Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter William Prince sent the Peguis First Nation graduating class of 2016 off with a nostalgia-inducing track embedded with the seven sacred teachings.
William Prince is storytelling singer/songwriter from Peguis First Nation who sidesteps clichés to provoke thought and facilitate discovery. His baritone vocals pay tribute to his late father and his genuine delivery acknowledges the hundreds of hours he’s spent on stage. Writing songs since the age of thirteen, he produced and played all the instruments on his father Ed Prince’s acclaimed gospel album …it’s Supper Time at the age of fifteen. The two went on to record two more albums, On Christmas Day and Won’t That Be A Morning!, for Arbor Records and Sunshine Records, respectively, in Winnipeg.
A recent alumni of the tri-annual Planet IndigenUS Music Festival, William Prince was named the 2014 Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year at the Indigenous Music Awards. His lead single “The Carny,” from his debut album Earthly Days, had been featured as Manitoba Music’s Download of the Week, and he has been featured in numerous showcases for Manitoba Music, Aboriginal Music Program, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Prince is also a veteran to the APTN Aboriginal Day Live stage and his performances still garner rotation on APTN’s Solstice Concert Series.
Prince gained nationwide attention writing music for a CMT reality show and later went on to write songs for Jason Kirkness’ debut album Life On The Road, which scored three top 20 singles on Canadian country radio. To this day, he is still an active member of the First Nations supergroup Indian City. Their albums Supernation and Colors have received international acclaim and numerous Indigenous Music Awards.
"7" is William Prince's first track release since Earthly Days dropped in December 2015. The song is a lovely reminder to graduating native youth to always carry your teachings with you as you make that great leap forward into the next phase of life.
LISTEN: William Prince - "7"
Frank Yamma, the voice of Australia's Central Desert, comes all the way from Ayers Rock to perform his fourth run of shows in Canada.
Frank Yamma is one of Australia's most significant Indigenous songwriters.
With an ability to cross cultural and musical boundaries, when he sings, you listen and travel with him. An initiated Pitjantjatjara man, Frank sings in his Indigenous language, as well as in English, and his spirit belongs to the heart of Australia - Uluru. Docker River. Ernabella. Central Australia. As Frank says, "Wherever the Pitjantjatjara mob come from."
Over the past five years, the world has been discovering Frank and has seen him perform across Europe and the UK with shows in Latvia, Lithuania, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, and Switzerland. Frank has undertaken extensive live touring with highlights including the 2012 Cultural Olympiad (UK), Womad (UK), The New Hebridean Festival (Scotland), Festival Bled (Slovenia), Colours of Ostravia (Czech Republic), and most recently setting hearts on fire in Canada at Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg folk festivals. In Canada, he shared the stage with Buffy Saint Marie and The Mekons, as well as performing a coveted spot opening for Joan Baez. In 2014 Frank Yamma represented Australia at WOMEX '14.
Closer to home, Frank also performed at this year's TEDx Sydney in May and won an NIMA award for his latest album Uncle, which features songs of country, protection, heartache, and travel. And songs of love. Not of love lost, but of pure, present-day raw emotion. Uncle shows the continuity of a musician that is hitting his peak with grace and conviction.
Indigenous soulster Frank Yamma will bring his beautiful storytelling back to Canada to play the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival on August 5-7, Manitoba Aboriginal Music Week on August 10, Robson Valley Music Festival August 12-14, and he is performing a special, intimate show at Vancouver's Wise Hall on August 11 with Melbourne songstress (and recent Canadian immigrant) Larissa Tandy making a guest appearance.
Frank Yamma - 2016 Canadian Tour Dates:
- 5-7 August - Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival – Lunenberg, NS
- 10 August - Manitoba Aboriginal Music Week - Winnipeg, MB
- 11 August - The Wise Hall - Vancouver, BC
- 12-14 August - Robson Valley Music Festival - Dunster, BC
Through their vintage beat production and empowering rhyme delivery, Shining Soul has made and name for themselves and has carve out their own unique lane in the AZ Hip Hop community and beyond with their distinctive blend of socially conscious, yet soulful brand of hip-hop.
