STREAM: David Morin's Soulful Debut Album 'Every Colour' is Beautiful Music for the People


David Morin is being called "the next big thing in music". Listen to Every Colour and you'll see why.

If you grew up in the era of the Soulquarians, Dilla, D'Angelo, Badu and the whole neo-soul movement—well, damn, whenever you were born—you know how those deep, souled out, hip-hop vibes make you feel.

Those jonz in your bones, everybody loves the sunshine, brown sugar, guess I'll see you next lifetime vibes. You know, those soulful feels. The everything is right in the world and despite all the pain and struggle and endless things to worry about you know you need to just kick back and vibe out kind of feels.

That goodness. That realness. Vibes.

That's what Métis artist David Morin's Every Colour has. It's music that moves you with both the rawness of its streetcorner cypher origins and the polish of its professionalism—soulful gems crafted in some hidden Vancouver version of Electric Ladyland, magic made in the quiet hours of long, languid west coast nights.

Morin's take on soul music is studied without sounding derivative. Over the album's 12 tracks, Every Colour effortlessly flows out your speakers with its expertly crafted, on point vocal performances, and produced-to-perfection sheen. But don't get it twisted: the high gloss acoustics are just a bit of honey added to the mix that soak into the depth of Morin's deft musicality and subtle lyrical jabs at systems that aren't working for the people.

Who else is crooning, as Morin does on "You and Me"—"so sadistic / on a mission /  to control the way you think / in a system / where all they do is take/ it's just a classic case / of a fascist state / lying to your face"—over a rolling bassline, Isaac Hayes'd strings, and a breezy, George Benson-esque guitar lick?

Morin makes systemic critique sound like sweet seduction.

Deeply indebted to Voodoo-era aesthetics, Every Colour overflows with D'Angelo-inspired, winding grooves, horns, strings, tasteful guitar stabs, and head-knocking hip-hop beats, that expand and contract in constant interplay with Morin's melodic, layered vocals.

Enlisting acclaimed producer Joby Baker on the boards and with Bombay Records at his back, Morin is already getting love from established hip-hop media outlets: a recent feature in The Source dubbed him "The Next Big Thing in Music" and, just this week, Okayplayer showed him love with a video premiere of his latest single, "Come Home".

Known both for his legendary street performances and live performance skills, Morin is more than just a singer—his multi-instrumental talents as a beatboxer, loop pedalist, beatmaker, and varied vocalist have set him on a rising trajectory to infiltrate mass musical consciousness. We challenge you not to get down.

David Morin is the truth. And his gospel is soulful goodness.

Every Colour is available everywhere on iTunes. Stream the album in full below, and catch him on tour or at a street corner near you.

STREAM: David Morin's Every Colour

WATCH: David Morin's "Come Home"

11 Ways to Spend the Summer Solstice and National Aboriginal Day


June 21st is National Aboriginal Day in Canada. What will you be doing to celebrate?

Although we're not totally sold on the idea of the federal government designating one day a year to celebrate Indigenous culture, at least it's an opportunity to check out some amazing performances by Indigenous artists.

And, as June 21st also marks the summer solstice, there are more than enough reasons to get out of the house and show your love for all things NDN, First Nations, Aboriginal, Native, Métis, Inuit, and Indigenous.

There are many different events being planned across the country (here, here, and here, for example), so we were hard pressed to narrow things down.

But here are eleven decidedly great ways to spend the solstice and National Aboriginal Day this year.

11. Learn about Métis culture at the National Aboriginal Day Celebration at Métis Crossing

Metis Crossing

The Métis Nation of Alberta and their affiliate organization, Métis Crossing, will be hosting a celebration for National Aboriginal Day on June 21st. Located at the Métis Crossing Historic Site (south of Smokey Lake, Alberta), between 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM, the day's events will include an open stage jam, cultural interpretation, a genealogy exhibit, games, on-site concession, and an elder’s lounge. For more info click here.

