Following her successful stint at SXSW, Canadian artist Elisapie unveils a striking music video for her song “Una” via NPR. The video pairs with a deeper exploration of her incredible story with NPR’s All Things Considered, discussing her roots, aboriginal issues and more.
In “Una,” from Elisapie’s JUNO-nominated album The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, the singer dives into one of the most significant moments of her life. The song is an open letter to her birth mother, asking her how she felt giving her daughter up for adoption. After Elisapie gave birth to her second child, she was struck by the profound question: how could her birth mother leave her in the arms of another mother?
Among the Inuit, adoption is a common occurrence, a kind of demographic regulator. Living conditions are extreme in this part of the world, and survival has long been at the heart of family concerns. Adoption is traditionally decided by the elders, often to balance the number of children in each family.
In Inuktitut, the word “una” literally means “I give you.” The poetic music video is presented in three parts and is directed by Frédérique Bérubé. In the introduction, Elisapie asks questions of her birth mother, Eva. The music video itself highlights the challenges faced by the Inuk singer following her adoption, depicting the relationship with her absent mother as a mirror to Elisapie’s own motherhood. The final part echoes the introduction; the real Eva exposes herself to answer her biological daughter’s questions in an emotional meeting.
After grabbing the attention of NPR’s team at SXSW with her striking performances, Elisapie is embarking on a 10-date European tour, followed by several festivals in Canada and Europe this summer.