significant money through SoundExchange," said Greyeyes. 

So here?s to the Indigenous Music Countdown.

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