FOXY/SMASH, an arts-based mental and sexual health program for youth in all three territories, has released a new single, It’s Not a Bad Life, Just a Bad Day, helping address gender-based violence and show access to community supports.

Recorded by Vancouver’s Monarch Studios, the song was written by Kugluktuk youth. It features Kendrick Bolt as lead vocalist, writer and guitar player, Kenton Loewen on drums, Pete Schmitt on bass and sisters Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk Mackay providing backup vocals.

Bolt is also a travelling peer facilitator for the SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health), he says he wants to help raise awareness on gender-based violence.

“We wanted to write a song that talks about the effects of violence on us and our peers and ways to cope that are healthy and healing,” said Bolt.

According to the Government of Canada, as of 2016, 2,707 people were victims of some sort of violence, with the majority experiencing it being women at 64 per cent.

Ayalik also produced the accompanying music video. She said it was great to see community-minded artists working together.

“Seeing young emerging Inuit artists be supported in putting their work out there, especially when it relates to community wellness, is reconciliation in action,” said Ayalik.

Nunavut experiences higher suicide rates compared to the rest of Canada. According to a study by the Government of Nunavut, there were more than 1,000 violent incidents in Nunavut’s schools during the 2019-20 school year.

Editing, additional footage and special effects for the music video were delivered by Reel Youth.

This single is a part of a bigger Consent is SMASHing campaign by FOXY/SMASH.

The track can be found on YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and the SMASH website for free.

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