10. See Kinnie Starr, Cris Derksen, and Binaeshee-Quae perform at the Luminato Festival in Toronto

Kinnie Starr

Acclaimed Mohawk singer-songwriter and hip-hop artist Kinnie Starr, Métis cellist and experimenter Cris Derksen, and jazzy alterna-folk artist Binaeshee-Quae will perform on June 20th and 21st respectively, as part of the Luminato Festival's New Canadian Music Series which runs daily at the Festival Garden Stage in Toronto. For more info, check out:

9. Watch Kaha:wi Dance Theatre at the Aboriginal Cultural Festival and Competition Powwow in Ottawa

Kaha:wi Dance

Led by founding Artistic Director Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (pronounced Ga-Ha-Wee) is an artist-based dance company known for their energetic and innovative performances that blend traditional and contemporary styles. KDT will be performing as part of Ottawa's Summer Solstice events at Vincent Massey Park. On Saturday, June 20th at 1pm, KDT will perform the piece Medicine Bear, which weaves a magical narrative of traditional Iroquoian stories: how the Bear Clan came to be known as the “Keeper of the Medicines” and the hunter who discovered the gift of healing. Plus, don't forget about the full traditional powwow going on all weekend too. For more info, visit:

8. Bring your family for a pancake breakfast at Trout Lake on Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver


The Annual National Aboriginal Day Celebration on Coast Salish Territories will once again be held at Trout Lake on Sunday, June 21st. It’s a community-based full day of events that celebrates the diversity of Indigenous Peoples from across Canada. First Nations, Métis & Inuit peoples gather to share their experiences, stories, songs, traditional games, dances & spirit with each other & the general community. All events are FREE, all Aboriginal community members & supporters are welcome; and it's a family-friendly event, with no alcohol or drugs permitted. There's a full day of activities, but get there early before the pancakes run out! For more information visit:

7. Start implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations in Halifax


Celebrate National Aboriginal Day with justice in Halifax: by joining other like-minded people to support the Mi'kmaq Nation in Nova Scotia, and taking up national calls by Indigenous and allied organizers to implement the 94 recommendations put forth by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The work of reconciliation belongs to all of us, and Halifax organizers are taking the lead. But no matter where you live, why not start learning more about how you can bring more truth and more justice into this colonial world of ours. Here's more information on how Nova Scotian organizers are gathering and getting started for NAD:

6. Catch Leonard Sumner at the Indigenous Arts Festival in Fort York


Anishinaabe MC/singer/songwriter Leonard Sumner will be one of many performers taking part in the Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York in Toronto. Fusing elements of hip-hop, country, and rhythm & blues, his music appeal cuts across age lines, allowing his style to be enjoyed by people who typically 'aren't into rap'. Sumner will be rocking the festival mainstage on Saturday, June 20th at 5:30pm. For more information, click here.

5. Join the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations for the Aboriginal Cultural Festival in Victoria

Le-La-La Dancers

Featuring three days of performances on an outdoor stage in the plaza at the Royal BC Museum in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC, the Aboriginal Cultural Festival will run from June 19-21, 2015. Each day will be dedicated to a coastal nation: there's a Coast Salish Nation Day, a Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation Day, and a Kwakwaka'wakw Nation Day. All weekend the festival will open with performances from the two local Host Nations and follow with shows from Aboriginal performers from across the province as well as a show from 3-time World Hoop Dancing Champion Alex Wells. Full schedule and info at:

4. Go see Ghostkeeper, Derek Miller, and Crystal Shawanda in Edmonton


Second in size only to Winnipeg's #ADL2015 celebration, Edmonton will be putting on a full day's worth of events on June 21st, culminating in a mainstage show that will feature some incredible Indigenous performers—including the idiosyncratic experimentalism of Ghostkeeper, the full-blown, blues rock of Derek Miller, and the powerful contemporary country sounds of Crystal Shawanda. Definitely worth checking out. For more about Edmonton's 9th annual Aboriginal Day celebration, click here.

