Rita Claire Mike-Murphy



Rita Claire Mike-Murphy (Riit) is an emerging, award-winning singer, performer, musician and television host from Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU. She has performed alongside many well-known musicians, such as Elisapie, Twin Flames and The Jerry Cans. Mike-Murphy is also the host of Anaana’s Tent, a children’s program that made its debut in 2018 on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). She won the Youth Media Alliance’s Emerging Talent Award in 2019 for her work on Anaana’s Tent, and its emphasis on teaching Inuit children about their culture with Inuktitut, music, animation and puppets [1].

As Riit, she combines katajjaq (throat singing) with electropop influences. Her Inuktitut lyrics and inclusion of ambient sounds in her music, such as ravens or knife sharpening, help her create a varied audio experience for listeners [2]. She frequently addresses themes such as love, familial bonds, abuse, isolation, residential schools and the impacts of intergenerational trauma in her music [3].

Mike-Murphy created her first, three-song EP, Riit, in 2017. Riit was a creative folk – pop musical collaboration between producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda and The Jerry Cans, released by Nunavut record label Aakuluk Music [4]. Songs were written by Mike-Murphy and producer Andrew Morrison [5].

Her debut album will be released later in 2019 by Six Shooter Records, and was recorded as well as produced by Graham Walsh in Iqaluit, NU, and Toronto, ON. Songs highlight personal disconnection as well as how past events continue to impact the present. The new album’s first song, Qaumajuapik, which means ‘you are shining,’ highlights the power of attraction and its ability to change the perception of time. The music video for Qaumajuapik was released in August 2019, and includes traditional Inuit tattoos, a qulliq (oil lamp) and caribou skins. Mike-Murphy performed Qaumajuapik live for Q on CBC Radio One in May 2019. She has also noted “Music is just one of those ways I can talk about how I feel in hopes of reaching the people who feel the same way as me or don’t know how to express their feelings” [6].

In 2018, Mike-Murphy was nominated for the Best Radio Single for her song Imiqtaq at the Indigenous Music Awards and Indigenous Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards for Riit. She has additionally performed at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, France and for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in London, England [7].

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Accomplishments

2019: Won Youth Media Alliance’s Emerging Talent Award for Anaana’s Tent.

2019: Performed at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, France.

2019: Performed in London, England, for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

2018: Nominated for Best Radio Single for Imiqtaq at the Indigenous Music Awards.

2018: Nominated for Indigenous Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards for Riit.

2017: Released Riit, first three-song EP.



Citations/Footnotes

1. Emily Blake and Lawrence Nayally, “Musician and children’s TV host Riit from Canada’s eastern Arctic recognized for her work,” Eye on the Arctic – CBC News, April 15, 2019, https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2019/04/15/riit-nunavut-award-youth-media-alliance-rita-claire-mike-murphy/
2. “Riit,” Six Shooter Records, accessed August 8, 2019,  https://sixshooterrecords.com/artists/riit/
3. Ibid.
4. Holly Gordon, "First Play: Riit, self-titled,” CBC Music, June 5, 2017, https://www.cbcmusic.ca/first-plays/368/first-play-riit-self-titled
5. Ibid.
6. Matt Williams, “Inuk throat-singing electro-pop artist Riit is ready to shine,” Fader, April 2, 2019, https://www.thefader.com/2019/04/02/inuk-throat-singing-electro-pop-artist-riit-is-ready-to-shine
7. “Riit,” Six Shooter Records, n.d., accessed August 8, 2019,  https://sixshooterrecords.com/artists/riit/