All posts by James Dommek

Cree Artist Jessa Sky Releases Single “Anxiety”

In an era where vulnerability in music reigns supreme, Jessa Sky emerges as a beacon of authenticity with her latest release, “Anxiety.” The singer-songwriter’s poignant lyrics and haunting melodies delve into the depths of the human psyche, offering solace to listeners grappling with their inner demons.

In a recent interview, Jessa Sky shared her inspiration behind “Anxiety,” stating, “I wanted to create a song that felt like a lifeline for anyone who has ever felt consumed by their own mind. ‘Anxiety’ is my way of saying, ‘You are not alone.'” Indeed, through her music, Jessa Sky has created a sense of solidarity among listeners, fostering a community of support and understanding.

As “Anxiety” continues to resonate with audiences around the world, Jessa Sky’s star continues to rise. With her soul-stirring vocals and heartfelt songwriting, she has cemented her place as a voice for the voiceless—a beacon of hope in a world that often feels overwhelming.

Inupiaq Podcaster Alice Glenn Reflects on Transformative Journey from Coffee & Quaq to the True Detective Companion Podcast

In honor of the new Max series True Detective: Night Country, we spoke with the series’ Companion Podcast host Alice Q Glenn. She also hosts the Coffee & Quaq podcast and is part of the multimedia collaborative experience: Native Time. She grew up in x and looks to the future.

When did you first start producing podcasts?

I started Coffee & Quaq in 2018 on my own with nothing but a small idea and dream rooted in: What would an Indigenous-centered podcast sound like? Since then I’ve hosted and produced the Coffee & QuaqResolveAlaska Natives on the Frontline, and the True Detective: Night Country podcasts. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been the highlight of my career so far.

How much has changed since you published the first episode of Coffee and Quaq?

I think the two biggest things that have changed since my first episode are my podcasting equipment and my own educational “crash course” into podcasting. There are so many skills that you can only learn as you go, things like finding your voice, interview preparation, messaging and branding, and learning how to interact with an audience, etc. One thing that has remained the same is the Inupiaq values of humility and reciprocity that guide my work. My technical prowess has definitely improved, but the integrity of uplifting AK Native voices and ideas in a good way has always shined through.

What’s next in store for the Coffee and Quaq podcast?

That’s a good question! I think I’ll always have Coffee & Quaq running on a rolling basis, but as a one-manned show, sometimes I feel like I’ve hit my ceiling with that specific project. I have a few more creative goals in mind with our collaborative media platform that highlights the real Alaska Native experience Native Time, and I’m hoping to broaden my horizons after this experience with True Detective: Night Country. But you’ll definitely be hearing more of me in the future, stay tuned!

How has your experience been hosting the Official Companion podcast to the True Detective: Night Country series?

Working on True Detective: Night Country has been so fun and challenging in brand new ways! First, I’ve never worked with an audio production team like Tenderfoot Labs before. They are the real MVPs. I have such an appreciation for the folks behind the scenes, because I usually do it all by myself for Coffee & Quaq and I know the work it takes to get the sound just right. And Tenderfoot Labs has been so supportive in hearing out my ideas and being open and willing to learn from an Alaskan perspective. That is what really impresses me, because you don’t find that everywhere. Second, I had never considered working on a companion podcast before, let alone one for such a high-caliber popular streaming TV show like True Detective! Having to follow a theme and format around what we see and hear on the show, and then tie those themes to real life, has been exciting and challenging! It forces me to make conceptual connections like I had never done before and push myself out of my own brain sometimes. It’s been a lot of work in a short amount of time, and a bit intimidating sharing about myself, Inupiaq people, Alaska Native people, and Inuit on such a huge stage, but so far I’m really proud of my voice and what I’ve been able to do in the last few months.

What do you hope listeners will take away from the Companion podcast?

I hope listeners get a better idea and education of what real life in Alaska is truly like. I hope the wider audience feels and identifies with the sense of humanity, complexity, and richness about Alaska Native people. And I hope Indigenous people see and feel a sense of themselves in this podcast. Representation is so important today. 

How do you feel about the current award season, considering Lily Gladstone’s historic achievement as the first Indigenous woman to receive a Golden Globe for acting?

I love it! Lily Gladstone has done such amazing work, and I applaud her for using her voice, her presence, her depth and force to bring about awareness for real-life issues Indigenous people face today. She is a beautifully complex woman with strong ideas who is finally being heard and celebrated. I am a fan!

Alice Glenn is a 30-something-year-old Native residing in Anchorage, Alaska. You can listen to the True Detective: Official Companion podcast following each episode released every Sunday on Max.

Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza’s Empowering Anthem: “Come Out”

In the dynamic landscape of the music industry, emerging artists continually bring fresh perspectives and voices to the forefront. Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza, two talented musicians with unique styles and powerful messages, recently joined forces to release their latest single, “Come Out.” This collaborative effort not only showcases their musical prowess but also delivers a resonant and empowering message that transcends boundaries.

Aysanabee, known for her distinctive vocals and genre-defying sound, has made waves in the music scene. Her ability to fuse various genres seamlessly, from soulful R&B to upbeat pop, has earned her a dedicated fan base. On the other hand, Raye Zaragoza, an accomplished singer-songwriter, has made a name for herself with poignant lyrics that tackle social and environmental issues. Together, they create a powerful duo with a shared vision for using their music to inspire change.

“Come Out” is a compelling anthem that encourages self-expression, empowerment, and authenticity. The track opens with an infectious melody that sets the stage for the impactful lyrics. Aysanabee’s soulful delivery combined with Zaragoza’s emotive vocals creates a synergy that elevates the song’s overall impact.

The lyrics of “Come Out” explore the theme of embracing one’s true self, breaking free from societal expectations, and finding strength in vulnerability. The artists convey a message of acceptance and celebration of individuality, fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels seen and heard.

In a world where conformity often prevails, Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza use “Come Out” as a platform to champion diversity and encourage listeners to be unapologetically themselves. The song serves as a reminder that authenticity is a source of strength and that breaking free from societal norms can lead to personal liberation.

The collaboration between Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza is a testament to the power of artists coming together to create meaningful and impactful music. Both artists bring their unique perspectives and talents to the table, resulting in a track that is not only sonically appealing but also socially relevant.

The production of “Come Out” is a testament to the skill and creativity of both artists. The music seamlessly blends various elements, incorporating Aysanabee’s eclectic musical influences with Zaragoza’s acoustic sensibilities. The result is a sound that feels fresh and contemporary while staying true to the authenticity that defines their styles.

“Come Out” by Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza is more than just a song; it’s a call to action. In a world that often struggles with issues of acceptance and diversity, the artists have created an anthem that resonates with individuals on a personal level. The track’s infectious energy, combined with its empowering message, positions it as a standout contribution to the music scene. As Aysanabee and Raye Zaragoza continue to make waves with their collaborative efforts, “Come Out” stands out as a shining example of the transformative power of music in fostering positive change.

K.A.S.P releases new single “Live From Da Rez” featuring Fredro Starr & K9

Indigenous Hip-Hop Artist K.A.S.P has dropped his latest single, “Live From Da Rez,” featuring the legendary Fredro Starr and the formidable K9. This collaboration is not just a musical journey but a sonic experience that brings together three distinct voices in a celebration of raw talent and unfiltered energy.

K.A.S.P, an acronym for Knowledge and Street Poetry, has been making waves with his unique blend of insightful lyrics and powerful beats. His commitment to authenticity and storytelling sets him apart in an industry that often prioritizes superficial glamour over substance.

Fredro Starr, a seasoned veteran in the hip-hop game, brings a wealth of experience to the track. Known for his charismatic delivery and gritty storytelling, Starr’s presence on “Live From Da Rez” adds a layer of authenticity and a nod to the roots of rap.

K9, a rising star in his own right, injects fresh energy into the collaboration. His rapid-fire flow and versatile style complement the seasoned performances of K.A.S.P and Fredro Starr, creating a synergy that elevates the track to new heights. The production, helmed by K.A.S.P himself, is a testament to his skills both on the mic and behind the boards. The track’s pulsating rhythm and infectious hook make it an instant earworm, while the verses from each artist showcase their unique perspectives on life, struggle, and triumph.

Beyond the beats and rhymes, “Live From Da Rez” carries a message of resilience, self-expression, and the power of unity. In a genre often criticized for perpetuating stereotypes, this collaboration stands as a testament to the positive impact hip-hop can have when artists come together to share their stories. You can stream the single now on the RIVR.

Indigenous Hip-Hop/Rap artist Joey Stylez releases “Filthy $”

Joey Stylez holds significant recognition within Indigenous communities and has garnered widespread acclaim across Canada. His music secured the Best Pop Music Video award at the 2022 Native American Music Awards and was prominently featured on the hit television series, Reservation Dogs. Collaborating with esteemed Grammy Award-winning producer James Ho (Malay), Joey’s music collection includes tracks that showcase his evolving international presence. As he continuously tours and expands his reach as an international artist, his Ble$$ed Street Studios serves as a platform for nurturing and guiding Indigenous artists, mentoring them in their musical journey.

