Jayli Wolf Reclaims Her Power with "Lead Me"

The artist opens up about addiction on her new single

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Sep 30, 2021

Toronto-based queer Anishinaabe/Cree artist, actress and activist Jayli Wolf has released a powerful new single "Lead Me" in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, alongside a self-directed music video.

The new track follows Wolf's debut EP Wild Whisper — featuring the single "Hush" — from this past June. "Lead Me" was initially supposed to be included in the collection, but now arrives on today's date commemorating the survivors and victims of residential schools, as well as Orange Shirt Day, which recognizes the systemic harm these institutions have enacted on Indigenous children.

The first frame of the video reads "Trauma is a gateway drug," incisively noting the cyclical nature of trauma. It can also be passed down from generation to generation — a topic Wolf broached on her EP, reflecting on her father's experience in the Sixties Scoop as well as her own upbringing in a doomsday cult. Now she repeats "I won't let you lead me," like a mantra, gifting its healing reverberations to us all.

Of the track, the musician said in a statement:

"Lead Me" is about temptation and addiction. It's about knowing how good a person or a substance can make you feel but at the same time being aware that you need to fight the desire for your own self-preservation. I gave so much of my energy and life to addiction and it was terribly difficult to fight; to no longer let it lead me. Addiction is about survival. I wanted to escape my reality because I didn't have the tools to change it. Temporary highs can be so enticing, but the cost is always higher. The video for the song illustrates being trapped by your proverbial demons, and for myself, finding healing through reclaiming my culture and taking my power back — breaking free from the chains of my past.

Watch the video for "Lead Me" below.

Wolf recently played the role of Brenda in Dan Mazer's film The Exchange

Latest Coverage