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

Watch Pura Fé Perform 'Sacred Seed' Live on Fip Radio


Legendary vocalist Pura Fé performs "Sacred Seed" on Fip Radio in France.

We can't wait to hear all of Pura Fé's new album, but until then, here's a lovely preview of what's to come, live in studio.

The performance comes as part of the Au fil des Voix (Over the Voice) Festival, now in its 8th year. The 2015 festival features performances by Julia Sarr, Pura Fé, Dorsaf Hamdani, Djazia Satour, Lindigo and Noëmi Waysfeld in exclusive acoustic sessions.

The Parisian festival Au fil des Voix / Over the Voice has established itself as a must-attend event for world music that celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the world. This eighth edition will be held from January 29 to February 9, 2015 at the Alhambra and Studio of the Hermitage.

Watch Pura Fé Perform 'Sacred Seed'

Pura Fé : Session Live spéciale Au Fil des Voix... by Fipradio

Listen to the Sounds of Aboriginal Music Week 2014


Aboriginal Music Week 2014 is gearing up for another celebration of Indigenous music and here's a soundtrack to this year's festival.

Bringing out the best in Indigenous music, Aboriginal Music Week is getting set for another banner year festival to be held August 20-24, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The full festival lineup has just been announced, and following on the heels of their successful Indigenous Music Without Borders mixtapes, comes a great sampler of music by artists performing at AMW this year.

AMW has included a wide range of Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island and beyond for what promises to be an amazing week of #IndigenousExcellence. Check the roster below:

Anishinabemowin emcee Tall Paul, Apache violinist Laura Ortman, Diplo-approved music producer Astronomar, hip hop duo Mob Bounce, and Six Nations-born guitar slinger Logan Staats will be performing in Winnipeg for the very first time.

JUNO Award winners George Leach and Leela Gilday, Colombian music maverick Lido Pimienta, Stó:lō pop singer Inez Jasper, prehispanico music creator DJ Javier Estrada, the multiple award winning Eagle & Hawk, Métis fiddle legend Darren Lavallee, trip hop singer Iskwé, funk-rockers Burnt-Project 1, champion drum group Spirit Sands Singers, Métis fiddler Melissa St. Goddard, local party legends Primetime Empyre, Opaskwayak Cree Nation's DJ Miss Vee, cinematic electronic music producer Exquisite Ghost, Aboriginal rockers The Mosquitoz, up-and-comer Frannie Klein, and Rescued by Dragonflyz are also set to perform at the festival.

 Listen to the Aboriginal Music Week 2014 Sampler:

Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival


The Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival is in full swing down under with more than 40 artists gathering to share, celebrate, educate, contribute and inspire.

"Culture is knowledge, and knowledge is survival" Deborah Cheetham writes of the Melbourne Indigenous Arts festival for The Guardian. An Indigenous musician herself she continues:

For us the visual and performing arts have always been the way we know the world and give meaning to everything in it. For more than 1000 generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have passed on all knowledge of geography, the sciences, medicine and humanity through the visual and performing arts. No fear of a hard-drive meltdown in traditional culture. As long as you knew the song or the dance or the story, culture would survive.

The festival presents a range of art forms including Indigenous theatre, music, literature, film, cabaret and dance. Bringing their musical talents to the second annual, 12 day celebration are artists Bart Willoughby, Tiriki Onus, Jessica Mauboy, Archie Roach and Cheetham.

"Come and witness first-hand an ancient culture that has always been contemporary to its time, informed and shaped by the knowledge of 1000 generations" Cheetham invites in her list of highlights (get the full report here).

Scope full festival schedule here and watch Bart Willoughby - who performs "We Still Live On" this Wednesday at the festival - now:

VIDEO: Bart Willoughby - "We Have Survived"

The Distinguished Storytellers Festival Lineup


Back for its 14th year, the Distiguished Storytellers Festival (previously Sâkêwêwak Festival) brings five days of  storytellers, elders, spoken word artists, dancers, performers and music to Regina, Canada.

Sâkêwêwak is a Cree word meaning "they are coming into view." The Artist Collective and annual festival has always brought emerging and established artists and their work to the prairie city of Regina, celebrating both traditional and contemporary performance and storytelling artists. The festival includes storytelling luncheons, evening performance, and a daily story telling bus tour with Cheryl L'Hirondelle.

This year's lineup is packed with goodness. Moe Clark, Daphne Pooyak, Bob Smoker, Jack Dalton, Stephen Fadden, Lara Kramer Danse, Ryan McMahon and Mihirangi are all scheduled to perform. Weekly passes and tickets for individual events are available - get the full schedule and more at:

To get started, here's Mihirangi's "Make That Soul." Dig it! 



