/ Modified nov 21, 2013 5:24 p.m.

Native DJ Crew Brings Hybrid Pow Wow to Tucson

Our music "goes against the long history of misrepresentation of aboriginal people," says group member.


A Tribe Called Red is a DJ crew out of Ottawa, Canada producing a unique sound that fuses traditional pow wow drums and vocals with cutting-edge electronic music.

The group recently visited Tucson, where they provided the soundtrack for the All Souls Procession's grand finale on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Ehren Thomas, also known as DJ Bear Witness, said the group was excited to be a part of such an integral part of the this city.

“It’s been really interesting hearing about (the All Souls Procession) before we came, and then getting here and learning about how it started and seeing how the whole community has embraced it…we (were) really excited to be a part of it," he said.

Ian Campeau, who goes by DJ NDN, said the group’s combination of musical styles and cultures came naturally to the members of the group.

“All we really did is mash-up dance music with pow wow,” he explained. “...pow wow music is made for specific dances and specific regalia.”

Thomas said the music of A Tribe Called Red grew out of the contemporary aboriginal culture of Ottawa, and the overriding message is one of self-representation.

“It goes against the long misrepresentation of aboriginal people in the media, and it goes back to portraiture painting and photography,” said Thomas. “We want to represent our people and our community the way we want to be seen.”

Listen to A Tribe Called Red on Arizona Spotlight:

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