Kevin Chief (a.k.a. Flying Down Thunder)
Originally from the Long Point First Nation inQuebec, singer, composer and producer, Kevin Chief now makes his home inCanada's National Capital. He is known as a respected pow-wow singer and traditional dancer from the Algonquin Nation. His passion and love is Round Dance music. The inspiration for music came to Kevin from his elders who told him to share his Aboriginal culture with the world for Anishnabe people needed to build a bridge between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal as we learn to understand one another. Through music, Kevin shares the love of his Aboriginal culture to others. Kevin’s first CD was published under the collaborative name Pimadiziwin Singers and was titled “Save the Last Round Dance for Me”. It took him toChina,France,Germany and various locations acrossCanada andUnited States. He has collaborated with the NAC choir and orchestra on Canada Day. He has performed many song and dance presentations around the National Capital Region with various government Departments and the Museumof Civilization. He is involved with Ottawa-based Heavy Metal band, Muffler Crunch and has also performed with C-Weed and Eagle and Hawk providing a traditional element to their show. Other collaborations include other pop artists, traditional Chinese artists and a Guatemalan artist. Currently, Kevin Chief (aka Flying Down Thunder) is collaborating with Rise Ashen to deliver a new sound which promotes Algonquin language and chanting through a more mainstream delivery of Indigenous Urban Music. They are
composing a new sound which gives respect to Aboriginal culture. Indigenous Urban Music is a modern mainstream sound delivered as dance music for everyone’s enjoyment. Their debut CD “One Nation” has been getting radio and club play in 23 countries, and is receiving support by DJs like Osunlade, Jojo Flores and Roger Sanchez.
As of February 2012, Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen were nominated for a Juno for Aboriginal Album of the Year.
Producer, Musician, DJ and Dancer Rise Ashen has devoted his life to the study of sound and movement. From his early years as a bboy in Montreal in the 80s, to his studies at Fanshawe College (North America's Oldest Recording School) and the Banff Centre for the Arts, his focus has been on applying hi-fi knowhow to underground music. His record collection spans Jazz, Caribbean, Rai, Ancient Music, Traditional and Popular African, Scandinavian, Native American and Asian music, with Nu-Jazz, Breakbeats and House as is his primary focus. As a DJ, he blends it all in a worldy mash and is always the sweaty and dynamic life of the party. He has remixed or collaborated with Brazil’s Bebel Gilberto, American jazz legend Duke Ellington, San Francisco based Bombay Dub Orchestra and Fred Everything, Mali’s Issa Bagayogo, Montreal Juno award winner Miguel Graca and Kat 5 of the KALMUNITY collective, Toronto based Ammoye, Version XCursion, LAL, Eccodek, King Sunshine, the New Deal and Bageshree, UK’s Sean Escofferey, John Beltran, Steph Lefrancois and Josef Malik, New York’s Angel Moraes, Winnipeg’s Paris to Kiev, Kasm and Seed Organisation, and Ottawa Algonquin Singer Flying Down Thunder and Disco Daddy Trevor “Lifeboogie” Walker, Oni The Haitian Sensation, John Akpata, and Shegun Beautiful Nubia Akinlolu, and most recently, Algonquin vocalist Flying Down Thunder. His music has appeared on the compilations of renowned DJs like Rainer Truby and Roger Sanchez, and also gets played played by the likes of Larry Heard, Masters at Work, Paul Murphy, Gilles Peterson, Laurent Garnier, Maurice Fulton, Bonobo, Mr. V and Quentin Harris among others. He has shared the stage with such varied greats as K'Naan, The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Kid Koala and Jully Black among others. You can check out his releases on Afroart, Gotsoul, Dub Fu and Defected to name a few (dozens of singles out now and over 12 full length artist CDs, not to mention countless mixed CDs and a fewCBCradio shows called A NUJAZZORDER). He believes music and dance are essential to human culture and that united, artists can lead humanity towards a more enlightened way of living. "We need to make a shift towards long-term thinking"... Quoting Fela Kuti:"when the higher forces give you the gift of musicianship …it must be well used for the good of humanity".