After Indigenous Afterdark: RPM's One Year

Secret headliners, multi-disciplinary traditional contemporary media arts mashups, Native models, directors, producers, actors comedians, and some serious bass music; VIMAF, Skookum Sound System and RPM's one year celebration boasted all of this and more. Check out the recap.

Indigenous Afterdark: Around the Sun turned out to be an excellent celebration of Indigenous media arts and music culture on the West Coast. Starting off the evening was the RPM Indigenous Music Video Program, hosted by RPM's own Ostwelve, which showcased some of the year's latest releases from artists like Joey Stylez to Ill Citizens, Hellnback to World Hood. Peep the playlist below.

What ensued after the music video program can be described as an eccentric evening of energizing entertainment. Beginning with West Coast homies Mob Bounce who laid down a warm welcome to the audience in the form of a tight hip-hop set, the lineup rolled on to favorites Skookum Sound System, blending new school and golden styles, and ended with DJ Krisp up on the decks with the boys from A Tribe Called Red being tagged out by DJ Annashay to cap it all off.

DJ Krisp and Shub from ATCR got into it a bit on stage, wowing the crowd with a friendly battle, and Amphibian 14 aka Bracken Hanuse Corlett was stunning the audience with the completely immersive visual experience both inside the venue on on the walls facing into the street. De Nort, the ITWE Collective's interactive new media installation, lent another layer to the evening, with guests wearing the headphones provided at the touch screen to leave the party for a brief moment to be taken to God's Lake Narrows. Numerous artists, producers, directors and various other forms of Native (and non-Native) talent in the house made the evening one to remember. Until next year. Boom.


imagineNATIVE 2012: Indigenous Film, Music and Media Arts Take Centre Stage


Since its inception in 1998, Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival has grown to be the largest festival of Indigenous film and media arts in the world. The annual celebration was held October 17-21, 2012. Melody McKiver was the grateful recipient of a delegate pass for Indigenous musicians sponsored by Slaight Music. Here’s her exclusive festival recap for RPM.

DAY ONE: Wednesday October 17th

I last attended the festival when I lived in Toronto in 2009. Returning home to see that most imagineNATIVE screenings and workshops are now held in the TIFF Lightbox (Toronto International Film Festival) is a welcome development, and a testament to the major impact this festival has made on the international film, media, and Indigenous arts communities.


The sole film screening held off-site was Wednesday’s opening gala and world premiere of The People of the Kattawapiskak River. Acclaimed Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, along with many community members from Attawapiskat First Nation including Chief Theresa Spence, were present, and received standing ovations following the film. Preceding the main feature was Christmas at Moose Factory, Alanis Obomsawin’s 1971 debut film. Despite the 41-year gap between the two films, both share a gentle portrayal of the realities of life in remote Northeastern Ontario and a focus on Omushkego (Swampy Cree) youth. Obomsawin was on the ground in Attawapiskat as news of the community’s state of emergency went viral in late-2011. As mainstream media coverage quickly devolved into factually inaccurate stereotypical reporting, Obomsawin masterfully took vitriolic commentary from Sun Media conservative ideologue Ezra Levant, and presented community members’ responses to his unfounded accusations.

The film began with the community at the peak of the housing crisis, then showed community members celebrating newly-built housing six months later, and concluded with the court case that absolved Attawapiskat First Nation of any financial misdoings—and illustrating the callousness of the federal government’s response to the crisis.


Following the film, imagineNATIVE provided buses to an after-party that offered a happy reunion for many members of the Indigenous arts community. RPM and festival favourite, DJ Bear Witness (of A Tribe Called Red), spun a wide range of reggaeton, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, and his own powwowstep. At 80 years young, Alanis Obomsawin showed off her spirit and vitality by owning the dance floor late into the night.

The party was also an appropriate send-off for DJ Bear Witness, who was set to meet his ATCR brothers at the Toronto airport less than 12 hours later to fly out to perform at the WOMEX Festival in Thessalakoni, Greece.

DAY TWO: Thursday, October 18th


I began my day at the Music in Film & TV: A Guide for Filmmakers and Musicians industry panel, where a diverse and accomplished roster of panelists were invited: Brent Bain of FACTOR; Elizabeth Klinck of E Klinck Research; Paul Stillo of SOCAN; Jeremy von Hollen of Instinct Entertainment, and RPM favourite cellist/composer, Cris Derksen. The audience was filled with film, music, and dance professionals, culminating in a lively question period. For my own soundtrack work, the workshop was more than worthwhile, answering some long outstanding questions I’ve had regarding the nuances of licensing new recordings of existing songs.


