DOWNLOAD: The imagineNATIVE 2015 Mixtape, Featuring GlitClit, Madeskimo, and Akkil


RPM is pleased to present the 2015 imagineNATIVE mixtape, as part of the festival's 16th annual celebration of Indigenous creativity.

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world's largest showcase of film, music, and media arts by Indigenous artists.

Boasting an incredible diversity in contemporary forms of Indigenous creative expression, the festival celebrates the thriving artistry among Indigenous Peoples. Running October 14-18 in Toronto, we are pleased to partner with imagineNATIVE to support the festival's commitment to Indigenous music.

On Saturday, October 17, imagineNATIVE will present a live music performance night "The Beat DJ POW! WOW!" — featuring electronic sets from GlitClit, Madeskimo, and Akkil.

To get you hyped for the show, we've assembled a fresh, new mixtape featuring all three of the artists performing at the show.

Inuk electronic artist madeskimo, a.k.a. Geronimo Inutiq, uses live instruments, digital and analogue synths, and a deft hand at remixing and processing samples to blend traditional Inuit, Aboriginal, modern electronic and urban music into experimental new hybrids.

GlitClit is the DJ project of acclaimed Colombian singer and electronic artist Lido Pimienta, who experiments with Indigenous sonics, beats, live looping, and hypnotic vocals. Known as “Colombian darling” and “SoundSister”, Pimienta has been bumping up Afro-Indigenous chanting and rhythms with brass, experimental noise, walls of sound and her beautiful voice, creating a hyper-coloured hybrid sound that can’t be boxed into lazy genre tags.

Rounding out the night, we will be joined by Akkil - who fuses traditional Sámi joik and Sámi classics with the synth-sounds from the 1980s, to celebrate and honour Sámi musical traditions while infusing them with new dancefloor rhythms.

Hosted by Rachelle White Wind, "The Beat" will also feature breakdancing performances by Jay Robi, Siez Swift & Krystal Riverz, with a special performance by Rhythm Natives.

In addition to live performances, and music-themed screenings, this year's festival will also feature some new experiments with Virtual Reality Portals, where audiences get to experience immersive "Oculus VR" demos featuring music from A Tribe Called Red and Tanya Tagaq.

Don't miss this incredible celebration of Indigenous creativity and community. And join us on Saturday for an epic NDN throwdown on the dancefloor.

"The Beat DJ POW! WOW!" will be held Saturday, October 17th at Revival in Toronto.

DOWNLOAD: The imagineNATIVE 2015 Mixtape

Aboriginal Music Week Closing Night Concert to Feature Drezus, Mariame, Hellnback, T-Rhyme, and Boogey the Beat


RPM is proud to present an incredible night of Indigenous hip-hop, R&B, and trap music to conclude Aboriginal Music Week 2015.

The closing night of Aboriginal Music Week is the very definition of #IndigenousExcellence.

This year, RPM is partnering with AMW to bring you a concert featuring some of Indian Country's fastest rising hip-hop stars: Drezus, Mariame, Hellnback, T-Rhyme, and Boogey the Beat.

An accomplished young producer with a gift for booming beats and hypnotic melodies, Anishinaabe artist Boogey the Beat will bless us with his trap-infused rhythms. N'we Jinan artist and rising Cree R&B singer, Mariame, will be joining us from Quebec to perform songs from her recently released debut EP, Bloom. And, hailing from Saskatoon by way of Edmonton, self-described femcee T-Rhyme will bring her 'ATCQ to Jean Grae'-influenced hip-hop styles to the stage.

Rounding out this already incredible lineup, acclaimed Samson Cree hip-hop heavyweight and 2015 Indigenous Music Awards nominee, Hellnback, will give shine to tracks from his brand new record, F.O.E. (#FamilyOverEverything).

UPDATE: Tall Paul won't be able to make it, but hot off his recent Warpath Tour, we've got Cree hip-hop artist Drezus coming through to rep for the people and give us a dose of his banging beats and Native Pride-filled lyrics.

This is a closing party without compare and a showcase of what's next in native hip-hop and Indigenous music. You don't want to miss it.

Aboriginal Music Week, an annual celebration of "the fact that Indigenous artists around the world are creating music that crosses almost all musical and physical borders, without regret", runs from August 18-22, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With a full lineup of Indigenous music events including the Spence Neighbourhood Block Party, the Turtle Island Block Party, an AMW stage at the Austin Street Festival, and a daytime stage at Picnic in the Park, this year's AWM is going to have something for every listener and music fan.


