STREAM: Leela Gilday - "Heart of the People"


Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday returns with her fourth studio album, Heart of the People, that celebrates her homeland, her nation, and her love of the land.

Leela Gilday's music has always been a passionate mix of soaring vocals, beautiful melodies, and the effortless interweaving of sounds and stories rooted in her Dene culture—and her latest album is no exception.

As the Northern Journal so eloquently described:

Heart of the People, combines powerful lyrics that create stunning imagery, layered over carefully coordinated melodies for songs that are raw, emotional and absolutely empowering.

Her incorporation of traditional elements like the pounding beat of Dene drums, the breathy, guttural sounds of throat singing, lyrics belted out in local languages and dancing fiddles helps create one of the musician’s best albums thus far. “I really feel this CD is my best, my best songwriting,” Gilday said in an interview with The Journal. “As you mature as an artist… I’ve been trying to fulfill my potential and I feel like this is starting to fulfill my potential.”

Listening to the album is like sitting in a circle, hearing multiple voices share tales of life in the North.

We couldn't agree more.

Gilday describes the title track from the album as "an anthem to the heartbeat of the earth [and] our connection to the land". Co-written by Jason Burnstick, with Maori lyrics by Ora Barlow, stream "Heart of the People" below and immerse yourself in the swirling sonics of the northern lights greeting the sunny shores of Aotearoa.

Heart of the People was officially released on October 14th and is available at Gilday will launch the album in Toronto at a concert featuring Cris Derksen on October 28, 2014.

STREAM: Leela Gilday - "Heart of the People"

Watch Leela Gilday perform "Heart of the People" with her band and Dene drummers in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, at the Northern Art Cultural Centre in September 2014.

Maisey Rika Wins Best Maori Album


At last week's New Zealand Music Awards, Maisey Rika took home "Best Maori Album" for "Whitiora" - congrats Maisey! - and we were stoked to check out all the nominees in the category.

The category celebrates Aotearoa (New Zealand) artists and music that express and reflect Maori culture. Eligible albums for the category don't have to be in Te Reo, but all three nominated albums this year were, which is rad!

Winner Maisey Rika is a soul/acoustic vocalist who has recorded in both English and Te Reo, and her fellow nominated artists were jazz/funk artist Kirsten Te Rito and blues/ jazz/soul singer Ngatapa Black.

Take in the sweet sounds of Rika, Te Rito and Black here:

#Revolution2: RPM is Back!


Did you miss us? It's been a revolutionary minute since we last hit you with a good dose of Indigenous Music Culture. But we're happy to let you know that RPM is back!

The crew has been busy since the winter working on music, touring, songwriting, media arts, land-based education, political organizing and a host of other arts, decolonizing and resurgence projects—all the while planning to get back online to bring you the best Indigenous music from across Turtle Island and around the world.

From the #RoundDanceRevolution to Idle No More to the Indigenous Nationhood Movement, we've been deeply inspired by everything happening in Indian Country, and we're happy to be back up and running with new music, reviews, interviews and artist features.

To kick things off, we have the #NationHood Mixtape—a global compilation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists' music in support of oppressed peoples' struggles for liberation; a review of Tara Williamson's new EP, Lie Low, from Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; a report on the recent New Zealand Music Awards and the winner for Best Maori Album, Maisey Rika; and an interview with Phoenix hip-hop duo Shining Soul!

We've got lots more in the works but for now, enjoy the new music. Thanks for your patience and support of RPM—and please share the good news on all your channels.

It's time for #Revolution2. Let's go.


VIDEO: Maisey Rika - "Tangaroa Whakamautai"


Maori Soul Singer Songwriter Maisey Rika recently released a video for her song Tangaroa Whakamauti, written and performed in her traditional language.

Tangaroa Whakamauti is a beautiful song that roughly translates into a ballad for the Maori god of the sea, Tangaroa. Sung in her traditional language, this song from the Aotearoa native is a powerful tribute to her culture's history, language, and presence in contemporary music.

Rika's award-winning stage presence and songwriting speaks for itself; this manifestation of a cultural revitalization is awe-inspiring and gorgeous on the eyes. Read the lyrics and the translation, done by Rika herself. Directed by Shae Sterling.


DOWNLOAD: Indigie Femme - "Am I Ready"


We're showcasing a gem from the Navajo and Aotearoa Maori Country Rock duo Indigie Femme by giving you their track called Am I Ready.

Based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tash Terry and Elena Higgins have been making music since November of 2006. Indigie Femme, the child of collaboration between the two singer-songwriters, released the song Am I Ready on the album Indian Souvenir in 2010. That year saw many miles for the musical duo who toured both the West Coast of North America as well as much of Australia.

The tour payed off when in 2011 the duo received several awards for their music, including a Native American Music Award (NAMMY), double New Mexican Music Awards (NAMA) and becoming Sacramento Community of Color Diversity honorees.

The band is coming off of a few months of performances, but if you're in the area of Santa Fe in the month of August be sure to catch them at Cowgirl Santa Fe on Saturday, August 18th from 2-5pm, and tweet about it!

DOWNLOAD: Indigie Femme - "Am I Ready"