Not only is today the summer solstice, it's National Aboriginal Day, which kicks off 11 days of Celebrate Canada, a weeklong national clambake, which also includes Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canada Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and concludes with Personal Watercraft Accident Awareness Day, better known as Canada Day (July 1).
Not a lot of people know this yet, but there is an incredible Aboriginal music scene happening in this country right now. Particularly exciting is the hip-hop and rap community spread out across the urban, rural and reserve landscape out there. And since electronic and hip-hop are close cousins, we thought we'd take a look as five artists to watch out for in 2012.
A Tribe Called Red (Ottawa)
Founded in 2008, A Tribe Called Red is DJs Shub, Bear Witness and NDN, an Ottawa-based DJ crew best known for mixing indigenous powwow music with hip-hop, dance hall and electronic at their monthly Electric Pow Wow nights dedicated to showcasing native urban culture. After a few years of issuing individual tracks, A Tribe Called Red recently released their debut album, Electric Pow Wow, for free online, and just a few weeks ago, Shub won the RedBull Thre3style Canadian DJ Championship.
Madeskimo, a.k.a. Geronimo Inutiq, spent most of his childhood living in Iqaluit, but his teen years in Quebec City, so you can just imagine the sounds in his music with Inuit, Québécois and Caribbean influences.
The Northwest Kid and Gameboy (Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory)
DJ Kwe (Vancouver)
Producer, vocalist and poet Crystal Favel, a.k.a. DJ Kwe, mixes Aboriginal music from many cultures with breakbeat, house, drum and bass. In 2010, Favel was commissioned to create the music for a series of fashion shows that took place during the Olympic games in Vancouver.
Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen (Ottawa)
Flying Down Thunder, a.k.a. Kevin Chief, provides the hypnotic Anishinaabe (Algonquin) chanting and Rise Ashen, a.k.a. Eric Vani, the instrumentals to this project based in Ottawa.
DJ Shub from A Tribe Called Red crowned Red Bull national champion
Bear Witness from ATCR talks about electric powwows on CBC Spark
Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen bring Algonquin back
on Jun 21, 2012