Today on ReFolkUs, we chat to Janice Jo Lee about the interplay between identity and creativity. Janice discusses how her Korean identity informs the narrative of her creative expression, and how music and art that is rooted in personal identity evoke both empathy and connection.
Janice also fills us in on her latest album, Ancestor Song and discusses the themes that are present within.
to Janice Jo Lee’s latest album Ancestor Song, released November 2023.
Follow Janice Jo Lee
Janice Jo Lee (she/they) aka E Sing Hey, is an award-winning Korean-Canadian folk artist based in Toronto, Ontario. She is a singer, songwriter, composer, sound designer, spoken word poet, actor, clown, and educator. She has released three albums of music, two poetry chapbooks, and has composed music and sound for two musicals and five stage plays.
Lee’s artwork is immersed in issues of gender empowerment, community, climate change, the environment and antiracism. On stage she performs with a guitar, trumpet, and korean drum. She conjures warm energy, asks questions about our times, and leaves audiences rejuvenated and aglow.
Lee was born in Toronto and spoke Korean as a first language. She grew up riding bikes, singing in choir, and preferred soccer to her piano lessons. Lee graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a major in English Literature and minor in Political Science. Lee began her practice as a folk musician in The Radical Choir - leading sing-alongs and composing songs inspired by local issues.
Lee is a leader on conversations around equity and access. Off stage she conducts workshops on equity, performance, and poetry. She tours solo, with a trio, or with a six piece band of women and nonbinary musicians.
Produced by Kayla Nezon and Rosalyn Dennett