Artist Call: APTN First Tracks


Each year, APTN First Tracks produces up to six music video for emerging Indigenous artists or groups in Canada. Join the ranks of First Tracks artists like Derek Miller, Joey Stylez, George Leach, Cris Derksen and Kristi Lane Sinclair and apply now.From APTN First Tracks:

APTN is providing an opportunity for up to six emerging Canadian Aboriginal musicians or musical groups to have a music video produced. APTN First Tracks will provide a contribution toward the production of a music video to be filmed in the spring/summer of 2012. All genres of music videos in English, French or any Aboriginal language are accepted and requests may come from Canadian record companies, record producers, managers or artists. The criteria for selected songs will be based on the overall quality of the submission, with consideration given to music, lyrics, quality of performance and production, and market potential. Applicants must submit a master of the song (only one song per artist or group) to be considered. Please refer to the Application Form for a full list of requirements.

To submit your song for consideration download, and complete in full, the APTN First Tracks Application Form before 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on July 31, 2012. Incomplete applications are automatically deemed ineligible. Be sure to read the Rules and Regulations before submitting your application.

Apply now! For more information, visit:

From the 2011 First Tracks, watch: Cris Derksen - "Pow Wow Wow", directed by Lisa Jackson:

Artist Call: Documentary Series Seeking Music Submissions


Attention musicians! The upcoming documentary series Watchers of the North is looking for music submissions for possible use in the APTN television series.

Watchers of the North is a 6-part documentary series that will be broadcast on APTN in 2013. In both English and Inuktitut, the series is about the Canadian Rangers in two communities who patrol areas Canadian Forces can't easily access while being first responders in their communities in search and rescue and emergency situations. It focuses on close to a dozen Inuit Rangers in two communities and how their way of life is changing on and off the job.

We can't wait to see it!

And your music could be a part of it! Here's more info from the producers:

  • We’d love to feature Inuit musicians, whether they weave traditional sounds like throat singing into their modern music, or are creating unique sounds of their own.
  • We’re also looking for a wide variety of musicians and musical styles by Indigenous artists – First Nations, Metis, Aboriginal especially instrumental, but lyrics may work, too because episodes and scenes focus on a wide variety of people and different moods- some sequences are more thoughtful, others more action-packed.
  • At this point, we’d like to receive submissions as emailed links to EPKs and streaming audio.
  • What we can offer to musicians in return for their musical involvement in the series is exposure for their music: profiles of them on our blog ( and website (to be launched in 2013 with the series), Facebook page, twitter etc., as well as credits on our TV credit roll and on the website.
  • We’re also seeking a particularly versatile aboriginal musician or composer who has experience (ideally) creating music for film ,TV or theatre, to compose a few original short instrumental pieces that we will use regularly throughout the series. This would involve remuneration for that work.

To be considered, send your streaming audio links to Maureen Marovitch

VIDEO: Joey Stylez Featuring Derek Miller - "Mr. Milkman"


This brand new Joey Stylez video is directed by Big Soul Production's Laura Milliken and features Six-Nations blues-rocker Derek Miller.

As a part of APTN's First Tracks series, this hot video for Joey Stylez' Mr. Milkman puts Stylez behind the wheel and features Derek Miller at his side doing what Derek does best - slaying the guitar. This is the first of the 2011 First Tracks videos we've seen - there will be a handful of other slick videos coming soon from Big Soul Productions in Toronto and we're stoked to see them.

Meanwhile, sink your teeth into this one - a great start to 2012 with a collaboration by two of Turtle Island's busiest musicians!

RPM and Music is the Medicine


Last night, the documentary Music is the Medicine had its Canadian broadcast debut on APTN after the film successfully toured the festival circuit for the last six weeks. Here at RPM we were thrilled to see Music is the Medicine on the little screen, and celebrated it reaching viewers across Canada.

It's a great film with a great story - a slice of the life that Mohawk blues artist Derek Miller lives.

