Knitting Factory Presents
A Tribe Called Red, Narcy
Bursting forth from Canada's capital, native Producer and DJ crew A Tribe Called Red is making an impact on the global electronic scene with a truly unique sound.
If you're an indigenous person living in a country that was forcefully colonized, it's all too common to find yourself underrepresented and misrepresented if not blatantly and systematically devalued and attacked. Positive role models and a positive self-identity are hard to come by, yet the Canadian DJ collective A Tribe Called Red is a modern gateway into urban and contemporary indigenous culture and experience, celebrating all its layers and complexity.
Looking to the future, without losing sight of their past, ATCR straddles a broad range of musical influences based in modern hip-hop, traditional pow wow drums and vocals, blended with edgy electronic music production styles. Currently made up of DJ NDN, Bear Witness and 2oolman, ATCR first got together in 2008. They are part of a vital new generation of artists making a cultural and social impact in Canada alongside a renewed Aboriginal rights movement called Idle No More.
ATCR's uplifting and inclusive Electric Pow Wow nights on the second Saturday of every month have become an institution at Ottawa's Club Babylon. There and at their shows, a crowd of Aboriginal Canadians (which includes First Nations people, Métis, Inuit, and 631 other nations) mix with social activists, music heads and anyone looking for a great party and a safe space to come together. They pack the dance floor as Bear Witness weaves indigenous stereotyping from movies, cartoons and media into a new political context and a dancer mixes b-boy and traditional moves.
Through the group's positivity and tireless work ethic their message has expanded to global proportions with tours in Australia, Europe, Mexico and the United States.
It's no accident that Native American activist, poet and musician John Trudell is the first voice you hear on the collective's third album, We Are The Halluci Nation, as the group considers him a forefather for this movement. The album includes a number of other connections as well, ranging from hip-hop star Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) or Saul Williams to Colombian visual artist and musician Lido Pimienta to native musicians Black Bear, Tanya Tagaq to the Australian aboriginal band OKA or the Swedish-Sami singer Maxida Marak.
The crew has performed high profile festival dates at Coachella, Bonnaroo, AfroPunk, Osheaga, and New Orleans Jazz Fest to list a few. In 2014, they garnered mainstream recognition when the band became the first Indigenous group to win the Breakthrough Group of the Year award at the Juno Awards (Canada's Grammys). ATCR was also long-listed for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2012 and 2013 and its debut album was included in the Washington Post's top 10 albums of that same year.
A Tribe Called Red promotes inclusivity, empathy and acceptance amongst all races and genders in the name of social justice. They believe that indigenous people need to define their identity on their own terms. If you share this vision, then you are already part of the Halluci Nation.
"We are the Halluci Nation."
Yassin Alsalman is commonly known by the artist moniker Narcy, a seminal member of the hip-hop scenes in Montreal and the Arab World. He has BA and MA in Media Studies from Concordia University. His music has been featured in films such as Voices of Iraq and Fast and Furious 7. He is a seasoned actor, starring in Feature Length Film City of Life, TV5s Bêtes Humaines and most recently, as a voice actor in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. He is a professor in the Fine Arts department at Concordia University, creating two courses based around media and narrative, and music and social change. His directorial debut, a short film for Indigenous superstars A Tribe Called Red “R.E.D.”, stared actor yasiin bey (formerly Mos Def) and garnered him a Juno Nomination for Best Music Video and an award for Best Video of the Year at the 2017 Much Music Video Awards. Since then, he has directed and consulted on film and video projects for the likes of Talib Kweli, Anderson Paak, Jay Electronica and has filmed with Kaytranada, Dave Chappelle and Spike Lee. He is on the verge of releasing his new album SpaceTime, working on film projects and executing media projects with his partners at WeAreTheMedium; an international transmedia and culture consultation collective based out of Montreal.