Daniel Ashley, aka DJ Dash, in 2017. The DJ and his production company, Dash Music, will be producing the song titled “From the North” for the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games after a panel of judges selected the demo earlier in January. ( Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Theme song announced for Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games

“Something that’s contemporary but also has sort of a fusion of some Indigenous components”

The Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games announced the selection of a theme song in a press release on Jan. 17 and it will include the touch of a number of Yukoners.

Musician Daniel Ashley, known by his stage name Dash, and his production company, Dash Music, will be producing the song titled “From the North” after a panel of judges selected the demo earlier in January.

“It’s a real honour to be chosen,” Dash said in an interview with the News. “I’m excited to work with several different people who are going to be featured on the track, so it’s really a number of different voices from the North.”

The song includes vocals from Emily Ross, a Whitehorse youth artist, and Tlingit vocables composed and performed by Blake Lepine and the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers.

“It has some contemporary electronic elements and sort of hip-hop flavour to it,” Dash said. “We’re trying to put together something that’s contemporary but also has sort of a fusion of some Indigenous components in the instruments and vocals as well.”

Originally born from hotel room recordings during Dash’s time with the From the North show that toured in 2017, the song felt like the right choice for the occasion.

“I had been on this tour with a number of artists from the North and actually recorded a bunch of tracks in hotel rooms across the North — in Yellowknife and Iqaluit, then Vancouver and Montreal,” said Dash. “I thought this might be a good fit and so I went back and did some more work on the track and connected with some of those artists.”

Now, Dash said, the process continues to produce a finished track in time for the Arctic Winter Games one-year-out celebration in March.

“We’re going to take (the demo) and go into the studio, re-record some of the different layers — and potentially also add in some new elements — and have the finished song ready,” said Dash.

In the release, Moira Lassen — general manager of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games — said the judges did a “great job” in selected a theme song that reflects the “spirit of sport, community and culture” that the games represent.

“We’re excited to hear the finished version from Dash, and we’re confident that the theme song will be a huge hit with participants as well as the community,” Lassen said.

While Dash is front and centre in the release, he made it clear it’s a collaborative effort.

“I’m producing it, but there are definitely partners involved.”

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games are scheduled to take place in Whitehorse from March 15 to 21, 2020.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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