Award-winning music producer DJ Shub – formerly a member of A Tribe Called Red – takes the “Powwow Step” genre he pioneered to new heights in his solo debut EP, PowWowStep, released December 2. A mixture of electronic, hip-hop, reggae, dub-step and traditional pow wow dance music, the EP has six new songs featuring seven-time Grammy-nominated drumming and singing group Northern Cree Singers, as well as the Black Lodge Singers and smoke dance singer Frazer Sundown.
In conjunction with his EP release, DJ Shub created the music video, “Indomitable.” In the video, Toronto electronic artist, Classic Roots plays a frustrated office worker caught up in the bustle of city life who is revitalized by his Indigenous roots as a dancer in full regalia at what appears to be the Grand River Powwow on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario.
INDOMITABLE (in·dom·i·ta·ble): impossible to subdue or defeat
The drum is the heartbeat of sovereign NDN Nations, pow wows, Turtle Island and Mother Earth. The drum is also driving force in Shub’s “Indomitable,” which premiered November 13. The track features a sample from Northern Cree’s “Young and Free” song which was composed by Conan Yellowbird for their Ewipihcihk album of Round Dance songs.
“I want Canadians to see that pow wow culture is beautiful in both imagery and spirit,” DJ Shub, born Dan General, explained in a press release. “I also want young Native kids to know that they can find support and happiness in their lives, even if they can’t see it right in front of them. That’s what the video says to me.”
The video was produced with the financial assistance of MuchFACT, a foundation established by Bell Media Inc to assist Canadian talent. DJ Shub was one of 28 recipients who received an award this past April.
The track and video by the man who has been called “the best native DJ alive” are hot picks for pop culture writer and editor Andrea Morgan: “In times of profound darkness, I’m grateful for a song like “Indomitable” and its accompanying video, which is both a celebration of Indigenous culture, community and people, and an invitation to bear witness. The bouncing, driving beat never overtakes the hollow pounding of the drum, but then it all drops out to showcase a buoyant, defiant and gorgeous chorus from the Northern Cree Singers: “we’ve got our friends, we got them, we’ll be all right,” she told the CBC.
DJ Shub is from Fort Erie, Ontario. His honors include two DMC Canada DJ Championship titles (2007 and 2008), a DMC Canadian Battle for Supremacy title (2008), a Canadian Red Bull Thre3style title (2012), and a King of the Dot Canada vs. USA DJ battle win, along with trophies from the JUNO Awards and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.
He parted ways with A Tribe Called Red in 2014. His work with the group included the JUNO Award winning album, “Nation II Nation” and their most popular single, “Electric Pow Wow Drum”.
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