Alan Greyeyes’ Top 5 Picks For Aboriginal Music Week 2014

Aug 19, 2014

Aboriginal Music Week starts tomorrow in Winnipeg, bringing together indigenous music-makers from across North America.

The festival, now in its 6th year, has showcased artists such as A Tribe Called Red and Tanya Tagaq in previous years, and is becoming a go-to festival in Canada for the discovery of emerging Indigenous talent.

“We’re expecting 10,000 to 12,000 people this year,” says Alan Greyeyes, Chairperson at Aboriginal Music Manitoba Inc., who also notes that the festival has doubled in attendance since its inception in 2008.

While most of the artists appearing at Aboriginal Music Week are from Canada, Greyeyes says he tries to bring in a few international acts each year. The festival’s diverse programming aims to connect Indigenous artists from different communities, allowing for synergy between performers, and, hopefully, inspiration to break new musical ground.

In anticipation of the week’s festivities, Greyeyes offered his not-to-be-missed picks. Check them out below.

1. Colombia-born Toronto-based musician and visual artist Lido Pimienta makes electronic-infused experimental pop that evokes artists such as Tanya Tagaq and Bjork.

Lido Pimienta at The Garrison from Analog Preseveration Network. 

2. Hailing from Minneapolis, rapper Tall Paul garnered over 200,000 YouTube views with the Ojibwe-English track “Prayers in a Song,” off his debut 2010 project, Brothers: From Different Fathers and Mothers, with former cohort G. Malicious. “I love how he incorporates the Ojibwe language into his music,” says Greyeyes.

Tall Paul’s 2010 single “Prayers in a Song.”
3. Singer-songwriter and killer guitarist George Leach of the Sta’atl’imx Nation in Lillioet, British Columbia won his first JUNO Award in 2014 for his album Surrender, which channels his blues roots while also exploring rock, R&B, and soul sounds. “He’s just awesome,” says Greyeyes.

George Leach shows off his slaying guitar skills for track “You Got It.”

4. Yellowknife singer-songwriter Leela Gilday‘s captivating pop, and lyrical content that draws from her northern roots, has earned her numerous awards, including a JUNO Award in 2009 and numerous Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and Western Canadian Music Awards.

Leela Gilday’s 2008 single “One Drum.”

5. Called the “Dopest Alaskan since Santa Claus or Grizzlyman,” by Diplo, Los Angeles-by-way-of-Alaska DJ/producer Astronomar has been making a name for himself on the U.S. club scene since 2011, having received support from fellow beat wizards Diplo, Skrillex, and A-Trak.

For more information about Aboriginal Music Week and to see the full lineup, visit the festival’s website here.  

–Julijana Capone

Wanna talk music? Email me at or follow me on Twitter @thejulijanaruin.

The National Music Centre Mailing List

Subscribe to receive news, updates and special promotions.