Because RPM's beginnings are thanks to this film, we've been proudly sharing Music is the Medicine content for the past two months. Last night's broadcast brings that thread of content to a close - but don't worry, we'll still be bringing you the latest and greatest on Derek as he is always up to something good.

Interested in more? Here's what RPM has shared during this time:

Music is the Medicine: The Derek Miller Story - a brief history on the origins of RPM and our ties to the film.

RPM at imagineNATIVE 2011 - RPM was in Toronto to present the world premiere of the film at the 2011 imagineNATIVE festival.

RPM Podcast #011: "Music is the Medicine" - an entire episode of the RPM podcast dedicated to the man himself, featuring an exclusive, in depth interview with Derek.

Rod Ruel Talks Music is the Medicine - another exclusive interview, this time with the film's producer Rod Ruel on his experience making the film.

We hope you enjoyed the film as much as we do!

RPM Highlights from the 2011 APCMAs and Aboriginal Music Week


Aboriginal Music Week (AMW) and the APCMAs (Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards) are two of the biggest Indigenous music events on Turtle Island - musicians, fans and industry alike travel to Winnipeg every November for the shows, the awards and the schmooze. This year I was finally able to attend for the first time.

And it was exactly the party and community vibe that I had heard about for years! From the time I landed in the Winnipeg airport to my departure two days later, there were friendly and familiar faces from the world of Indigenous music in nearly every place I stepped.

I arrived Thursday - Aboriginal Music Week had already been in full swing for two days and the first half of the APCMAs were already taking place - and headed to The Windsor Hotel, site of Tracy Bone and JC Campbell's All My Relations stage. They've been hosting this multi-night stage for a few years now and I was thrilled to be invited to perform as part of it. Tracy and JC bookend the night with sets of their country-music duo and in between other artists take the stage. After my set, Gabriel Ayala performed and while I've listened to his classical guitar music and been amazed, I was even moreso impressed and inspired by his live performance. His original compositions in particular were especially beautiful - the man has chops! In coversation, he is delightfully funny, charming and lighthearted to chat with and it was lovely to meet him.

Meanwhile, two other venues in town were presenting Aboriginal Music Week programming. It was a fantastic challenge, having to decide which artists to catch at which venue, but I stayed put at the Windsor for the night, and enjoyed making new friends. They don't call it friendly Manitoba for nothing.

On Friday I stopped by the Manitoba Music offices to pick up my festival pass and scope the place out. Manitoba has great arts funding and it shows in the space and resources Manitoba Music provides. I chatted with Alan Greyeyes and hopped in a cab to NCI FM - the famed Aboriginal-owned/operated radio station that broadcasts 24/7 and hosts the National Aboriginal Countdown. Of all the radio stations I've visited and had interviews on-air with, NCI was one of the best. Their entire crew was friendly and enthusiastic, the coffee was good and they even gave me a lift back to my hotel. Thank you NCI!

Next I dolled up for the big event - the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards gala. Held at the MTS Centre and broadcast live on APTN, this event is undeniably huge.

The backstage pre-show reception was buzzing with good conversations and connections and Cris Derksen, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Iskwé and I strutted on the red carpet together. As Cris Derksen's date, she and I were in the 6th row for the awards, next to the lovely Leela Gilday - a great vantage point for the night.

Derek Miller opened the show with a killer number which set the tone for a high energy evening. All of the live performances were fantastic that night, especially Maori duo Pacific Curls and Ghostkeeper

Leela Gilday's heartfelt and articulate acceptance speech for Female Entertainer of the Year was a highlight as well, as was Black Bear's for Best Powwow - Contemporary seen here:

Manitoba-based artists were definitely the big winners of the night and I wonder about the local voting influence on the national awards always being presented and hosted by Manitoba. Here's Winnipeg's Most who won all 6 awards they were nominated for (they were looking good in those suits!):

Afterwards the backstage party spread to The Windsor, The Reagal Beagle and The Pyramid Cabaret for more fantastic live music and the celebration lasted all night long. I was sad to have to leave on Saturday, missing the powwow and the final night of Aboriginal Music Week's concerts.

