Nigerian-Canadian Saxophonist Perpie Drops Debut Album

The album comes five years after her debut 5-track EP which has garnered sold-out shows across Calgary.

Award-winning African-contemporary saxophonist, Perpie, is releasing her debut album Ije-Awele on July 7th 2023, in Calgary, Canada. The New Canadian Artist Award recipient celebrates her Igbo roots and the realities of the everyday life of the Black diaspora in this latest project.

Recorded with Chamber Orchestra and the Jazz Band at Studio Bell National Music Centre, the enchanting 12-track album sonically encapsulates memories from her childhood and her journey as an artist. The album takes listeners on a journey woven with soulful jazz patterns.

Perpie in concert

The tranquil album resonates with the rippling global impact that slavery, racism, and discrimination have on black communities. It encompasses the strength of her people as a community, the hard work and resilience among the black race as displayed by her ancestors, The Igbos which is documented in The Landing of 1803. The instrumental-driven album is fused with jazz, soul, folk and alluring lyrics.

Written in collaboration with Digba of New York, Philip Ozo of Nigeria and accompanied by Calgary-based musicians, they formed an album that speaks to today’s social climate and the resilience of black people.

There is grace for every journey – it doesn’t matter in what capacity. There is grace for everyone’s journey. There is also light. I hope that this album encourages artists who are struggling, especially millennials in a world filled with growth and speed, to share their art a little more.” – says Perpie.

Perpie, whose real name is Perpetual Awele Atife, is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee Medal (2023), the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (2022) and the (Calgary) Mayor’s New Canadian Artist Award (2021). The saxophonist is largely influenced by her early exposure to Afrobeat music by Fela Kuti and country music by Don Williams and Dolly Parton. Her music is influenced by Western and Southern African folk music and traditional musical practices, gospel, smooth jazz and soft rock. She is known for her rich and lyrical tone on the soprano, alto and tenor saxophones.


Perpie’s album project Ije-Awele (2023) is a mix of live and studio recordings of both instrumental and vocal compositions – a collection and representation of memories and moments from her childhood, her journey both as a human and her experience as an artist.

The idea to record this album in the studio and to record live before with a live audience was simply to relive community spirit. My artistic expression is largely influenced by my growing discovery of my heritage, the rich history of the African people, the power of community, the impact of poverty, pain, faith and grace – all of which reflect my life’s journey and realities,” Perpie stated.

First, a studio recording with a Jazz Band at the OCL Studios in Chestermere and the second capture is a live recording with a Chamber Orchestra and the Jazz Band at the Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre in Calgary.




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