While Midnight Shine’s third music video Leather Skin was shot in 2018, the idea for it was first inspired back in 2000. It was then that Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland saw the beach video for Coldplay’s hit song "Yellow", and dreamed of one day making one of his own on the James Bay coastline near his Northern Ontario home. And last October, that’s exactly what he did.
Adrian, his wife Judy, a video crew of three, and a boatload of production gear embarked on a 90-minute boat ride from the Cree community of Attawapiskat, heading north along the Attawapiskat River to the open waters of the James Bay.
Traveling in an isolated region unknown to most Canadians, they eventually reached the Twin Islands — a place that’s rugged, remote and uninhabited by humans. Even though its traditional territory of Ontario’s Mushkegowuk Cree, geographical maps set the islands within the boundaries of Nunavut.
Not only was this desolate beach challenging to get to, it was even more difficult to stay at. Once landed, the crew had merely two hours to prep the cameras, get their shots, and get away, or be stranded until the next tide would come around 24 hours later. The boat had to be pried away from the beach continuously, too, with the ever-receding tide and fierce nautical winds constantly threatening to run them aground.
Leather Skin, written by Adrian Sutherland, is a song about resilience. It’s about developing a ‘thick skin’ and not letting others knock you down.
Sutherland joined Windspeaker Radio Calgary to talk about the new song, his experience shooting it on the James Bay in Ontario, and his recent experience at the Indigenous Music Awards in Winnipeg.
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