Saturday, August 22, 2015 The Good Will (625 Portage Ave) Winnipeg, Manitoba 9pm - 2am / Tickets: $10 RSVP on Facebook: here


  • Drezus
  • Mariame
  • Hellnback
  • T-Rhyme
  • Boogey The Beat


For more information visit:

DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red's Killer Remix of Buffy Ste Marie's “Working for the Government”


A Tribe Called Red drops a free single on this most colonial of national holidays.

And that song is none other than a 2015 remix of legendary Cree singer Buffy Sainte Marie's classic "Working for the Government". In A Tribe Called Red's capable hands, the song transforms from an already upbeat anthem into a rockin', four-on-the-floor, dancefloor destroyer.

Mixing politics and partying you say? Ironically celebrating Canada, you say? Sounds like a perfect pairing.

And what could be more CanCon than a collab between the first lady of Indigenous song, and one of the newly dubbed Top 10 Canadian Bands of All Time?

Get the free download right here.

DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red ft. Buffy Sainte-Marie - "Working For The Government 2015 Mix"

ATCR - Summer 2015 Tour Dates

July 4 – Eskasoni, NS – Eskasoni PowWow

July 12 – Toronto, ON – PanAM Park, Echo Beach (free show)

July 17 – Trumansburg, NY – GrassRoots Festival

July 18 – Toronto, ON – Aboriginal Pavillion, Fort York (free show)

July 23 – Peguis First Nation, MB – Peguis Arena

July 24 – Brandon, MB – Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival

July 31 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Music & Arts Festival

August 1 – Sept-Iles, QC – Innu Nikamu festival

August 7 – Washington, DC – Smithonian Museum (free show)

August 12 – Toronto, ON – Nathan Phillips Square (free show)

August 15 – Sudbury, ON – UP FEST, Durham Playgrounds

O Kanata Day: Watch Mohawk Artist Jackson 2bears Remix Colonial "Heritage Mythologies"


Happy Anti-Canada Day—it's time to celebrate the country's Original Peoples.

That's right, we said it.

In a year of reconciliation, on a nationalized holiday of mostly mindless settler celebration, what better time than now to acknowledge not only the long and continuing history of colonialism that has built Canadians' Homes on Native Land, but also the strength and resilience of the Indigenous Nations and societies that predated the arrival of Europeans on our shores?

That's what Kanien'kehá:ka DJ/VJ and multimedia artist Jackson 2bears is doing.


2bears is marking this auspicious occasion with the release of a full-length version of his incredible video work, Heritage Mythologies, an artful deployment of re-appropriation and remix for decidedly Indigenous purposes.

The piece is part of a 2010 installation and live video remix performance at the SAW Gallery in Ottawa, that has since been included in the Beat Nation touring exhibition. Beat Nation demonstrated the unique ways Indigenous artists are using hip-hop and other forms of popular culture to create new cultural hybrids—in painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video.

In Heritage Mythologies, 2bears lets loose his VJ skills on an astonishing array of found footage and cinematic samples sourced from Canadian media, newscasts, CanCon beer ads, Olympic resistance, Canadian rapper Classified's settler anthem "Oh...Canada", those iconic Heritage Minute videos, Cape Breton's singer Rita MacNeil rocking the national anthem, footage from the so-called 'Oka crisis', text from residential school reports, right on up to Prime Minister Harper's notorious 2008 apology for the Indian Residential Schools system. And all set to a rolling hip-hop soundtrack.

Heritage Mythologies is ironic, funny, and a scathing critique of Canadian politics and nationalism.

Not only does 2bears expose the long and destructive misrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples on film and in the media, he does it with an artful, musical eye on the colonial politics at work in how we see and, therefore, how we come to know about the past and present of this country.

Heritage Mythologies closes with a wry twist on that beloved old settler classic, "This Land is Your Land", which strums along against an onslaught of imagery depicting the historical and continuing faces of Indigenous resistance flashing and crackling in the background.

The juxtaposition is potent, powerful, and a clear reminder of how far we still have to go.

So on this 'Kanata Day', why glorify colonial conquest when you can lay bare the deep mythological heritage that still holds sway in the Canadian psyche? Why celebrate a falsely imagined nationalism that overwrites Indigenous nationhood in all its forms when you can champion the work of Indigenous artists committed to the daily struggle of correcting media misrepresentations and representing ourselves on our own terms?