Emcee Liaizon, Bronze Candidate and DJ Reflekshin have proven time and time again that their music is universally accessible and has the power to start the healing process regarding the social ills we all face through the medium of hip-hop. Whether opening for major acts such as Phife Dawg, Ana Tijoux and Pharoahe Monch or “spreading their medicine” throughout the U.S., Canada and Germany with their rigorous tour schedule, Shining Soul reaffirms hip-hop can be a conduit for positive change, internally and externally.
So after years on the road, Shining Soul is back at it with their new music video titled “The H.E.A.L.I.N.G”. Shot in Washington D.C by El-Shamesh Photography, “The H.E.A.L.I.N.G” is just a glimpse of their long awaited third full-length album Politics Aside.
“The H.E.A.L.I.N.G” promises to be a disclaimer for what's to come and a wake up call for all those sleeping on Arizona's favorite rap trio.
Watch: Shining Soul - "The H.E.A.L.I.N.G."
As Indigenous artists continue to strive to occupy space in a world where hip-hop and pop have taken over the mainstream music industry, it's even trickier for Indigenous rock musicians and fans alike to find space where their identity is present in the alternative rock scene.
Guelph-based rock band WHOOP-Szo can be described in many ways, but it's the feel of their sound that cannot be contained within one genre. The Grunge/Shoegaze/Folk/Art-Rock group have just come off their summer tour, and Anishinaabe frontman Adam Sturgeon (Dzhkon Zibi - Antler River/Chippewa of the Thames) talks with RPM about what it's like for an Indigenous artist such as himself to find a Nish audience within their niche.
How has your touring been going? We’ve been super lucky to have played a ton of really great festivals the last couple of years and are looking forward to what is next. We’re not gonna mention too much on this end quite yet!
How did you guys start out as a band? How long have you been making music? The band started with myself and Kirsten Palm, a Finnish non-native who has been a welcome addition to the communities she has worked with. We started over a common desire to explore our healing relationships… we met because both of our parents were in wellness programs recovering from drug and alcohol abuse and we recognized our shared family history and how it had impacted us both in similar and differing ways. Kirsten’s family were punk rockers and mine athletes so there were a lot of funny differences despite the chaos of their addictions. We also recognized our own vulnerability but found strength in each other which has remained a huge driving force for our band. How did your culture influence the music you make? Both my father and my aunt have instilled a huge influence on myself personally and helped maintain our Indigenous teachings since I was very young. Our healing journey is so influenced by our “culture”, or as I like to say and my teachers like to say "our way of life." It simply is who I am so it seeps into absolutely everything I do be it very “traditional” or “modern", like metal music.
What influences your style of music? Both my writing and Kirsten’s is influenced by our surroundings and the emotional attachment we have to it. Sometimes it is easier to express things through sound over words so we’ve added a lot of members and collaborators along the way to help shape the overall vibe of what we are putting down. So often we are referenced as political, however we don’t see it that way, we follow our teachings and the words follow that.
From your experience, what's the scene like for a Nish grunge/shoegaze/folk band such as yourselves? What is your fan following like? Our fans are most definitely white, for the most part but it’s very very common that those marginalized groups present at our shows gravitate towards our band. There aren’t a ton of other grunging Nish out there, but I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some Indigenous folk along the way. We talk about this and some of us are thinking of forming some kind of coalition or whatever, we don’t know yet, but I’m very thankful for those conversations along the way. People like Kayla Stevens from Crossed Wires and Dan from Dri Hiev, Coco from Construction and Destruction. There are others, but our voices are still shy. We all have a similar history and we feel a bit different than the rest of the scene. That said, we are very fortunate to make it known that we play in safe spaces, we drift away from bar culture and our audience is very inspired and intrigued by our beliefs… So that is a start. Your last full album was released two years ago, and a single released last year. Do you have plans to release new music anytime in the near future? We’re working away on new material and have a bunch of collaborations and such in the works. It seems as though you are either touring or putting out music. We have basically been on the road the last two years touring and truly enjoying that momentum but are anxious to show the world what we have up our sleeves.
STREAM: WHOOP-Szo's Nizhwaaswo
Big things are happening for Albuquerque-based MC Wake Self. Currently touring through Europe after dropping his latest single, "Change the World" featuring Gift of Gab of the legendary hip-hop duo Blackalicious, Wake took some time out of his busy schedule (and lack of zzz's) to give us the lowdown on his upcoming album Malala.