I will definitely go back next year - I left inspired by the music, filled with great conversation, excited about all the new connections made and above all in love with our Indigenous music community. Huge thanks and appreciation go out to Manito Ahbee and Manitoba Music for successfully pulling off all of these events. Alan Greyeyes was thanked multiple times on stage during the APCMAs and I'll add my voice to that gratitude wholeheartedly.

For a great visual summary of Aboriginal Music Week, check out official AMW photographer Red Works Studio's album on Facebook.

For more on the APCMAs, see Complete List of 2011 APCMA Winners: Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.

2011 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards Performance Line-up Announced


The line-up for the 2011 Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards has been released, and it features some amazing performers.

As always, the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards held in Winnipeg, Manitoba cuts no corners when it comes to their line-up of Indigenous performers.

This November the APCMA's will welcome performances by some of Indian Country's most talented and sought after artists including: Six Nations blues rocker Derek Miller, Alberta's Ghostkeeper, the North Coast's Elisapie Isaac, Kelly Daniels, and Algonquin hip-hop artist Samian featuring legendary folk artist Florent Vollant from the group Kashtin.

Also at the award show, the Lifetime Achievement Award will bestowed upon Manitoba music legend Errol Ranville. For more on the 2011 APCMA show and the roster of great performers, check out this post on APTN's UPload:

The awards gala for the 6th Annual APCMAs happens Friday November 4th at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The show will be broadcast live that same evening, on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). Tickets are available at Ticketmaster for $37.45 (taxes and fees included).

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson Connects Through Haida Language


Haida musician, and Aboriginal-environmental lawyer, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson talks with APTN about choosing to record songs in the Haida language.

Terri-Lynn's new album New Journeys features traditional Haida music with arrangements by classical composer Bruce Ruddell.

"I felt it was important to sing in the Haida language. There are insights you can gain only through the Haida language so there are concepts I wanted to share with a broader audience that come out through these songs... that probably couldn't reach people if they were in the English language" Terri-Lynn shared with APTN.

New Journeys is up for "Best Folk Acoustic" album at this year's APCMAs - stream Today We Go On Our Own Strength here, and watch the full story APTN interview at Music Making Haida Language Universal.

RPM Podcast #002: "Winnipeg"


In our second episode of the RPM podcast we travel deep into the heart of Indian Country, to the crossroads of Canada—the city of Winnipeg.

In this episode, we connect with some of Winnipeg's rising stars, including  Métis singer-songwriter Don Amero, Cree/Dene R&B singer IsKwé, Uptown Magazine's 2011 best new solo artistAnishinaabe hip-hop artist Lorenzo, the hyper-connected and highly influential Aboriginal music promoter and events producer Alan Greyeyes, and APTN anchor Dana Foster, who recently relocated to Winnipeg from the west coast.

We find out what makes Winnipeg so...well...wonderful, and discover how the local Indigenous music scene is exploding with talent while being grounded in community and industry support.

Download: RPM Podcast #002 - "Winnipeg"

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We also can't forget to shout out the talented hip-hop artist Young Kidd, whose anthemic track about his hometown, "Wonderful Winnipeg", opens and closes the episode.

We couldn't showcase the diversity of 'Peg City's Indigenous music scene in a single podcast, but watch coming RPM YouTube Playlist - "Winnipeg"  for video selections and, check out the  feature editorial from Julie Lafreniere on the rise of Winnipeg's Indigenous hip-hop scene.

The RPM podcast is produced & engineered by the amazing Paolo Pietropaolo.

What do you think of Indigenous music in Winnipeg? Drop us a comment below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Photo Illustration: Thanks to the talented Joi Arcand for her great rendition of the Winnipeg skyline and the Esplanade Riel bridge.