Jackson 2bears challenges our complacency and calls us to account for the inanity of pledging ignorant allegiance to the settler colonial state.

Instead of painting your face with the flag of oppression while shotgunning tallboys of Molson Canadian, or embroidering that maple leaf patch on your backpack ahead of your next drunken hostel excursion through Europe, let's pay more attention to what Indigenous artists are actually doing with the imposed legacy of invasion.

Artists like Jackson 2bears are reappropriating the weapon of representation to reflect back to us the destructive, colonial reality that's been carefully hidden behind the false flag of Operation Reconciliation. Time to take it back to the foundations and try again.

Now, who's ready for some fireworks?

Watch Jackson 2bears, Heritage Mythologies

Heritage Mythologies - O Kanata Day - 2015 from Jackson 2bears


Check out more of his work on Vimeo and at

Exquisite Ghost Takes Indigenous Beat-Making to New Heights


Winnipeg-based electronic producer, Exquisite Ghost, shares insights into his creative process and the burgeoning Indigenous beat-making scene.

Jordan Thomas, aka Exquisite Ghost, is something of an anomaly in the contemporary Indigenous music community.

Although headlining acts like A Tribe Called Red have claimed a centre stage spotlight at the intersection of electronic dance music and powwow-infused rhythms, more cerebral and esoteric beat excursions by Indigenous producers have received less critical acclaim and attention.

But that's not for a lack of innovation and creative expression.

If anything, Exquisite Ghost's productions offer a more nuanced and exploratory set of aesthetics than many dancefloor-focused DJs can provide. Echoes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus, and Aphex Twin can be heard in his production style, but Thomas is crafting his own uniquely melodic and ethereal take on contemporary beat-making. Through an evolving set of sonic experiments, Exquisite Ghost brings a deft hand and hip-hop-inspired touch to his head-nodding and hypnotic compositions.

Following the 2013 release of his debut album, Shrines, on Salient Sounds, Thomas has been steadily dropping gems on his SoundCloud. Although, by ATCR standards, he's still flying under the radar, Thomas is definitely a producer to watch—one who's changing the game in the process.

We caught up with him to talk music, creative inspiration, collaboration, and upcoming album plans. Stream and download new tracks from Exquisite Ghost below.

Thanks for talking with us. Please introduce yourself and tell us what nation you're from.

I am Jordan Thomas, Exquisite Ghost, from Peguis First Nation, and thank you too.

Where'd you grow up? What's your connection to your home community?

I was raised in Winnipeg, with a large branch of my grandparents and family living in Peguis, which I have visited at times since I was young. My grandparents were taken through residential schools and, as I grew up, they told stories of how they made their way to rise above. My immediate family is working with many First Nations in design and media, building projects.

How did you get started making music?

I think watching my dad firsthand getting his architecture degrees, as I was growing up, the long path to developing forms and conceptions until they are concrete, and to have musical experiences and inner questions about what is salient when these things have to come together—they're are all sort of the beginning of my path to music. I began playing guitar, which was my dad's, and we had a recording studio when I was younger, which was my uncle's. They all played music, my grandfathers on both sides, virtually everyone, my mother too, so it was definitely something that was waiting to happen.

What inspires you to create?

These days after all the hundreds of jams and tracks and ideas and days spent with music, I will be inspired by a feeling or memory, or musician, movie, show, a friend in conversation, a sound of a train's this idea about how, these days, there's a fluidity of information that we're faced with, organizing these messages constantly, so it's always interesting to arrange music in a very open sort of way. The effects of fusion in music, in a global sense, are becoming very apparent, so a musical conversation between timeless Indigenous cultures is being recognized and engaged with in excitement, fun and playfulness. Not without due respect for the places of origin—in time, in people and places—but it is this way that we learn and discover more about ourselves.

A lot of your music has an otherworldly quality to it. What do you think of Indigenous Futurism? Do you feel like your work fits in that vision?

The idea of Indigenous futurisms feels exciting. As some descriptions mix and blend over time, proto-neo-post-meta-style, fusion, world music mixing with jazz, rock, pop, dub, bass—my country or yours, this land or that land—the qualities of my own vision of the music are intrinsic to a combination of these. That might include connections to other things: like sci-fi, literature, or design in general. A thread I followed through my life, was when my dad was thinking about what Indigenous architecture ought to feel like, or how to describe it, and to demonstrate the connection between the two words.

So the feel of a lot of my work has been created from inversions of mixtures of textures and places I listened to music from— worldwide, from any time, past or present, that I felt was interesting, and from trying to get deep into finding out what it's affecting by listening and playing. It has a futuristic feel for sure. Sometimes I like to imagine what music in clubs or spaceships, or as you walk down the street far into the unrecognizable future, might sound like, and why.

Your first album, Shrines, dropped in 2013. Since then you've been posting some dope new tracks on your SoundCloud. Can we expect a new album soon?

Since Shrines, I have had to deal with a time consuming, unexpected house fire that took up a lot of space and showed me a lot of things. Six months without internet for one. Life has changed. Producing music now, in this state after getting engaged with it fully, finally feels great. And there are plans and themes for an album of Exquisite Ghost music that I've been fine tuning for the past year. I am working on sound and music for a game as well, that is underway, involving Space and Canoes. It's an Indigenous Futurist piece, and I'm learning tons about producing these projects, culturally and creatively.

Who are you collaborating with on your new stuff? Is there an Indigenous beat-making scene emerging that we can keep an eye for?

I am always seeking people to talk with about music, or just about ideas in general. The idea of sampling, contextualizing, is integral to growth, and welcomes surprises, and the music I'm working on now is shaped to be remixed, or to inspire anyone interested in it to reach out and chat. I want to make music for people. That's what truly inspires me. There is always music around to find: the Indigenous Futurisms Mixtape on RPM was incredible, wonderful music, along with the artists listed on the site, the shows of Aboriginal Music Week, the musicians I played to, all have really brought something special to my own music. I'm enjoying exploring.

Listen to new tracks from Exquisite Ghost 

Watch Exquisite Ghost, "Evening"


Exquisite Ghost's Shrines is available in digital format and on limited edition vinyl from Salient Sounds.

DOWNLOAD: Boogey the Beat - "Mother Earth"


Boogey the Beat drops an Indigenized-trap tune sampling pow wow vocals on his latest single, "Mother Earth".  

We're happy to see that A Tribe Called Red's precedent-setting, movement-building mashup of pow wow music and electronica, affectionately known as Powwow Step, is spreading out and being taken up in creative new ways by other Indigenous artists.

After throwing down his heartfelt Live DJ Set for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women last month, Boogey the Beat has released a string of singles in supporting Indigenous women and female artists, including a hype remix of Tanya Tagaq's "Uja", the blasting, women's vocal-sampling song "Anishinaabekwe" and now his latest, "Mother Earth".

"Mother Earth" drops in at a more mellow tempo, but its rolling rhythm, open hi-hats, deep 808 kicks, and synth lines paired with a looped sample of women's pow wow vocals works perfectly.

Download Boogey the Beat's "Mother Earth"

DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red - "Trapline EP"


Ottawa's hardest working and most prolific Indigenous DJ and electronic music production crew, A Tribe Called Red, have had a huge year—and to celebrate their success, they've dropped the brand new Trapline EP as a free download for their growing fanbase.

Judging from the avalanche of positive press, including their recent Top 10 of 2012 nod from The Washington Post and their block party rockin' with Diplo & friends, ATCR is poised to keep the Electric Powwow dancefloors filled for many nights to come—and Trapline keeps things bumping. The epic opener, "Braves", is a re-appropriating slice of musical satire that mashes and remixes the Atlanta baseball franchise's eponymous 'war chant' before morphing into a high-energy dubstep throwdown.

Then, taking the pun literally, echoes of distant real traplines slide past into the current microgenre dance music obsession with all things trap, as the EP flows into a sped-up blur of reggae and syncopated beats in "Trap Heat" and a stuttering remix of Diplo's "Horsey". Rounded out with the heavy rhythms of "Unlimited Trap" and the brash, BDP-sampling, synth-driven closer, "No One Out Can Compete", ATCR continues to hold it down like no one else. Get into it.


DJ Keeps the Fire Burning


Kevin Kicking Woman found solace in music from a childhood of abuse. Now, as a radio DJ, he shares across the airwaves the traditional music that helped him overcome his struggles.

Every Friday morning on Montana's College Radio station KBGA, Kevin Kicking Woman shares the traditional music of Turtle Island with his listeners on his show Greeting the Sun. It's the music that helped see him through a difficult childhood - adopted out of his family at the age of two, Kicking Woman experienced abuse and bullying as he was moved through multiple homes.

