Community is everything and as MC Daniel J. French said, “We all come from somewhere. We are all Indigenous to somewhere.”
In an intimate show at Zebulon last week, a space located on the Tongva Land we call Los Angeles, Indigenous performers find a safe space to share their musicality. With smooth jams and Fela / Africa 70 beats playing through out the night by DJ Atlakatl, fans came to celebrate the music of Tia Wood, the evening’s main attraction.
With the showcase produced by Nance Arte Productions, the evening provided a brilliant artists to watch list with some of the Indigenous communities’ rising stars.
Opening act, Niya was unapologetically sexy and sensual. From the moment she stepped on stage she charged up the crowd with her guilt-free and juicy lyrics. After performing “My Place,” a song featured on her I Am Summer EP, I was immediately enamored and needed to hear more from the Maskêkosihk-born songstress.
Next up, was LAND IS RISING. Just like the name, Land Is Rising’s front man, is a mix between Indigenous activist and future pop star — using his platform last night to tell stories about his time on the lines at Standing Rock, lessons he learned from elders and preaching togetherness. After apologizing to the wildflowers and honey bees that were involved in making the tea he was drinking on stage, the crowd was serenaded with an acoustic rendition of a song on the front lines. Currently the only song available to stream is “My Smoke”. Hopefully we get to hear more music from LAND IS RISING soon.
As the dazzling headliner at Zebulon, Tia Wood proved to be more than a viral sensation. The Cree and Salish performer has been able to bring Indigenous culture to the world. Opening her performance with a few friendly jokes and song covers, including her favorite track from Shrek — Wood’s had the crowd hooked with her band, psychedelic guitarist and best friend, EDGAR HERNANDEZ. Wood’s illustrious vocals paired with her beautiful personality was a constant delivery of charm. And charm us she did.
Paying homage to her mother with a powerful performance of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” — Wood’s credited her mother as being one of her biggest inspirations for her love of music and performance.
If you weren’t in attendance at Tia Wood’s headline show at Zebulon, I suggest you watch her performance video from sākihiwē festival 2021. Follow Tia Wood on Instagram for new tour dates and announcements.
Photography & Words by Asha Moné