3. Rock out with Don Amero, Brett Kissel, and Lightning Cloud in Winnipeg


With his new album, Unrefined, recently released to the world, Don Amero is taking to the Aboriginal Day Live mainstage alongside his buddy Brett Kissel, and Los Angeles-based hip-hop duo Lightning Cloud, to rock The Forks in Winnipeg. Look out for a special rendition of a new song that Amero and Kissel wrote a few months back, called "Rebuild This Town". Oh, and RedCloud will be incorporating crowdsourced words and ideas into his freestyles during Lightning Cloud's set. You don't want to miss 'em. For more on #ADL2015 in Winnipeg, check out:

2. Get your Electric Pow Wow on with A Tribe Called Red in Vancouver


You may have seen ATCR before, but not like this. A Tribe Called Red will be bringing the electric pow-wow out of the nightclubs and into the park—Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park to be precise—for a massive, outdoor Indigenous throwdown on Saturday, June 20th. This one isn't free, but it's definitely worth the price of admission. The Tribe will rock the spot alongside Blondtron & Waspy, the amazing Git Hayetsk Dancers, and local DJ crew Klash Akt. Get down to the bass-heavy sounds of DJ NDN, Bear Witness, and 2oolman rocking a stage surrounded by the sunset, sea, and ancient cedars. An Aboriginal Day meets summer solstice taste of Indigenous dance music perfection? Sounds like it to us. More info and tickets available here:

1. Celebrate the Midnight Sun in Inuvik, NWT


In Canada's Northwest Territories—the only place in the country where National Aboriginal Day is a statutory holiday—you can experience a summer solstice that lasts well into the night. Join other northerners in Inuvik, NWT on June 21st for a day of events celebrating the local Gwich'in, Inuvialuit and Métis people and cultures. From traditional drumming, dancing, and foods, to a Midnight Sun Run in celebration of the summer solstice's warm temperatures, experience what it's like to be out in the sunlit streets long after midnight, above the Arctic Circle. And that photo above? That was taken at 1:30am in late May. Learn more about NAD celebrations in the NWT here:


PREMIERE: Stream Sister Says’ New Album “Heart Placement”


Sister Says’ much anticipated second album, Heart Placement, is a soulful, electric mix that sets a new bar for the genre-bending pop duo.

In a departure from the Haida-Tsimshian sibling's jazz-infused first album, Gillian and Robert Thomson, aka Sister Says, along with producer Daivd Meszaros, have crafted twelve fantastic songs. Drawing on soul and an early 70s production sound, they weave electric guitar, keys, organ, and well placed harmonies with an occasional folky acoustic guitar and even a bit of banjo picking. Sonically pared down compared to their last release, the production is tasteful and compelling, bringing the strengths of the melodies and Gillian's voice to the forefront.

For the album, they assembled a crack band of Vancouver musicians including guitarist Lonny Eagleton, drummer Geoff Hicks, pianist Andrew Rasmussen, and, on three of the tracks, pianist Jillian Lebeck.

Recorded over a two year span, Sister Says clearly took the time to create exactly the best album they could, and the result was worth the wait. Lyrically they explore enjoying the present in the positivity-infused title track, they dig into darker depths of loss and hurt in Abel's Underneath and Lost My Soul, and they reflect on change and growth in the closing track Swimming Sharks, which is the sole track to delightfully feature Robert on lead vocals (Gillian's sultry, clear voice delivers all other songs.)

Sister Says has been working and growing steadily since their 2010 debut The Only Way, proving here that they have more ways than one to keep us listening, and loving it. Turn it on and turn it up - the premiere of Heart Placement.

STREAM: Sister Says - "Heart Placement"

Heart Placement is now available for pre-order at

DOWNLOAD: Mob Bounce - "Oral Tradition"


In honour of our elders, Vancouver hip-hop duo Mob Bounce recorded this track with youth at the Houston Friendship Centre. 

