CAMBRIDGE BAY, Nunavut -- Christine Aye, a Chadron State College graduate living within the Arctic Circle, and her band recently placed 10th in a national radio contest with an original song. Over 4,500 bands entered the second annual “Searchlight: The Hunt for Canada’s Next New Artist,” sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Aye, originally from Myanmar, sings and plays the xylophone in Scary Bear Soundtrack led by Gloria Song, an attorney who performs under the name Gloria Guns. Charles Lynch, known as Avid Napper, also collaborated on this song.
The synthpop song: "The Longest Night," was inspired by the story of a father and son whose snowmobile broke down and they had to wait for three days to be rescued.
Aye, who graduated from CSC in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, said the CBC contest was as much about promotion of the song as it was the music.
She promised followers that she and Guns would post a photo of them wearing bikinis on the frozen Arctic Ocean if they received enough popular votes to advance to the next round of the competition. When they reached the semi-finals, she and Guns posted a daily video log, or vlog, to promote their song’s ratings.
As a result of the CBC contest publicity, they have received tweets from followers in New York and California, met other musicians online, been interviewed by many members of the media, gained new fans, and received invitations to perform in Toronto and Vancouver.
Proceeds from the band’s earlier song, “Victoria Island,” go to support Cambridge Bay initiatives including the local food bank, needy families, and the local dog rescue and welfare organization.
Aye has always had an interest in music. She was a member of a rock band as a teenager in Myanmar, but set aside her musical pursuits when she was a CSC student.
In addition to performing, Aye has a full-time job with the Cambridge Bay Department of Justice. Her husband, Bruce Kambarami, is a CSC alumnus who works for the regional government in information technology.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator