This article was originally published in the Revelstoke TIMES Magazine. Diyet and the Love Soldiers will perform at the Grizzly Plaza Gazebo as part of the REVY.Live Outside concert series on July 19.
Diyet is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose traditional roots and soulful lyricism weave together an emotionally impactful experience into her live performances.
She was born and raised in a community of about 100 people on the ancestral lands of the Kluane First Nation people in the Yukon. Her parents were always heavily involved in music, so it was ingrained in the fabric of her traditional life.
“I remember always being very fascinated by music,” said Diyet. “I wanted to sing, but I was very shy.”
She discovered her voice one day while riding the bus to school. “I remember opening my mouth, trying to make a sound come out, and it was big,” she laughed. “It shocked everyone, including myself.”
“After that, I don’t remember stopping.” From then on, she was determined to follow the path of music. Singing eventually became songwriting, which led her to where she is in her career as an artist today.
“I’m still quite introverted, except when it comes to music,” said Diyet. “For me, it’s singing and writing that allows me to become this other person.”
Diyet says her music is all about telling stories. “It’s very much reflective of the landscape I have around me. The natural landscape, and the human landscape.”
“I write about the things that I see and I experience, but I try to write about them in a way that somebody who lives downtown Toronto or somebody who lives in Germany would also understand.”
Diyet sings and writes in both English and Southern Tutchone, her native language. “I bring a lot of tradition, story and song from my community and I integrate that into my show,” she explained.
Over the years, she’s come to realize that the intimacy of her writing is better translated in her native language because it gives greater context to the connection she’s trying to make with the listener.
“I’m a real big believer in having an experience when you listen to music,” said Diyet. “It’s not just me talking at the crowd or singing at the crowd, it’s that the crowd is also giving something back.”
Her band, the Love Soldiers, is made up of her husband, Robert van Lieshout, and Juno Award-winning producer Bob Hamilton.