"This is for the Elders who carry such vibrant spirits. You teach us to slow down and enjoy and be thankful for all that exists around us," says Mob Bounce of their recent track Oral Tradition. "May your vibrations be so kind to the elders that live in our communities. They have valuable stories for us. We must listen."

As for the next generation who were involved in making this music at the Houston Friendship Centre, "we give them love for being such an inspiration to the music and creative energy. "

So listen up, give love, and keep your ear to the ground - word has it Mob Bounce is in the studio on their next project.

DOWNLOAD: Mob Bounce - "Oral Tradition"

DOWNLOAD: Rex Smallboy - "Children Of God"


Here is new music from hip-hop veteran Rex Smallboy, his track Children Of God. Keeping along the lines of his pure hip-hop style, this track hits the ears and heart with real energy and focus.

Rex Smallboy is no newcomer to the art of hip-hop here in Turtle Island country. From the pioneering rap group War Party, Rex has been influencing and trailblazing Indigenous hip-hoppers here in Canada and beyond for years, and now shares with us a new track entitled Children Of God, which takes us on a real journey through the eyes of an observer of life and love.

DOWNLOAD: Rex Smallboy - "Children Of God"

DOWNLOAD: Cheryl L'Hirondelle - "Wishful Heart"


In Wishful Heart, Métis award-winning, multi-disciplinary artist Cheryl L'Hirondelle speaks from her heart for those who may seem to have drifted from view.

I'm a big fan of Cheryl L'Hirondelle's work and was thrilled when she offered to share this track with RPM, and with you! This song in particular is one of my favourites - her poetry, her voice, the steady rhythm of the piano and horns that carry the otherwise delicate song with strength, move me every time.

Cheryl says of the song "Wishful Heart is my homage to all the people on the streets who, though they may seem to fall between the cracks of society and our fast paced world, are beautiful and perfect beings! While walking around Vancouver composing the songs from my songlines project, I was reminded how we all endure pain and misfortune and this is what hopefully helps us to stay compassionate so we can truly care for one another."

It's a beautiful piece. Sit, listen, and then listen again.

DOWNLOAD: Cheryl L'Hirondelle - "Wishful Heart"

A Radio Documentary by Dustin McGladrey - "Into The Roots"


New across our desk is this radio documentary by journalist Dustin McGladrey on Indigenous musicians in rock and blues.

A young, new journalist, Dustin McGladrey, recently shared a radio documentary which features insights from several Indigenous artists like Murray Porter, Derek Miller, and John Kim Bell.

In this documentary, Dustin talks to numerous Indigenous artists about the state of Indigenous music now and what might come in the future, with a majority of the interviews having taken place during the weekend of the 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Vancouver, B.C.

Great interviews with some of Turtle Island's greatest artists make this a great addition to the journalism section of Indigenous music culture. Props out to Dustin for stepping up and sharing this piece with us.

Full interview credits include:

Derek Miller  Murray Porter  Sean Riquelme  Elaine Bomberry  Evan Adams  Sarah Yankoo  Ray Thunderchild  Michelle Thrush  Adrian Duke  Chief Shane Godfriedson  Robert Simpson  John Kimbell  Chris Louis  Dustin McGladrey

VIDEO: Russell Wallace - "Indian Head"


Lil'wat Nation composer Russell Wallace shares a new video for his track Indian Head which was composed in 1992 - the 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus.

Russell Wallace has been a composer and traditional performer on the west coast of Turtle Island for a couple of decades. He continues to release material from his early catalogue - which both was before its time and has stood the test of time. Recently he released a brand new video for his song entitled Indian Head.

