Left to right: Quanah Style, Niska Napoleon, Art Napoleon.
Bring up Quanah Style and you’ll get a varied reaction. While many adore her, to some, she’s just another Davie St disaster. Although it might not always come across when initially meeting her at parties in and out of our Village (where she’s usually hosting or performing), there is undoubtedly a deeper side to the trans musician, one that is encapsulated in her family’s upcoming EP, The Napoleon Collective.
To say that the songs on TNC are different from what many have grown accustomed to expecting from Quanah, such as her dirty dance songs, would be a major understatement. This is Quanah, and her singer/songwriter family — sister Niska Napoleon and their father, Art Napoleon — stripped down and vulnerable.
The six-track EP blends rock and country, with influences from the family’s Cree heritage, to create a soulful collection of songs about love and redemption. Quanah, Niska and Art sing two songs each, and their vocal prowess is equally distinct and impressive.
My favourite track is “Never Let You Go.” With lyrics like, “I’ve searched the world over for a way to be free/When push came to shove found someone to love/The child in me,” it sets the tone for the rest of the record, which is filled with the freedom that only comes with truth.
The Napoleon Collective will be released July 1.