With a slight overlap between the end of the industry panel and the beginning of the Unsettling Sex screenings assembled by Chickasaw artist and curator John G. Hampton, I snuck into the movie theater. Although I missed the screening of Dance to Miss Chief by Cree Two-Spirited iconoclast Kent Monkman, I recently saw the piece in a gallery and can testify that his mash-up of disco and powwow music is well worth a listen for powwowstep fans.

Dear Diary and Target Girls by Cree/Ojibway/Roma/Jewish filmmaker and video artist Ariel Smith lacked dialogue, but paired score and sound design by Ottawa band Crush Buildings with vivid black and white imagery. ‘Unsettling’ was an apt description for Target Girls especially: the cinematography was reminiscent of German expressionism, while the soundtrack was reminiscent of 1950’s bubblegum American pop with decidedly un-bubblegum lyrics.

Also featured in Unsettling Sex was Mars-Womb-Man and I am the art scene starring Woman Polanski by Cree/Métis artist James Diamond and About Town by Métis filmmaker, writer, and artist Marnie Parrell. The screenings were shorter than usual in order to give curator John G. Hampton time to read his paper on the series. His written work draws heavily on recent developments in Queer Indigenous studies, while also emphasizing that the films screened should not be essentialized to any single descriptor of queer, Indigenous, sexuality, or feminism.


When not at the TIFF Lightbox, many imagineNATIVE attendees could be found nearby at the 401 Richmond artist complex, which houses a number of small galleries, while others found their way to exhibitions and artist talks including: Concealed Geographies: New Media Exhibition featuring the works of KC Adams, Jason Baerg, Merritt Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Justine McGrath and Nigit’stil Norbert, De Nort: New Media Exhibition by the ITWÉ Collective of Kevin Lee Burton, Caroline Monnet, and Sébastien Aubin, and Wbomsawinno: Les estampes de/ The Prints of Alanis Obomsawin.


I made my way to RESONATE - Indigenous Youth Showcase, where a variety of print media and video art was on display by youth artists Nishka Turner, Leslie McCue (Ojibway), Asivak Koostachin (Cree), Cecily Jacko (Ojibway), Kyle Burton, Jared Robilliard (Dene), Damien Bouchard, Cheyenne Scott (Coast Salish), Nigel Irwin-Brochmann, Emily Jones, Alice Thompson and Alana Mcleod. A reception complete with frybread followed that emphasized the tight-knit nature of the community and everyone from newborns to kookums were in attendance.


That evening, I made the difficult choice to break from imagineNATIVE to catch the wrap party of the 5th annual Indigenous Writers’ Gathering and launch of MUSKRAT Magazine, where I caught up with Cree cellist Cris Derksen, who wowed the crowd with recent material not heard on her album or 8th Fire soundtrack, along with some older favourites. An all-star lineup of Indigenous writers, including Lee Maracle, Richard Wagamese, and Marilyn Dumont read from their work. Daniel Heath Justice’s (Cherokee) new poem, which dealt with lies told about Indigenous people, was a personal stand-out, as its unflinching honesty and emotional intensity were reminiscent of Ryan Redcorn’s acclaimed poem Bad Indians. And, of course, event hosts Sid Bobb and Wab Kinew kept the crowd entertained throughout the night.

DAY THREE: Friday, October 19th


On Friday I caught two documentaries that were part of an International Spotlight on the Mapuche Nation I. Each year at imagineNATIVE an Indigenous nation from around the globe is featured, and this year’s invited guests were representatives of the Mapuche Nation from what is also known as Chile. Indigenous resistance to colonialism, capitalism, dispossession of land, and loss of language were recurring themes in the two documentaries screened, En El Nombre del Progresso (In the Name of Progress), and Wallmapu - but also a profound resilience and fierce pride in their culture and nation. I would revisit these themes later in the evening, when I performed as part of the afterparty for the Mapuche delegation.


Immediately after the International Spotlight screening I saw the Turning Points: Shorts Program I. Showcasing a wide variety of creative projects, shorts programs are my favourite parts of film festival programming, but they often force you to make difficult viewing choices. Plus, I knew I would have to run to soundcheck midway through the program. But the opening film, Throat Song, directed by Miranda de Pencier, was a standout. Set in Iqaluit, the 18-minute film follows a young Inuk woman as she seeks an escape from an abusive relationship. The acting and the technical production were superb and throat singing, as the title suggests, played a major part in the film’s soundtrack and sound design. This incredible form of singing propelled the action through dreamy sequences of running and hunting across the tundra that owed much to Zacharias Kunnuk’s groundbreaking work in Antanajuarat: The Fast Runner.