I asked him what his inspirations for the music and video were, he replied:

"It was written around the time of the 500 year anniversary of Columbus' 'discovery'. At that time there was a lot of house and acid house music with the sound of the whistle so I thought of the eagle whistle and thought it would be cool to have a techno song with that in it as well as singers. I liked the idea of gated sounds and thought that our voices have been cut out of history many times. For the video, I thought about the images of 'Indians' and most of them are are men and they usually are just heads which says a lot about what American history thinks about us....a bounty on our heads.....Indian head."

Watch "Indian Head" by Russell Wallace here:

Check out more of Russell Wallace and his work in the RPM Podcast #004: “New Traditional”.

Video: Lisa Jackson's "Savage"


This five minute short film Savage, from award winning Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson is a unique exploration of the first day of school for a young First Nations child set in the 1950's.

The film, featuring Ta'kaiya Blaney, Skeena Reece, Doug Blamey, and Jennifer Jackson, won a 2010 Genie award for Best Short Film, a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Multicultural Film, the ReelWorld Outstanding Canadian Short Film, and the Leo Awards for Best Actress and Best Editing.  Fond memories of high school musicals resurfaced during the film for this writer - in Grade 12, Eugene taught himself how to dance the lead from Michael Jackson's Thriller during his lunch hours in the black box, to then teach his classmates the dance which went on to open their end of term shows.

From Lisa Jackson's website:

On a summer day in the 1950s, a native girl watches the countryside go by from the backseat of a car. A woman at her kitchen table sings a lullaby in her Cree language. When the girl arrives at her destination, she undergoes a transformation that will turn the woman’s gentle voice into a howl of anger and pain.

In a place like this, there aren’t many chances to be a kid. But, when no one’s watching…

A residential school musical.

Light-hearted as the video is at times, it commands the use of humor, thoughtfulness, dance and music to make a statement on the reality of a First Nations legacy which we all live with today. This stunning video is polished and beautiful, and leaves room for the viewer to reflect on the lived reality of First Nations children taken to boarding schools, while remaining accessible for people from any community.

Watch Lisa Jackson's 'Savage' here:

Introducing: Dialogues Youth Vancouver


Dialogues Youth Vancouver aims to promote sustained dialogue among First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal youth. Three ways in which Dialogues Youth hopes to do this are by challenging and demystifying stereotypes, celebrating cultural differences, and exploring shared interests.

As a result of the Vancouver Dialogues Project, an initiative delivered by the City of Vancouver in partnership with 27 diverse community organizations comprising the project's steering group, Dialogues Youth Vancouver has been developed as a community-led engagement initiative - driven by youth for youth. Using new technologies and various social media tools, the project hopes to engage a large audience of youth between the ages of 17 and 25.

The project's developers intend to facilitate dialogue both online and offline. The purpose of using a web-based engagement campaign in concert with an offline strategy is so that feedback generated online might inform the topics, themes, speakers and outcomes of the offline engagements. The project is designing a series of dialogue sessions and a conference in June 2012 to address and challenge issues being faced by many youth today.

From the Dialogues Youth website:

"We value community, accessibility, self-determination, representation, and equity. We also value dialogue for challenging discrimination, systemic oppression, and colonialism--as well as sharing strengths and celebrating our cultures. Through dialogue, we believe that youth can influence history.

We hope to build alliances between Vancouver’s First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal  youth. We want to learn your goals. What is your vision for an inclusive Vancouver? How do you define inclusiveness and accessibility? What does self-determination look like to you? How would you like to be represented by your leaders? When will you feel equity in your city?

Through a series of Dialogues Youth Sessions and a conference in June 2012, we hope to answer these questions. However, we need your help. Follow us and join the conversation."

Dialogues Youth depends on community engagement to inform the dynamics of the sessions and conference. Through the use of Twitter #hashtags and by signing up to stay in touch, audience members can identify key themes, discussion topics, and relevant issues for youth around the subject of First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal relationships in Vancouver. Vancouver youth can influence who the project interviews for it's blog posts and who will be speaking to them during Dialogues events.