Tanya Tagaq Releases Physical DVD Pre-Orders for the 2022 Documentary Film ‘Ever Deadly’

Renowned for her groundbreaking work in music and activism, Tanya Tagaq’s foray into filmmaking with “Ever Deadly” marks a pivotal moment in her artistic journey. The documentary released in 2022 is a deeply personal odyssey that unveils the complex layers of her identity, interwoven with the rich tapestry of her Inuk heritage.

At its core, “Ever Deadly” is an unflinching confrontation of the social, environmental, and cultural challenges faced by Indigenous communities. Tagaq fearlessly navigates these realms, inviting viewers on a visceral expedition through her experiences and the wider narrative of Indigenous peoples’ struggles. Check out the select in person theatrical screenings in LA, DC, and Colorado.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Drezus Team Up for ’96 Bulls

Snotty Nose Rez Kids, the dynamic Indigenous hip-hop duo hailing from the Haisla Nation in British Columbia, has joined forces with renowned Indigenous rapper and producer, Drezus to release their latest single, ’96 Bulls. This collaboration embodies a powerful celebration of heritage, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of Indigenous communities.

The track ’96 Bulls pays homage to the iconic Chicago Bulls team of 1996, known for their dominance in basketball and their unyielding determination. However, for Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Drezus, the ’96 Bulls symbolize something deeper—a metaphor for their own strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

J-Rez and Rezcoast Grizz Release “Safe Travels” Music Video in Honor of National Addictions Awareness Week

Safe Travels is a song about the trials & tribulations of addictions, the struggle of recovery &
the triumph of sobriety. The song aims to give comfort to those grieving from the loss of a
loved one due to the opiate epidemic, addictions and/or suicide by sharing a message of hope to
be received by anyone who hears it. J-Rez has lost a brother, two cousins and several friends to
opiate addiction, and is a recovered former addict, now celebrating 3 years of sobriety. This
song is a dedication to all of them, including himself.

The song is composed by Native Toronto Rapper J-Rez and Rezcoast Grizz from Arizona &
produced by L.S & JthaJust. The music video was filmed in Toronto and Directed by Tom
Tennisco of Pikwakanagan First Nation, a visual effects specialist currently working on the
Superman & Lois TV Show.

The duo have donated $1000.00 to Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction in celebration of this project
and will be embarking on a Nation-Wide Tour this summer facilitating Youth Empowerment
Workshops about Addiction Awareness, Life Promotion & performing
“Safe Travels”.

Juneau artist Air Jazz Reflects on Indigenous Heritage Day

Native American Heritage Month is an essential time for artists such as myself. Weeks dedicated to spreading Indigeneity around the world gives us a feeling of oneness with planet Earth. As a Tlingit, it feels as though my ancestors are speaking through me with language and song so that I can sonically manifest them. I shall write more Indigenous songs, wear my clan vest of representation, and listen to stories of all Tlingit generations.

I’m hoping that Indigenous Heritage Month can give every person an appreciation for where they come from. All people have a lineage, so it’s important to acknowledge our lineal origin. We can then cycle back to our sacred values and ways of life, like a canoer who has found their way home after a long journey. In America, this is especially important since revitalization is still an ongoing effort for Indigenous peoples.

One day, all Native Americans could be allies and form an Avengers End Game type superpower. Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian could work as a unit in Southeast Alaska. Puyallup, Tulalip, Duwamish and Snohomish could start a collective in the Northwest. Iroquois could join Wampanoag, Mi’kmaq, Algonquin and Cherokee on the East Coast. Then Apache, Commanche, Zuni and Diné could live in harmony in the US South.Eventually, all of us will have land back, learn about each other’s culture, and make America Native again. Gunalchéesh/Haw’aa/Quyana/Mahsi’ Choo

DJ Shub Releases new track ‘Half Breed (Remix)’ feat. Cher

DJ Shub, the trailblazing Indigenous electronic music artist known for his groundbreaking fusion of traditional sounds and contemporary beats, has once again set the stage on fire with his latest release, ‘Half Breed (Remix).’ The track, a reimagining of the original hit featuring Cher, pulsates with raw energy and cultural vibrancy, showcasing Shub’s unparalleled talent for blending heritage with modernity.

The original ‘Half Breed’ was a celebrated anthem that resonated with audiences for its infectious rhythm and celebration of Indigenous culture. With this remix, DJ Shub takes the essence of the original and amplifies it to new heights. The beats are punchier, the melodies are more dynamic, and the infusion of traditional instrumentation adds layers of depth and authenticity to the composition.