Tara Williamson is a Victoria-based musician who has been described as a poet and provocateur - the spark that ignites the flame. A First Nations singer/songwriter from Manitoba, her music is an unflinching document of self: the truth that hurts before it heals. Over the last 8 years, Tara has established herself as a sophisticated lyricist and soulful voice in the Indigenous and Canadian music scene. Her first 2 EPs - Lie Low (produced by James McKenty) and ndn summer (produced by Kinnie Starr) were received with praise and made it on numerous music blogs and countdowns across Turtle Island.
Her debut album, Songs to Keep Us Warm (produced by Jim Bryson), was built on the clever songwriting and expressive vocals heard in her first two EPs while revealing the deep heart of an artist willing to risk vulnerability in the pursuit of emotional truth. Songs to Keep Us Warm was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 2017 Indigenous Music Awards.
Tara’s newest offering is an 11-track album called Enough (produced by Justin Delorme). As a sophomore album, it succeeds in doing the hard work of demonstrating her growth as an artist: she trades in her hallmark cabaret-pop instrumentation for electronic elements and beats while seamlessly maintaining the impeccably rich vocals for which she has become known. Enough includes a co-write with Sarah Slean on the title track, and collaboration with Gitxsan hip-hop artist The Northwest Kid on the first single, Almost.
Enough was borne out of Tara’s grief from the loss of her infant son. It is a monument of her willingness and ability to share her story in all its complexity and vulnerability. In particular, the track Enfolding, which was featured on the APTN series Amplify, has already been recognized as a moving and powerful record of loss and love.
Tara’s work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Music, the Banff Centre, and the Hnatshyn Foundation. In 2020, Tara received the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Music from the Canada Council for the Arts.
In addition to her music career, Tara is also a professional writer, researcher, and educator. She is the Research Director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria (a position she shares with Jessica Asch) and a Research Fellow with the Yellowhead Institute. She holds degrees in social work, law, and Indigenous Governance.