First off, let's start with "Change the World." What was it like to collaborate with Gift of Gab and how did that come about?
It started when I went on tour with him in 2014. We did a short run of shows in the 4 corners area, and after a show in Durango a fan asked us "when is a Gift of Gab and Wake song dropping?" He looked at me and said we should do that, so I approached about him last year and sent a beat to him. He's a really cool dude, definitely deserving of all the success and praise.
Who else did you work with for Malala?
I usually don't have many rap features on my albums, unless it really fits into my vision for the final product. Mainly I have a few vocalists, musicians and producers involved. I got Def-i on there, that's my best friend we always make music together. The majority of the album is produced by SmokeM2DG. He's extremely gifted with the beats. I really love working with him, I always have these long random descriptive ideas of beats and song concepts I send him, and usually he can bring to life and make sense out them. I may have one more feature that I can't talk about just yet.
When will that album drop?
It drops August 24th, on my moms birthday! [Wake professes he is a momma’s boy]
What kind of themes are you working with in terms of lyrical content in Malala?
I don't want to give away everything, but I feel like I reached pretty deep down the rabbit hole on this one. I discuss youth incarceration, homelessness, environmental issues, and spiritual enlightenment. There's a lot about personal growth; my experiences with depression/anxiety and the human condition. A few more lighthearted songs as well, some songs to try and motivate people to be true to themselves, and be proud of they are no matter what boxes or boundaries they don't fit in.
How has Malala shown your growth as an artist since your last album?
I'm at a better point in my life right where I've found more understanding on how to open myself up to these creative moments. Life is a trip, literally a journey and I'm just expanding in various ways in life that integrate with the advancement of this music. I think sometimes we know things, have ideas and concepts in our head, but it takes a while for the full depth of them to become realized. I'm just thankful every day, every second, and it's really allowed me to climb out of some tough years, be able to see clearly and feel more alive.
STREAM: "Change The World" ft. Gift of Gab here:
Digging Roots has an answer to the gun violence plaguing the world today: more love, more truth, more music. “I think we can use the word ‘epidemic’ when it comes to gun violence in society today,” says singer ShoShona Kish, whose powerful and inspirational new video AK-47 calls for an end to violence and oppression through love and understanding.
The new video is already creating an instant buzz with its catchy psyc-blues soul sound and empowering messages of ending the violence paradigm through peace and courage…and good music.
“The song 'AK-47' is very personal and emotional for us. Especially in the wake of the recent horrific events in Orlando this last week,” says Raven Kanatakta, one of North America’s finest guitar slingers and the second half of Digging Roots.
The video for "AK-47" was produced by media artist and musician Doug Bedard (aka Plex), whose vision of the song runs the gamut from technicolor dreamscapes and bursting flowers to benevolent warriors adrift in a landscape of grenades and soldiers. The clip also features Sarain Carson-Fox, who burst onto the Canadian media scene as the host of VICEland’s controversial documentary Cut Off following Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to Shoal Lake 40.
As with any epidemic or public health crisis, the appropriate next step is to design an intervention to stop the spread of the disease. This new song is a metaphoric call to arms by Digging Roots; the intervention has begun and they want everyone to join them in a violence-free world, chanting the AK-47 anthem of “Nizoogide’e, Nizoogide’e.”
“There’s an Anishinabek word in the chant at the end of the song that distils it all for me,” says ShoShona. Nizoogide’e means “My heart is a stronghold.”
“'AK-47' is about opening fire on hate, oppression and violence, both lateral and physical. Not with bullets and guns but with the full force of love. Cynics might say that we’re naive but to me it’s the only rational way forward. This song is a proposition that its time to stop oppression and the violence against one another, against ourselves and against the land.”
The song "AK-47" is available on iTunes. Enjoy the new single and crank up the entire For The Light album!
Watch: Digging Roots - "AK-47"
Digging Roots is on tour across Canada this summer. Check out the remaining summer tour dates:
July 23, 2016 - Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik, NT
August 4, 2016 - Montreal First Peoples Festival, Montréal, QC
August 5-7, 2016 - Edmonton Folk Festival, Edmonton, AB
August 10, 2016 - TBA, Winnipeg, MB
August 19-21, 2016 - Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Salmon Arm, BC
For the most complete up-t0-date tour dates please visit diggingrootsmusic.com/tour
“It’s dark in this community and we came together to share our thoughts on these situations. This is the voice of our youth. Welcome to Cross Lake.”