As I ran out early to set up my drums for soundcheck at The Central, I was honoured to participate in the celebration of the Mapuche Nation and perform under their flag. The evening began with a selection of hip-hop and heavy metal music videos curated by director Danko Mariman, whose En El Nombre del Progress (In the Name of Progress) screened earlier in the day. The feature of the screenings was the 2008 film Cortometraje “Che Üñum, Genta Pájaro”, a 22 minute short by Mapuche video artist Francisco Huichaqueo ( The dreamy film opened with a quote which, in English translation, read “When somebody has to move, he has to start all over again and open his eyes and look another way”. Movement was an ongoing theme, with a number of the performers, wearing helmets that suggest the mandibles of ants, engaging in near-impossible displays of parkour throughout the urban landscape of Santiago, Chile. The third movement was particularly mesmerizing, with the introduction of the song Anarky Plastic by Mario Z propelling the action forward and building the sound design from the first two movements to incorporate traditional Mapuche horns. The shift to electronic music in the final movement suggests that this contemporary mix of electronic and Indigenous sonic aesthetics is truly an emerging global sound (as we explored in RPM’s Electric Pow Wow podcast - which included artists Cris Derksen and Bear Witness, who also performed during this year’s imagineNATIVE).


Following the film screenings, live music took the stage. Toronto-based Mapuche MC La Bomba opened things up with her reggae-influenced band, Amazonica Sound Force. All of the band’s members are veterans of the hip-hop en espanol and reggae communities, and performed a tightly polished set. ASF were a tough act to follow, but my band Red Slam Collective took the stage. Red Slam represents a diverse number of Indigenous nations from across Northeastern Turtle Island and our brand of live hip-hop draws from a diverse set of influences including reggae, hand drum songs, spoken word, and funk. It was a true pleasure to play in front of such an inspiring Indigenous audience.

DAY FOUR: Saturday, October 20th


On Saturday the International Spotlight on the Mapuche Nation continued with more documentaries. First up was the North American premiere of Francisco Huichaqueo’s 2012 film Kalül (Reuniôn de Cuerpo / Reunion of the Body) which brought his dreamy cinematographic style, as seen in the previous night’s Cortometraje “Che Üñum, Genta Pájaro”, to document a Mapuche performance art intervention in a shopping mall in Santiago. This was followed by the international premiere of Diez Veces Venceremos (We Shall Overcome Ten Times) by director Cristian Jure. Diez follows the political exile Pascual Pichún, as he attempts to return from his journalism studies in Argentina to his Mapuche homelands in occupied Chile. The title of the film is drawn from a protest song often sung by Pascual and his supporters. Protest songs are an integral part of the narrative of the film, sung by Pascual in exile in Argentina, and by his supporters in his home community.


The Beat is a hotly anticipated part of imagineNATIVE that shifts the festival’s focus from film to music for a Saturday night celebration. Demonstrating the strong connection between film and music, each year The Beat opens with a collection of the past year’s best Indigenous music videos.

This year’s line-up represented Indigenous nations from around the globe, including: This Is My Time Everyday directed by Michelle Latimer, Leivänmuruseni (Breadcrumbs) directed by Oskari Sipola, Ghost House directed by Zoe Hopkins, Mr. Milkman directed by Laura Milliken, Dirty Games directed by James Kinistino, My Blood My People directed by Martin Leroy Adams, and Waardeur directed by Eugene Hendriks. I was proud to contribute drum tracks to this year’s Best Music Video, Sides directed by Mosha Folger, an Ottawa-based Inuk writer, performer, playwright, and member of the Counterfeit Nobles.

Nick Sherman (Ojibway) opened up the evening’s live music component with a commanding solo set. The Sioux Lookout-based singer-songwriter performed seated on his suitcase, which doubled as a bass drum. For the final portion of Nick’s set, he invited up the visual artist and musician Arthur Renwick (Haisla). The two men had only recently began playing together at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals a few weeks ago, but impart a familiarity that I hope will lead to many future collaborations.

George Leach (Sta’atl’imx) was the evening’s headliner, performing a mix of old favourites and new tracks from his eagerly anticipated new release, Surrender. Audiences at The Beat got a chance to purchase copies of the new album prior to the official release, and I can confirm that it sounds as great as his live set. George Leach and his band pumped up the mood in the room, switching gears from the quiet reverence of Nick Sherman’s set to a full-on Saturday night rock’n’roll party.