Remember to connect on Facebook! Stay in touch - Dialogues Youth Vancouver #vandialogues on Twitter.


The 11th Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver BC


The annual Talking Stick Festival is once again celebrating and showcasing Aboriginal artists across Vancouver from February 20-March 4th. Yes! Two weeks of live music, dance, theatre, powwow, workshops and more will be happening in venues citywide. Created by Full Circle: First Nations Performance, the festival is a unique showcase and forum for contemporary Indigenous artists to share their work. From

Since its inception, the festival has become a place to honour Aboriginal tradition in contemporary forms, the artistic wealth of the people, and the promise of their future in Canada. The festival is a smorgasbord of Aboriginal artistic expression including, but not limited to music, dance, and spoken word and provides a stage for emerging and established artists.

This year, the musical highlights of the festival include Native by Nature: The Aboriginal Music Project with Dave Larocque and Kinnie Starr on February 25th at VCC and, later that night, A Tribe Called Red's Electric Powwow which will be thumping at W2.

Spoken word artists will go head to head on February 22 at Cafe Deux Soleils in From Talking Stick to the Microphone Vol. 2 and Mohawk poet Janet Rogers is presenting on February 28th at the First Nation House of Learning, UBC.

There's also a number of compelling and potentially very useful workshops for artists being presented including How We Define Traditional & Contemporary Practice on February 27th and Grant Writing How-To on February 28th.

I could go on - there's events happening every day for two weeks! For a complete listing of all of the events, visit and The 11th Annual Talking Stick Festival on Facebook.

See you there Vancouver!

VIDEO: Hobiyee 2012 Ts'amiks Edition


Nisga'a New Year, known as "Hobiyee," was celebrated in Vancouver at the Agrodome last week and we have some video.

Hobiyee is the new year celebration of the Nisga'a First Nation that celebrates the first crescent moon that is shaped like "hoobix," which is the the shape of the Nisga'a spoon. This special crescent shaped moon with its bowl facing upwards indicated that the following season would be a bountiful harvest of oolichan, salmon, berries and other resources.

From Hobiyee 2012 Ts'amiks Edition, here's an explanation on the meaning of "Hobiyee":

The Simgigat-Nisga'a Chieftains in past centuries studied the celestial heavens. They were knowledgeable in the behaviours of the stars in proximity to the moon which forecasted the weather patterns. They studied the astrology not from text books but by years of observing the heavens.

The Halayt-Simgigat (Spiritual Leader- Chief) studied the "Buxw-laks" moon, The Moon of February. Over time, they observed that whenever the first crescent moon is in the shape of a "Hoobix"- the bowl of a Nisga'a wooden spoon, thin shaped and the ends pointing upward- that in the following seasons the resources of our lands would be plentiful, the oolichan, salmon, berries and various other resources, bountiful.

Hobiyee is about the point in time when our "Gal-ha'ink" Cedar Bent Boxes of the Nisga'a are near empty of their winter provisions and they have begun to ration the last of their provisions. The Nisga'a are hoping and praying for a bountiful season of oolichans (saviour fish) and a fruitful year.

So the Nisga'a say, "Hobiyee" meaning "the spoon is full".

Hobiyee is celebrated with a potlatch filled with traditional song and dance. This year in Vancouver, the Hobiyee celebration was taken to a new level when it was hosted by the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Organization at the PNE Agrodome and streamed live onto the internet.

The event included hundreds of drummers, singers and dancers from around British Columbia and lasted 2 nights. Although this event has already passed here in Vancouver, there is an even more traditional event happening in the traditional territory of the Nisga'a in Gitlaxt'aamiks, which is the capital of the Nisga'a Nation 97 kilometers of Terrace, British Columbia. For more info on that event, visit:

The archived live stream of the Vancouver Hobiyee celebration is some of the best footage capture of the event. Here is the grand entry:

Watch live streaming video from broadcastliveca at