Digawolf: Bridging the Gap between Modernity and Tradition
Hailing from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Digawolf is a unique band that redefines aboriginal music for modern audiences by bridging the gap between modern and traditional alternative rock. Growing up in the capital of the Tlicho Nation, Behchoko, NT, has had a powerful influence on Digawolf front-man – Diga – and the songs he shares.
Drawing inspiration from the music around him, some of Diga’s favourite artists include Kashtin, Tom Waits and Roy Buchanan. “I have to listen to [those three artists] when I am wrapping my head around a new recording project.” His lyrics are inspired by his history and growing up in the first nation’s capital he called home. His brothers also inspire him, as they too are musicians.
Creating music was always something that Diga enjoyed, however the idea of entering the limelight made him hesitant when considering joining the music industry professionally. If he hadn’t been able to sing or preform, he would have still pursued music by helping other artists record. Also, he has an interest in visual arts, claiming if music wasn’t his calling, painting, drawing and cartooning would be. It’s certainly something he does in his spare time.
Despite his reservations he chased a musical career, stating the turning point was when he met that one person who truly believed in his abilities and never gave up on him, even when he was considering calling it quits. Having that support and inspiration made pushing forward easier. He recommends that new and emerging artists trust in themselves and others when it comes to their sound. If you trust your skills, talent and find those people who believe in you as an artist, you can’t fail.
Blundstone Playlist song “Great Northern Man” was nominated for a 2016 Western Canadian Music Award and a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Artist/Songwriter of the year.
When asked what he loves so much about his trusty Blundstone boots, Diga shares “They’re black, and I love black” and also that they reflect the feeling behind his music. Their rugged and outdoorsy quality fit perfectly with his musical image and Diga is happy to represent them.
And his boots have seen it all, having traveled the road with him. He fondly remembers a unique and amazing festival up north with the band. The festival organizers set them up with a great house to stay in, however, they’d forgotten almost all the essentials, including cutlery, plates, cups and blankets! Of course, the band didn’t notice this until after they went grocery shopping and cooked their pizza. With nothing to cut the pizza with, Diga and the band used his ID card. The only problem (other than a cheesy, saucy card) was that hot pizza melted the ID card so Diga spent the whole festival walking around with a melted tag. Luckily the festival was such an amazing and fun experience, he could over look the incident. Diga still advises “always make sure to check for utensils before making dinner plans.”
If he could travel anywhere sporting his sturdy Blundstone boots, Diga would take one of his brothers and venture back home in order to explore the land outside of Behchoko. Together, the would follow their father’s old trapline and really get to live as he did.
Digawolf’s unique and rugged music gives Canadians a chance to experience the great northern roots that many don’t get an opportunity to see. They are inspiring in the way they pursue their dreams but stick to their beginnings, making them worth checking out!