Back in March, the Cross Lake First Nation in Manitoba declared a state of emergency after seeing six suicides in the community within two months and 140 attempts within two weeks prior.
While the community sought out help from the provincial and federal governments, a group of artists from across Manitoba took it upon themselves to intervene in the best way they knew how – by sharing their gifts with the local Pimicikamak Cree Nation youth, and empowering them to explore and use gifts of their own.
“It was all forms, from painting to writing, recording, performing and dance to video art,” said Leonard Sumner, who helped pool together funds along with the other artists to get to Cross Lake as urgently as possible. “We went on their spring break and got the word out. Young people showed up and we all started working together on ideas.”
Leonard did lyrics and recording workshops with Charlie Fettah of Winnipeg's Most and collaborated with Erica Daniels and her film workshop kids in creating a music video. The whole team of artists played a vital role in the project, including Wab Kinew who helped workshop the youth on their second day in the studio that they had set up in a classroom.“We helped them from start to finish. Some were ready to go, some were a little shy. Everyone was supportive of each other and they applauded and encouraged dope lines from each other. There was a creative energy in the room that enveloped everyone who came through.”
“It was really cool because we picked the 'Pitch Black' beat, which was done by Boogey [the Beat] and then me and Leonard started some of the writing and they seemed pretty receptive to the understanding of song structure”, said Charlie, who along with Leonard, oversaw the work the youth came up with on their own and then guided them through the process of creating the song and shooting the music video in a span of only 2 days.
“They did a really good fucking job! It's dark, but that’s where they were in their heads and wanted to express themselves like that. It was really their own creation. Me and Leonard started with the hook and kind of showed them how to make it catchier, to make it something people can remember, and they kind of took that and ran with it.”
“One of the artists explained to me that in the past year he had lost three of this family and two really good friends to suicide, and I was completely floored," says Charlie, who remains in contact with the group. "Even now I keep up with them on Facebook and they consistently hit me up and let me know they’re writing more, even the ones who didn’t have much experience writing before. It’s good because now they have a better way to deal with those feelings. So it was really inspiring to see them through that.”
“We really have seen a lot of change in the youth. They’ve been continuing writing music for themselves,"says Kendall, a youth counsellor in Cross Lake who facilitated the workshops at the community school. "The group that made Pitch Black have all been working together and they’re still doing that now. The experience they had really helped them express their feelings through music. There are other youth that didn’t come out that saw the video and thought 'Hey, I could do this!’ so it’s just getting them out there, and getting them more involved in the community and music."
“The arts are empowering. We don’t need any more victims, we need to build upon their resilience and strengthen our identities. Arts can play a big role in that,” said Leonard.
“I believe projects like this are key in helping our youth. Multimedia gives them the opportunity to express themselves in a creative and artistic way," said Erica. "I have been doing this work for many years and I have seen many youth change their lives around and grow as strong individuals. This work is so important and I wish there were music and film programs in each community because I know that it can help young people heal. I can tell the youth are so proud of their song and video and I feel that it has inspired them to be leaders in their community and keep working hard to have their voices heard.”
See what happens when creative minds come together to give voice for a community in hardship.
This is "Pitch Black" featuring Jonny Jesus, Skinny-Gee, Errol Mckay, Tyrese CJ Scott, Chrisduut Bailey, Brent Fruit Loops Richards and ViciouZKidd:
Watch the "Pitch Black" music video:
Last month woke hip-hop duo Mob Bounce released "Mob Medicine," a short documentary about their journey in finding themselves and empowering native communities through their music.
“We started getting our ideas out and it’s like we just started created this whirlwind of thoughts which slowly turned into action and looking at us today, that’s become our healing tool,” Travis Adrian Hebert aka Heebz the Earthchild (Cree/Métis) says of Mob Bounce’s beginnings.
