Folk Roots Radio Episode 614: Christa Couture In Conversation – To Us

Christa Couture In Conversation - To Us

We have another wonderful interview to share with you on Episode 614 of Folk Roots Radio. Award-winning singer-songwriter, writer and broadcaster Christa Couture joins us for an in-depth conversation about her career. An artist who describes herself as queer, disabled and proudly indigenous (she’s mixed Cree and Scandinavian), Christa Couture has experienced more loss than most people can ever imagine: childhood cancer that led to the amputation of her left leg plus a second bout of cancer – this time of the thyroid (later in life). She’s also lived with the tragedies of abortion and the deaths of two sons in infancy, followed by divorce. Her life experience informed her very well-received memoir “How To Lose Everything” which came out in 2020, and has helped many, many people deal with loss and grief. Christa Couture continues to make great art in both music and literature, with a willingness to share her story and inspiring attitude to life through broadcasting, public speaking and now film. We wrap things up with her uplifting new single “To Us”, a song she describes as ‘a toast to resilience and survival’, with the hope that things will get better as we move into 2022. Check out the full playlist below.

Best 2020

Interview

Christa Couture understands, through challenging life-long experience, what if feels like to be unjustly marginalized: she’s queer, disabled, and proudly indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandinavian). Couture’s childhood cancer led to the amputation of her left leg, and she’s lived with the tragedies of abortion, the deaths of her two infant sons, and most recently, divorce.

In 2020, Christa Couture released the memoir “How To Lose Everything”, and as befits her life experience, loss and grief are central themes of the book.

How to Lose Everything contains the advice Couture is often asked for, as well as the words she wishes she could have heard many years ago. It is also an offering of kinship and understanding for anyone experiencing a loss.

Christa is currently working with a number of indigenous film makers on short animated films that focus on different types of loss, that will air on the streaming channel, CBC Gem. The first film, “How To Lose Everything – A Field Guide” picked up Best Animated Short Film at both the Imagine This Film Festival and American Indian Film Festival.

“The Music Of How To Lose Everything”, the songs that are featured in How To Lose Everything provides a great introduction to the music of Christa Couture. You can listen to the songs as a Spotify streaming playlist or they can be downloaded from Bandcamp or Christa’s website.

Christa Couture’s most recent album is the EP “Safe Harbour” from 2020, which was recorded at Jim Bryson’s Fixed Hinge Studios in Stittsville, Ontario.

“My last albums have been filled with losses and a need to understand them. This time around, I got to write and record for the enjoyment, thoughtfulness and pleasure. I got to write from a safe harbour. “Like Water, Like Earth” was written for Louis Esmé’s installation “Maldewin Weskijinu / Blood Soaked Soil”. “Rebuild” was written for the APTN series Amplify and is inspired by the book “The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline. “Far, Far Light of the Stars” is for my QT + 2Spirit family.”

We wrapped up the interview with Christa Couture’s latest single “To Us”, an expression of hope as we move into 2022. Produced by Steve Dawson, each of the performers recorded their contributions at home, pandemic style. It features Henhouse Studio regulars Steve Dawson (guitar), Gary Craig (drums), Jeremy Holmes (bass) alongside Chris Gestrin on keyboards.

“I wrote this on New Year’s Eve 2016, at the end of what had been a truly difficult year for me. I had gone through a divorce, three moves, four jobs, and discovered I had thyroid cancer. Despite how hard it had been, I wanted to toast to resilience, survival, to a little bit of hope that things might get better – but also to not wanting to jinx it! Enter 2020 and 2021, and it was the right time to record the song. I think we all feel weary and tentative; I think we all deserve to say, ‘To Us!’ despite it all.”

For more information about Christa Couture, visit christacouture.com.

That’s all we have time for. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have lots of great music and interviews to bring you on future episodes.

If you enjoy the music we play on this show and want to support the artists – many of whom aren’t able to play live at the moment because of the Covid-19 pandemic, don’t just stream their music – that earns them much less than a penny per play. Instead, buy their music – and really make a difference to their income. They’ll love you for it!

Listen

You can listen to this episode again on Soundcloud by following the link below. You can also listen to episodes of Folk Roots Radio, on demand, via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Tune-in Radio. (Click on the highlighted link to reach your chosen platform.)

Playlist

Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises
Roll Right (2019, self)

Christa Couture
Rebuild (Radio Edit)
Safe Harbour (2020, Coax Records) CDN

Interview: Award-winning singer-songwriter, writer and broadcaster Christa Couture chats about her career.

Christa Couture
Far, Far Light Of The Stars
Safe Harbour (2020, Coax Records) CDN

Christa Couture
An Invitation In Three Parts (2012)
The Music Of… How To Lose Everything (2020, Self) CDN

Christa Couture
Separation/Agreement (2016)
The Music Of… How To Lose Everything (2020, Self) CDN

Christa Couture
To Us
(single) (2021, Self) CDN

About the author

JAN HALL

Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee. In 2019, Jan Hall received Folk Music Ontario's prestigious Estelle Klein Award for her contribution to Ontario's folk music community.

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