From RezNetNews, Volunteer DJ Shares the Power of Native American Music:

...he began to sing Native American songs that gave him strength. Singing became a gateway that allowed him to leave this world and lose himself in the music and the power of the songs.

“When I start singing I praised the spirits that help carry me," he said.

And now he helps others through the power of music as a volunteer DJ at KBGA College Radio at the University of Montana where he has his own show called ‘Greeting the Sun’. Kicking Woman’s show airs every Friday morning from 6-9 a.m.

Kicking Woman has taken his love for music to a post secondary education, with an undergrad in Native American studies and anthropology, he is now completing a master's degree in cultural anthropology in music. He's working towards using that degree to document the traditional songs of the Blackfeet tribe.

His path to a happy, successful life wasn’t an easy one, but it’s one that can be learned from.

His mother left him when he was six months old, leaving his father to raise him. But his father had problems of his own. He eventually was placed into three abusive homes until he was finally old enough to take care of himself. At nine-years-old Kicking Woman had enough. After being knocked out by a shoe that was thrown at him from across the room he turned to prayer for help.

"I sat at the edge of the bed and I began to cry. I asked God to kill them and I was going to kill myself. All of a sudden I got this really warm feeling in my body and it was like a message came to me. It said ‘Look into your heart there’s a fire burning don't let it go out’,” Kicking Woman said.

Read the whole story at RezNetNews and stream KBGA live at

2011 Red Bull Thre3 Style Winner DJ Creeasian


Cree turntablist DJ Creeasian wins the 2011 Red Bull Thre3 Style DJ competition in Edmonton. Watch the video of his winning set!

The 2011 Red Bull Thre3 Style Canadian Tour made its first stop in Edmonton at the Empire Ballroom for its first competition out of nine on its national tour of Canada. Cree turntablist, DJ Creeasian, took home the title for Edmonton's Best Party Rocker DJ. Out of seven other DJs, Matthew Wood aka DJ Creeasian, placed first and will move on to represent Edmonton at the National Finals in Toronto, November 12th, 2011.

RPM asked DJ Creeasian how it feels to be named Edmonton's Best Party Rock DJ? Especially considering how much of a huge competition the Red Bull Thre3 Style is. He answered:

"This is a HUGE accomplishment and it means a lot to me as an artist to be recognized.  There's nowhere but going up from here on. Forever a student, always learning."

RPM is proud to bring to you a video playlist of DJ Creeasian's winning DJ set at the 2011 Red Bull Thre3 Style DJ competition in Edmonton.

Congrats Creeasian!

Don't forget to check out DJ Creeasian on RPM Podcast #007: “Native Hip-Hop”

DOWNLOAD: Dean-O-Matic's Mix "Pioneer DJ"


Dean-O-Matic (Sioux-Dakota Whitecap) is an old school DJ in the Canadian electronic music scene. He says what makes him old school, besides his age, are his values - "God is a DJ. Life is a dance floor. Love is the rhythm. You are the music". Dean-O-Matic emerged from the Plastic Puppet Motive in the 90's out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is the former "Flatlands" creator and columnist for Tribe Magazine. These days he lives in Calgary, Alberta, where he claims he is a semi-retired DJ. You can still find his brand of ethereal deep, textured, trance mixes up on his Soundcloud though, including this recent mix - Pioneer DJ. DOWNLOAD: Dean-O-Matic's Mix "Pioneer DJ"  Pioneer DJ 24SEP11 by Dean-O-Matic

VIDEO: Why Glad As Knives Hide Behind the Masks


RPM caught up with electronic rappers Glad As Knives at the Skateploitation III thrown by Apache Skateboards.

Santa Fe duo, Ginger and Cannupa, have been on the scene for a number of years. This artistic couple lead a few other lives at least, with Hawaiian artist Ginger Dunnill also performing as DJ and producer under her own name and Shark Siren. Her partner in crime, Cannupa Hanska Luger, (Mandan Hidatsa Arikara) is a solo artist who paints, draws, sculpts, writes poetry - basically whatever he can get his hands on.

They were also part of a Native art collective, The Humble, that worked mostly with live art and installations.

These two have mashed their art and their minds to form the masked musical duo known as Glad As Knives. RPM has the exclusive on why they hide behind the masks.

Interviewed at Eggman and Walrus Art Emporium.