They played a high-energy set, proving that nobody in Indian Country rocks a double-necked Gibson SG quite like George Leach.

DAY FIVE: Sunday, October 21st


On Sunday, I made my way to the closing night gala screening of The Lesser Blessed directed by Anita Doron and based on the Richard Van Camp (Dogrib) novel of the same name. Shot in Sudbury but based in the Northwest Territories, the film was gorgeously rendered and scored. The film’s protagonist Larry Sole, a Tlicho youth played by Joel Evans in a stellar acting debut, comes to terms with his traumatic past as he deals with high school bullies. The film premiered earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is well worth seeing as it screens more widely.

The 13th annual imagineNATIVE Indigenous Film & Media Arts Festival wrapped up with an awards gala at The Mod Club hosted by actor Billy Merasty, who donned this year’s circus theme and put on his top hat as the ringmaster. The crowd was tired but happy after a week jam-packed with festival events and networking that always ran well into the night.

To take part in the festival as a musician truly demonstrated to me how interconnected Indigenous arts practices are: what’s a film without a soundtrack, or a musician’s single without a music video?

At the end of the festival, my only regret is that I can’t go back and catch everything I missed the first time around. Aho!


Melody McKiver is an Anishinaabe musician, media artist and researcher who splits her time between Ottawa and Toronto. She is currently completing an MA in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University where her research interests include Indigenous electronic music, artistic processes of decolonization, urban Indigeneity, and Two-Spirited studies. For more on Melody's work, follow her on Twitter @m_melody or visit

Indigenous Afterdark: Around the Sun - One Year Celebration


It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since we launched RPM - and we've got nothing but love for everyone who has supported us and helped us grow. Now it's time to celebrate!

This month marks our first full revolution around the sun here at RPM, and all of our fans—and the incredible Indigenous artists across Turtle Island (and beyond!)—have been keeping us moving and inspired since day one. In anticipation of our anniversary (for the record, an anniversary is a colonial thing), we've teamed up with the 2012 Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival to bring you Indigenous Afterdark: Around the Sun!

Indigenous Afterdark: Around the Sun also marks the one year celebration of Westcoast Indian Country faves Skookum Sound System, who are on the evening's entertainment bill alongside 2008 Vancouver DMC Champion DJ Krisp, Mob Bounce, and DJ Annashay, plus some very special, surprise guests that we're extremely happy to have out! Come and celebrate with us!

Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories is playing host to amazing Indigenous talent, and we're proud to be a partner in delivering this next level programming with the VIMAFIA.

The RPM/Skookum One Year Celebration will be held Saturday, November 10th at the VIMAF Festival Lounge and Cinema (W2 Media Cafe) at 111 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. Doors open at 9pm for VIMAF's Indigenous Music Video Program, presented by RPM. For more information on their program of events, please visit


The Skookum Sound System and One Year Celebration Saturday, November 10, 2012 Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories FEATURING: Skookum Sound | DJ Krisp | Mob Bounce | DJ Annashay  | ++Very Special Surprise Guests

Hosted by RPM's very own Ostwelve.

Doors @ 9pm. Tickets for Indigenous Afterdark can be found online here:


Also, when you buy a VIMAF Festival Pass ($49 early bird, $59 advance, $69 at door) you receive:

Opening Gala tickets 6 additional Features Program screening events 1 VIMAF Conference Pass 1 Ticket to A Tribe Called Red at Fortune Sound Club 1 Ticket to Indigenous Afterdark: Around the Sun 20% off all VIMAF Festival merchandise Total Value: $135+

Available here:

See you there!

Aboriginal Music Week 2012 Lineup


The lineup for Aboriginal Music Week 2012 is out and includes a full serving of Indigenous musicians.

Every year Winnipeg hosts the largest gathering of Indigenous musicians at Aboriginal Music Week, held at numerous venues around the Pegcity, along side the Manito Ahbee Festival. This year is no different. Listing 12 concerts, 34 bands over 5 nights, AMW2012 will prove to be a historical event for the Indigenous music scene.

Aboriginal Music Week 2012 will take place October 30th thru to November 4th.

