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our names
ft. smokii sumac

our names ft. smokii sumac/ august 25, 2023



With this track I wanted to honour our names. There is medicine in singing and sharing our truths. I wanted to find a way to encourage understanding and empathy for our lived experiences. Of being loved until our truths are revealed. Or of not knowing who is safe to trust with our heart and name, and who isn’t. Of having to ask ourselves: will the world ever catch up to what our ancestors knew: that we are all sacred and loved? 



It's been a huge honour to be invited to collaborate with G.R. Gritt on this song. As a song that is about honouring our names and being true to ourselves it felt important for me to share all of my names, including the Ktunaxa names given to me by my Ktunaxa families, and all of the names I have carried in my lifetime. I hope this song helps Queer and trans people embrace all the versions of themselves who they have been, and helps allies understand how powerful the simple act of learning and honouring our names can be. 


I hear this song as an anthem, holding the power of our names, given, chosen, offered, shared, and in Indigenous understandings, even grown into. I hope Queer and trans folks listening can hear the love I am sending to former versions of myself and can hold that for themselves as well. We deserve to have our names spoken, respected, and held close. We deserve our names to be sung and shouted and shared. I hope you love the song and sing along with your own names in it!

“Our Names ft. Smokii Sumac” is the second single from Juno Award-Winner G.R. Gritt’s sophomore album, Prisms, an album of queer love songs. The track will be released on all streaming platforms on August 25, 2023 through Minotan Music. 


“Our Names ft. Smokii Sumac” features: G.R. Gritt on Vocals, Synthesizers, Drum Sampler, Sampler; Smokii Sumac on Vocals; Melody McKiver on Viola.


The track was produced by G.R. Gritt and was recorded by G.R. Gritt on Robinson-Huron Treaty territory at Minotan Music, their home studio, as well as by Matt Weiwel at Deadpan Studios. It was mixed by Matt Weiwel at Deadpan Studios and mastered by Elisa Pangsaeng at CPS Mastering.


“Our Names” is written by Greyson Roy Gritt and Smokii Sumac ⓒ SOCAN 2023

Genre: Pop

ISRC: CAMYY2300003

Listen to “Our Names” here

turnin' it up ft. tessa balaz/ june 16, 2023

"Turnin’ It Up” is about being in love with more than one person and more than one gender and not needing to tone down your Queerness for anyone and serves as a reminder of the importance of celebrating Pride. A Two-Spirit and Queer artist, Gritt’s Prisms is set for release later this year.

“It’s about opening yourself up to feel all of it, explains Gritt speaking on “Turnin’ It Up”, “to seeing and loving people as they are, and encouraging the people you are lusting after to lean into their feelings and fantasies!” The very first line of the song proclaims “We Keep Turnin’ It Up!”

The song also serves a reminder why Pride is celebrated. “it’s about being told to temper our Queerness, as if it is inherently extreme…When society tells us to be smaller, to take up even less space, to dim our sparkle, to hide our shine, to shrink our fabulous, that’s when we need to do the
opposite,” says Gritt. “If you think we are at our loudest and proudest right now, brace yourselves: we’re crankin’ up the heat, takin’ up space, and turnin’ up the music!”


Speaking on writing the song Tessa Balaz says, “The lyrics for “Turnin’ It Up” came from kind of a carnal place! I was thinking of the heteronormative lyrics that are normally in sexy songs or love songs. My mind immediately went to this love scene between this narrator and a woman and nonbinary third person and the rush of the moment, describing how it feels. I feel like what I’ve observed in the people around me is we’re all looking for more connection, acceptance and freedom of expression without judgement and shame. This is what this song is about.
We’re human! We’re alive! Let’s party!”

“I want listeners to feel sexy and free after hearing this track,” says guitarist Peter Balaz. “From the instrumentation, lyrical content, arrangement, and the beliefs of the people that wrote it, this track
represents the freedom to express yourself, and going for what you want. “Some say keep it down, so we keep turning it up!”

“Turnin’ It Up ft. Tessa Balaz” features: G.R. Gritt on Vocals, Drum Machine and Synthesizers; Tessa Balaz on Vocals; Petr Balaz on Guitar. The track was produced by G.R. Gritt and was recorded by G.R. Gritt on Robinson-Huron Treaty territory at Minotan Music, their home studio, except for the guitar which was recorded by Petr Balaz. It was mixed by Matt Weiwel at Deadpan Studios and mastered by Elisa Pangsaeng at CPS Mastering.

Listen and buy “Turnin' It Up” here

ancestors / april 16, 2021

“Ancestors” is an album that’s inspired by my maternal grandmother, and the ongoing impacts of colonization on my family, both living and ancestrally.

It asks my grandmother “Did you keep it [your Indigenous identity] from your children so they’d have a better life?”.

It asks settlers and colonizers “If I did to you as you’ve done to me...Would you ever believe me when I say I’m sorry?”

It acknowledges the circle of time, and how we will make different choices.

It burns with anger over the generosity given to the ashes of genocidal institutions while thoughts and prayers are offered to appease our generational pain.

It makes a promise to seek out all the names that they tried so hard to take - those names were never theirs to change.

It reminds us to keep holding on to those deep roots - one day we’ll be ancestors too. Even when you can’t feel it, baby, know that they’re a part of you.

Don’t you know you’re that you’re sacred, baby? Don’t you know our ancestors are holding you?

Listen and buy “Ancestors” here

doubt it / feb 12, 2021

“Doubt It” is a song about relationships, from person to person and even Nation to Nation. It’s about believing that you’re on the same page, and wanting to have trust in your partner, but as time goes on their actions tell a different story: one of manipulation, violence, and deceit.

Listen and share “Doubt It” here


“Doubt It” is the second single from Juno Award-Winner G.R. Gritt’s debut full-length studio album, Ancestors. The track was released on all streaming platforms February 12, 2021 on Coax Records.


quiet years / nov 27, 2020

The first single, "Quiet Years", off of my first full-length studio album, Ancestors, is out! The “Quiet Years” are the collective years Indigenous people have had to secretly share and practice their knowledge and culture in order to survive. 


Listen and share “Quiet Years” here


The title “Quiet Years” is inspired by my time on Haida Gwaii. I was invited to perform at the Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay, and I learned about the language and cultural revitalization happening in response to the "Silent Years". The Silent Years began with the smallpox epidemic, and continued with the potlatch ban, the criminalization of culture and language, and with the residential school system. The Haida had to secretly share and pass on culture and knowledge in order to survive. Indigenous peoples on this continent have experienced a parallel history with colonizers. We are still experiencing it. 


This song is about the Quiet Years my grandmother inherited and experienced. It’s about wondering about the impossible decisions she had to make, and if she would have been able to speak up after all those years. 

Listen and share “Quiet Years” here

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