Why I'm Hosting a Radio Show to Highlight Independent Native Musicians
Starting the first Friday in June, my Native Trailblazers radio show will be highlighting for the third year in a row an impressive amount of Native American, First Nations and other indigenous groups and artists in music.
Last year, it was amazing to see Indigenous artists of every genre to include folk, heavy metal, country, hip-hop and more. The level of talent was incredible, and the listener turnout was unbelievable.
When I started the Native Trailblazers radio show a few years ago, I never imagined that I would have tens of thousands of listeners and that I would even be nominated for an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award.
But still the people keep coming, people are still listening—it is truly unbelievable. Two weeks ago, for the first time in about a year, I had to take a Friday evening off to prepare for June Jamz. Even with the night off, approximately 16,000 people came and listened to the archived show from the previous week. Wow.
The reason why I am writing this editorial piece is to explain why I do this - but I almost feel like I don't have to, the proof is in the pudding.
Indigenous people are truly coming together and have been. This online radio show Native Trailblazers is only one small example. If you look at social media, indigenous people from all over the world are coming together and talking about similar concerns. Yes, there is the expected argumentative banter that you see going back and forth, but this is incredibly overshadowed by the giant sense of community.
This radio show seems to demonstrate this week after week.
As I look now out into this world of the music industry, similar streams of information keep flowing toward me. The hip-hop world seems to be dominated by a slew of extremely talented African-American artists who connect with their heritage as well as their upbringing.
Additionally, I see a lot of artists who surface to the top after having worked their fingers into blisters over and over again through years of playing in a garage band—and having played terribly for many of them—but they transcended the naysayers and came forward to deliver true art through music.
After saying this, I say it is only a matter of time until our music industry that exists today taps into this incredible talent base that exists on the Rez or in urban areas in which these indigenous artists have worked their fingers to blisters and still connect with their heritage and upbringing and only want to bring their art form to the world.
I say to them, hang in there. I am doing everything I can to get your voice out there; I am doing everything I can to break through that shell that seems unbreakable. But I promise that shell is not unbreakable, our voice will be heard, this industry is waiting for us—we only need to keep continuing going forward—we only need to keep doing what we’re doing.
It's only a matter of time.
So I am asking you dear artists - to submit to the show, go to http://www.NativeTrailblazers.com/ download the application and send me your song. Yes I will listen, and I will do the best to play everything that I can.
After the first three weeks on Fridays in June, we will be asking the listeners to vote on their favorite artist. We will play the top five that last Friday in June and the number one artist will receive their own show on Native Trailblazers and some promotional support.
And if you love good music, you are in for a real treat. You could listen on Friday nights in June here: www.Blogtalkradio.com/NativeTrailblazers or listen anytime afterwards. You can also download the podcast on iTunes by searching Native Trailblazers.
You can also join us in the chat room by clicking here. Hope to see you there!
In addition to working as a correspondent for ICTMN, Vincent Schilling (St. Regis Mohawk) is an award-winning journalist and book author and the Executive Vice-President of Schilling Media, Inc. A Native American and Veteran Owned Media Corporation. He is also the host of the online weekly BlogTalkRadio program Native Trailblazers. Follow him on Twitter - @VinceSchilling. You can also check out his Vincent Schilling YouTube Channel.