Here's a look at the full festival lineup:

Tanya Tagaq w/ Moe Clark on October 30 Wab Kinew w/ Savannah Rae Boyko on October 31 Samantha Crain w/ Cris Derksen on November 1 Don Amero on November 1 Feenix w/ Drezus, OBT, JB the First Lady, Tommy Da, LKMG, Primetime Empyre on November 1 A Tribe Called Red w/ Zuzuka Poderosa & Kush Arora on November 2 Murray Porter w/ Silver Jackson on November 2 Wayne Lavallee w/ BODM, Randy Sibbeston & Wild Meat, Saali, Gabriel Ayala on November 2 Tha Link w/ IsKwé on November 3 Stevie Salas w/ Joey Stylez, LightningCloud on November 3 Gary Farmer & The Troublemakers w/ Nathan Cunningham on November 3 Keith Secola w/ Leanne Goose & Snow Blind, Priscilla’s Revenge, Scatter Their Own on November 3

Stay tuned to RPM for updates of show venues and other information about AMW2012.

See you there!

OKA Talks Touring with RPM


Australia's OKA is no stranger to the Canadian West Coast summer music scene. They've toured Canada several times over, traveling as far as Evolve Music Festival and Folk on the Rocks. I had a few questions for the boys and Zappa gladly accepted the opportunity to answer.

EB: Of Evolve, Shambhala, and Folk on the Rocks, which outdoor music festival have you enjoyed the most and why?

Z: Oh man. That is too hard. I thought these interviews usually start with an easy question? We love the crazy uniqueness of Shambhala, the awesome vibe of Evolve but I must say from last year my personal favorite was Folk on the Rocks. There was something magical about being so far north. Oh yeah... and I also partied extra hard. Ha.

EB: You're from The Land of Milk and Honey; Folk On The Rocks happens in the Land of the Midnight Sun, what was your experience of Yellowknife like?

Z: It really surprised us. We had no idea what to expect. All we heard about in the lead up to the festival was the famous enormous mosquitoes. I don't know what happened – but hardly any were around. You can tell the festival really lights up the town. Our shows were so much fun and we met some awesome people. The sun not really going down was also a trip out too. My favorite time of the day is twilight. I call it the 'goo'. When we were there the goo lasted ALL night. Super stoked.

EB: I saw you guys play at Shambhala Music Festival outside of Nelson, BC, last year. I had a really good time. Although Nelson is in the Kootenays, I'm curious of your experiences of the West Coast of Canada - the fans, the people, the scenery - what's your take?

Z: There's no doubt the West Coast of Canada holds truly some of the most staggering and beautiful landscape we've ever seen. As a touring band you quickly get sick of the 4-6 hour drives between every gig. For us some of the most incredible journeys have taken place through the Kootenays and beyond. I still remember my first ride on the Jasper Highway to Robson Valley Music Festival. Every turn we were met with mind-blowing mountain ranges and such pristine glaciers. Makes traveling easy. The people we meet? Well lets just say they are better than the scenery.

EB: From what I can tell, you're all posted up on Australia's Sunshine Coast in the off season. Have you ever been to British Columbia's Sunshine Coast?

Z: No we haven't! But that's a question everyone asks us. I think maybe we're afraid of it. Afraid that we may discover another land that we'll want to live in. Ha. We'll get there one day for sure.

EB: For Zappa - how is your collection of small things coming along?

Z: HA HA classic! Coming along quite nicely. I think my last 'mini' gift was a legit uber small Swiss Army knife.

EB: For Didgeristu - is your collection of hotel cards growing since you were up North?

Didgeristu: Endless... its getting out of hand now. I should open my own hotel.

EB: Electric Didge... please explain.

D: Its basically awesome.... and simple. Essentially a length of PVC pipe, with a microphone on the end hooked up to a space echo, amplified, then out of the speaker the earthy sound goes! That's the easy bit. The hardest part is getting the sound. Stu has been playing his whole life. Takes a long time to develop didge technique.

EB: For Chris Lane - how are these guys to travel with?

CL: Mmmm... ummmm. No comment. Ha Ha. We've been doing it for 4 years straight and we still hang out. That's saying something isn't it?

RPM: What does the funk mean to you?

Z: The funk is that thing in the music that makes you feel invincible. Like you're a professional dancer with really really impressive moves. For men, it makes you want to walk right up to 'that girl' and boogie on down. For girls, it gives you all the confidence to tell 'that guy' to go away cause you're dancing up a storm. It's a smile. Is what James Brown lived and breathed. It's Yum.

RPM: Are you fans of Vegimite? Some locals want to know if you miss it when you're on tour.

Z: Yeah we're fans. The trick is not to use too much. I wouldn't say we miss it, because we gain so much in Canada. Example – MAPLE SYRUP. That stuff is elixir from heaven.

EB: What was your favorite parts of touring En Zid?

