On Oct. 26 Pangnirtung’s own Joey Nowyuk took the first place spot for Best Music Video for Novice Artists at the Indigenous Music Awards (IMA), putting the small hamlet on the map all across the country.

The Government of Nunavut helped fund the production of the album while the Nunavut Film Development Corporation helped backstopped production of the music video.

Joey Nowyuk as featured in the music video for his song Nalligigakku.
photo courtesy of Hitmakerz.

The award is for the song Nalligigakku (Because I Love Her), and it was shot on location in Pangnirtung.

Featuring both Inuktitut and English lyrics, the song is the first release off of Nowyuk’s planned upcoming debut album, Tumitit (Your Footsteps).

The song’s popularity has reached the point where the singer/songwriter is being recognized by his community, friends and people in other places.

“People come up to me and say they really enjoy the song and the video and that they’re proud it was recorded in Pang,” said Nowyuk.

“Sometimes I walk into a place where the radio is on and they would be playing the song on the radio, a few friends sent me a video also of the song playing on their radio in their town.”

This was all for winning a competition he initially wasn’t expecting to have a chance at.

“It feels pretty good, I wasn’t really expecting to come in first place at that contest,” he said.

There is more to look forward to for Nowyuk as Nalligigakku has been slowly but surely climbing up the charts on the Indigenous Music Countdown.

On Nov. 7 the song reached number 12.

“We started out and (we were) maybe number 40 a few weeks ago and we reached number 12 this week which is pretty cool,” Nowyuk said.

Tumitit, due to release in early 2021, is set to go he said.

“The album’s basically done now, we’re just waiting to release it until sometime next year within the next few months.”

Nowyuk also wanted to make his appreciation known to everyone who helped make this possible, from his producers at Hitmakerz to his friends and family who took part in the music video.

“I want to say thank you to everyone that was involved in the music video, the actors and everyone else back home.”

Looking at how everything panned out, it left Nowyuk optimistic and delighted for what the future has in store for him.

“It just makes me happy, just makes me smile.”

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