‘Just be happy’: Artist KimOJax raps about hope, happiness at Alianait festival
Rapper to take part in Aajvik Jam on Monday as part of final day at festival in Iqaluit
“It’s a funny story,” Kim Jakobsen says of how he got into rap music as a young Inuk in Greenland more than 15 years ago.
“I always wanted to be a singer, but my classmates were bullying me by saying I can’t sing,” he told Nunatsiaq News.
“Then my sister was visiting from Denmark and gave me three CDs of Xzibit, Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Right after that, I started rapping because it was easier for me and because I love writing and singing.”
Flash forward to today and Jakobsen, who goes by KimOJax on stage, is performing his music in Canada and Iqaluit for the first time as an artist in this year’s Alianait Arts Festival.
Rapping with the Greenlandic band Inuk on the opening night Thursday and at the Black Heart Cafe Friday afternoon, his music touches on themes such as hope, healing, happiness and living well.
Playing to different crowds at different times of the day at different venues across Iqaluit has been a fun experience for Jakobsen, who said he is used to sharing his music in diverse environments and is “just happy that people are hearing my music.”
At the same time, most of his music and the themes within it are personal, having lived through the loss of loved ones to suicide.
“I’ve been trying to inspire people with my lyrics because life is unfair and we just need to fight it,” Jakobsen, who is also a public speaker and motivational coach, said of his music.
“Just don’t quit,” he added. “Life can be hard. It can be fun. It depends on where we are, but the purpose is to live.”
Along with sharing his music, Jakobsen said he is also enjoying seeing other artists from around the world at Alianait, many of whom are writing and singing about hope and healing as well.
“I’m excited to listen to Joshua Qaumariaq and I was very surprised with Terry Uyarak [on Thursday],” he said of being both a performer and an attendee at this year’s Alianait.
“I want to hear everyone’s music.”
He has one more performance left at the Alianait festival, as part of the Aajvik Jam on the festival’s final day July 3.
“This is an opportunity to just be happy in Iqaluit,” he said of his time in the city.
The Aajvik Jam will take place at the Canadian North tent starting at 1:45 p.m. on July 3. It will include performances by artists including Athena Ling, Ivaana and Jaaku Sorensen.