Z: Secretly I think a big part of Australia and New Zealand's rivalry is because deep down Australia knows NZ is awesome. Ha. It's SO beautiful. Kind of like a different version of BC. The music there is amazing. Fat Freddy's Drop spearheads the army of quality bands. For me, this trip was one of the WORST ever. I'd just come from the relaxing coconut filled island of Samoa and ingested food poisoning at Auckland Airport. I had the most painful 30 hrs of my life – with a 1 ½ hour gig right in the middle. I couldn't set up my drums. The boys did for me. Someone drove me to the stage, I staggered on, then played through the set. Hardest gig ever! I know next trip will be better.

EB: When can we expect a new Oka album?

Z: 2013 is another album year for OKA. We've been writing on the road and have a host of new tunes being tested at our shows. Can't wait to release them. DidgeriStu is an absolute machine when it comes to writing the beds. We'll have a show then go back to the hotel, Chris and I will wake up in the morning and Stu's like... “Check this out” - he's just happened to write a whole track while we were sleeping.

EB: Would you rather - a 3 album deal with a multinational record label and touring stadiums, or busking and outdoor festivals. For ever.

OKA: As much as we love what we do, we'd prolly take the deal (but still busk and do outdoor festivals every now and then).

EB: Would you rather - travel by horseback across North America, or travel on the backs of eagles to Narnia, but you couldn't come back. You each get to bring one other person to Narnia.

Z: Seriously... how could you say NO to eagles. I would happily fly away with my significant other. Stu has a family, so he wouldn't budge without them. Chris would have to be promised the beach and a surfboard.

EB: When did the idea to bridge Aboriginal and Pop Cultures through music and instrument selection happen, and when did it stick?

Z: It was never planned. Our music rarely is. It's all about the 3 of us bringing our flavor, energy, vibe and skills to the table. Stu is like a friendly bear. His presence is felt and respected. Technically he is one of the best Indigenous Didgeridoo players in Australia and he holds such a grounding role in the band. His culture shines through the music because it shines through him. He's a joker too – and I feel like it shows in his playing and energy on stage. Chris is the wanderer – so talented and versatile on sax, array of flutes, whistles, harmonica and guitar. He'll rarely play the same thing which is an awesome gift and big reason why our music is a journey. Like the surfer he is Chris just weaves through and over the wave of groove Stu and I lay down. Also a joker – Stu and I spend a lot of time laughing at what he thinks is normal. I was the latest to join the band and really found I could express my musicality and spirit within the music. Drums are my life – and in OKA I play what ever I feel like, Polynesian style, funk, hip hop, disco, latin, afro, jazz and more. The three of us just clicked. We've still never had a rehearsal. We leave it all to stage. We have loads of fun. Thanks so much!

Chris Bose Talks Voices of the Valley Nkemcin


Now into its third year, Voices of the Valley Nkemcin kicks off tomorrow, and Chris Bose took some time to talk about the festival with RPM. Featuring musical acts like Blackout Artists, Niska Napoleon, Sister Says, Skookum Soundsystem, and more, combined with traditional and contemporary Indigenous art, this Saturday in Nkemcin promises to be a good time.

RPM: How long has the festival been around?

CB: This is our 3rd year, it got started as part of the 100 anniversary of the Laurier Memorial, a declaration signed by the Chiefs in the Southern Interior and sent to Wilfred Laurier in 1910. I did some memorial poster updates and read that thing about 20 times, sadly, not much has changed.

RPM: Where did the idea for the festival come from?

CB: It grew out of the original celebration in 2010 and my chief of Cooksferry Indian Band, David Walkem asked me if I knew some musicians and artists and would be able to help get something started and organized annually at the location. I said sure and we've been working on it ever since. As it is in the valley, and right where the Nicola river and the Thompson river meet, it's a special place, it's got energy, and it's a beautiful facility and I'm very honoured to be able to help get this festival off the ground. We've got plans for next year and already 2 bands booked. I would like to make it 2 days next year, start on Friday and go Saturday. the Cooksferry Band are sponsoring this event and they've been awesome to work with, it's going seamless and they've been really accommodating.

RPM: Can you please tell us a little bit about the style of tattooing happening at the festival?

CB: That's Dion Kaszas, he's Nlaka'pamux, been studying basketry patterns, and tattoos of our people from wwwwaaaay back in THA day! Our people used to have a lot of tattoos, facial stuff, signifying land, status and other cultural things. He'll be doing traditional style hand poke tattoos, no machines. Unless things change.

RPM: You mention contemporary and traditional Native art on the web poster - what can we expect to see?

CB: That depends on who shows up? There's been a lot of interest from artists, it takes time to develop and grow a festival, and word to get around. I know I'll have some of mixed media art there for sale, prints, cards, posters, and there'll be cd's for sale of pow wow and hand drum stuff. I'm hoping to get some traditional artisans there, beading, basketry, buckskin, and foods. We'll have to wait and see. Next year I'd like to have a poetry slam, a film festival and more!!!

