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Five Questions with Shayne Giles


Shayne Giles has now been on CKUA’s airwaves for an entire year with their show, This Music Changed My Life. Focusing on a different artist each week, the show explores the chosen one’s influences, inspirations and identity.

We checked in with Shayne to find out more about their CKUA hosting journey and what’s on their mind these days.

How has the show evolved and changed since This Music Changed My Life started a year ago?  

I was super green when I started! My background is in community-focused journalism, so I was so used to being formal and well-researched that I forgot to have a little fun with it. I used to script everything out, every word, but now I kind of just let it ride, because I know that weird radio is infinitely better than boring radio.

How have you evolved and changed? 

Oh man. I’d say the biggest thing is my confidence. When I first started, I got a fair bit of negative – but helpful – feedback, and it would just crush me. Now, I’ve had some major life changes but I’m able to keep a really optimistic outlook towards things despite that. Yeah, it can be really rough sometimes, but I know at the end of the day, I’m adding something good to the world, and I’m having fun doing it.

What do you hope your show accomplishes in the hearts and minds of listeners?

I really want to be able to reach people where they’re at, to help them get a little bit outside their comfort zone, and to show people that as much as things might be stressful or scary, there are some really interesting people out there making art despite it all.

Honestly, if I can make one mom laugh in the car with her kids or convince someone that new music is actually kind of cool, that’s a success. Change and trying new things can be scary, especially if your usual music is comforting to you, but that’s why I think it’s important to help folks explore new music or concepts through my show. You deserve to expand your horizons and learn more about yourself and this crazy world we all live in.

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is in a few days. As a Métis person, what do you hope people keep in their minds throughout the day and really, everyday? 

I guess just that, hey, I know this is probably uncomfortable for non-Indigenous people, but that’s why it’s so important. You’re uncomfortable because you know that the way this nation has treated and continues to treat its Indigenous population is unethical.

For people who genuinely care, it sucks to feel powerless, to acknowledge that you don’t know what to do or what to say, but it’s important that you try. Do one thing, whenever you have the energy, to Indigenize yourself or your community. Maybe it’s researching native plants and traditional medicines, learning about the different regional groups, or seeing what you can do to address the lack of Indigenous representation in all levels of power.

My entire life is shaped by the things that Canada did to my family. Intergenerational trauma is very real, and every Indigenous person I know has to live with the consequences of it every single day. There’s a certain pain you feel when you realize that every unhoused person on your street is Indigenous, but you don’t have the capacity to provide them with meaningful help. I’m lucky, in that I grew up close enough to the city to find work, that I had good enough grades to pay for my education, and that I have this fire in me that says, “But doesn’t that make you mad?”

It’s okay to be mad at what happened. Infuriated, even, and rightfully so. But you need to be gentle on yourself too. Use that anger to make change, but recognize when it’s time to rest, recuperate, and reconnect. Just … be there for each other. Positive change comes from love and support for each other, and from wanting a better life for our people. We can’t do that if we’re using that fire too much and burning ourselves out.

Please tell us your favorite food, a great book you read recently and the best piece of advice you’ve ever received. (Okay, yes, this is three questions masquerading as one.) 

Gotta say, I’m a sucker for a good fettucine alfredo, or a good ol’ beef stew. I’ve recently been reading The Northwest Is Our Mother, and it’s so refreshing to see a book about Métis history FROM Métis perspectives.

I think the best advice I’ve ever received is that you cannot always want more. You need to be content with what you have, because it’s a heck of a lot more than what you started with. Happiness does not come from ownership or success, it comes from being content with your life, and riding the joys and sorrows of this wild and wacky existence.

Tune in to This Music Changed My Life with host Shayne Giles, 1pm – 2pm MT Saturday, or catch the latest episode OnDemand.