“What I feel about my lyrical content is that it’s the spirit materializing a message through me. Part of my intent with that is that it connects with other people," said Craig Frank Edes aka The Northwest Kid (Hungarian/Scottish/Irish and Gitxsan). "Being aware its like you understand your surroundings and the energy around you and you have the opportunity to create life.”
Like many Indigenous youth, Travis and Craig grew up with a loss of their cultural identity, but discovered that hip-hop was the vehicle in which they were meant to share their experience and spread knowledge to others who have gone through similar experiences.
“I feel like our music is good for the youth and for the people who need healing in the sense that we bring terminology to that social awareness," says Craig. "Eventually there’s just layers and layers that will peel apart and it creates a lot of healing for the youth who had to experience a lot of the same things say me and Travis experienced in our communities."
Check out "Mob Medicine" below, directed by Media Creatorz Amanda Strong and Bracken Hanuse-Corlett:
For more Mob Bounce visit: facebook.com/mobbounce
After dropping the epic sound and video for "Stadium Pow Wow", A Tribe Called Red returns with "We Are the Halluci Nation", the lead single and title track from their new album.
Anticipation for the new ATCR album has been steadily building, and now we have a taste of what's to come.
"We Are the Halluci Nation" begins with a beautiful incantation by legendary poet and AIM activist John Trudell (rest in power), and builds through moody electronics that subtly interweave spoken word with the sounds of their frequent collaborators, powwow drum group Northern Voice.
It's a sonic space akin to a dream state as only the Tribe can do. An imagining of an alternate world.
"We are the tribe that they cannot see", begins Trudell. "We live on an industrial reservation. We are the Halluci Nation. We have been called the Indians. We have been called Native American. We have been called hostile. We have been called pagan. We have been called militant. We have been called many names. We are the the Halluci Nation. We are the Human Beings. The callers of names cannot see us, but we can see them...Our DNA is of earth and sky. Our DNA is of past and future. We are the Halluci Nation. We are the evolution. The continuation."
We Are the Halluci Nation features an incredible A-list of collaborators—from hip-hop artists Yasiin Bey, Saul Williams, The Narcicyst and Shad to Indigenous superstars Tanya Tagaq, Joseph Boyden, and Jen Kreisberg, to powwow drum groups Northern Voice and Black Bear —and it looks to be an epic exploration and conceptual leap forward from what they've done to date.
The song and full album tracklisting are now available on iTunes. The album will be released September 16th.
Stream "We Are the Halluci Nation" on Spotify here.
A Tribe Called Red - We Are the Halluci Nation - Full Tracklist
- We Are the Halluci Nation (feat. John Trudell & Northern Voice)
- R.E.D. (feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear)
- The Virus (feat. Saul Williams & Black Bear)
- BEFORE (feat. Joseph Boyden)
- Sila (feat. Tanya Tagaq)
- The Light (feat. Lido Pimienta)
- Maima Koopi (feat. OKA & Chippewa Travellers)
- JHD (feat. Junior Ottawa)
- Eanan (feat. Maxida Marak)
- The Muse (feat. Jen Kreisberg)
- Indian City (feat. Northern Voice)
- How I Feel (feat. Leonard Sumner, Shad & Northern Voice)
- For You (feat. Lido Pimienta) [The Light, Pt. 2]
- ALie Nation (feat. John Trudell, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq & Northern Voice)
- SOON (feat. Joseph Boyden)
This past summer, A Tribe Called Red added "The Rez Tour" in the midst of their festival season dates, bringing a handful of free shows to communities in Ontario. This week they dropped a new video about the experience.
A Tribe Called Red's live show is potent, powerful, and always packed. They have performed for huge crowds around the world, and in summer 2016, finally brought their work to "the audience that matters to them most."
"Our main goal was to be able to connect with our fans that we don't get to connect with face to face so much, particularly our fan-base on reservation who maybe aren't getting to our larger shows," says Bear in the good-looking 5 minute video directed by Jon Riera. Deejay NDN adds, "It's important to go to Indigenous youth now and show that we're real, that we're real people and we're accessible to these youth."
The tour included workshops, q&a with the band, and plenty of photo ops in addition to their high powered performances. It's great to get the insight into The Rez Tour and we hope there are more tours like it to come! As one fan states, "Thank you guys for bringing everyone together."
WATCH: A Tribe Called Red - The Rez Tour Recap
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.