RPM: Are there any particular highlights people going should be looking out for?

CB: A beautiful weekend at Nkemcin, great music, free camping, arts, crafts, food, and a good time in high desert country. We got a great PA and light system, so Skookum Soundsystem should kick it and everyone else will have a good time. There's also an open mic from 5 - 7, so it should be fun and interesting!

8 Days In May. Eh! Urban Gatherings Complete Lineup


The third annual 8 Days In May. Eh! Urban Gatherings festival features a long list of Aboriginal performers taking to various stages next month in Winnipeg. Check out the lineup and enter their contest to win tickets!

The 8 Days In May. Eh! Urban Gatherings festival is a series of music nights in Winnipeg boasting a long list of Aboriginal performers from all over Turtle Island.  Kicking off on Friday, May 4th, this festival will cover 8 days in the month of May and showcase 34 artists in several venues across the city.

Métis music man Dustin Harder (of The Dusty Roads Band), who created and programs the festival said about the various genres in the festival:

"We’ll be mixing it up every night with everything from blues and roots to rock to instrumental to folk and country to heavy metal and hip-hop. So there will definitely be something for everyone."

This year's edition of 8 Days In May. Eh! will feature artists such as: BODM (Bruthers of Different Muthers)Burnt Project 1Don AmeroDrezusDustin Harder and The Dusty Roads Band, Leanne Goose, LorenzoWab KinewCris DerksenGabriel AyalaJason Burnstick, and Kristi Lane Sinclair just to name a handful!

If you happen to be in the Winnipeg area for the month of May, it is highly suggested you head out to one or all of the many events and get a dose of Indigenous music in your ears via the 8 Days In May. Eh! Urban Gatherings.

You can also enter to win tickets! Head to and to find answers to the contest questions, check out

Official festival line up:

Friday, May 4th - Windsor Hotel - capacity 220 Nothing But The Blues Ross Neilsen Band from New Brunswick Neufeld and Kidder from Manitoba Dusty Harder and the Dusty Roads Band from Manitoba

Saturday, May 5th - Windsor Hotel - capacity 220 Singer/Songwriter Night Katie Murphy Band Sonia Eidse Jessee Havey with Damon Mitchell Segweh Don Amero Marcel Desilets (Tweener)

Friday, May 11th -  The Marlborough Hotel (Regal Beagle) - capacity 280 Roots, Hip-hop, Country and Folk Pop Tweener (Nick Sherman(ON) Lorenzo JJ Lavallee Band Little Hawk John J. Cook(SK) Mariachi Ghost – members from S. America

Saturday, May 12th - Le Garage - capacity 100 Fresh, Light, Americana Mid Century Modernaires JD Edwards Band Dustin Harder and The Dusty Roads Band Nick Sherman (ON)

Friday, May 18th - Windsor Hotel - capacity 300 Country and Alt-Country Tweener David St Germain Holly Vee Leanne Goose – Inuvik Alaska Cameron

Saturday, May 19th - Windsor Hotel - capacity 300 Heavy Rock/Metal All Aboriginal Artsists. Brothers Of Different Mothers – Juno Nominee 2012 King Sleeze Split Crooked Fargo, Arizona

Sunday, May 20th - Windsor Hotel - capacity 300 Experimental classical Gypsy Jazz and Hip Hop Gabriel Ayala – US. Tim Butler(Acoustic) Chet Breau Drezus

Friday, May 25th - Pyramid Cabaret - capacity 300 Final Gathering: A taste of 8 Days in May.Eh! Lorenzo, Little Hawk – 8pm Drezus - 8:30pm Segweh - 8:45 Sonia Eidse - 9:30pm Katie Murphy 9:55pm Big Dave McLean Acoustic Duo - 10:15pm Burnt Project 1 C.D Release - 11pm Dustin Harder and Dusty Roads Band With Sherry St. Germain - 12:30am Mariachi Ghost - 1:15

Saturday, May 26th - Venue to be announced Special 9th Day of May.Eh! Host (Ray St. Germain and Wab Kinew) Performances by: Sierra Noble Jason Burnstick David St Germain Dustin Harder and The Dusty Roads Band Wab Kinew, Little Hawk, Lorenzo (Perform "Good Boy") Ray St Germain Tentative (C.R.Avery with Guests)

For more information check out

For tickets, inquiries & info please email

You can subscribe to the events by iCal here by clicking this link: