Iskwé, a trip-hop artist fusing hip hop with electronic beats, will headline the Q’emcin 2 Rivers Remix festival in Lytton May 18-19. Submitted photo

Free Indigenous Music fest kicks off in Lytton May 18

More than half of artists are women and one third are under the age of 25

B.C.’s first contemporary Indigenous music festival is happening in the Fraser Canyon community of Lytton May 18 to 19, and it’s drawing Juno-nominated artist Iskwé along with 17 other Indigenous artists from across the province.

Organizers are calling the Q’emcin 2 Rivers Remix a two-day ‘feast’, a free outdoor music festival where more than half of the artists are women and one third are under the age of 25.

Headliner Iskwé, a trip-hop artist fusing hip hop with electronic beats, was nominated for Indigenous Music Album of the Year at the 2018 Juno Awards for her album The Fight Within.

Vancouver-based Ostwelve, Ronnie Dean Harris, is a Sto:lo, St’at’imc and Nlaka’pamux hip hop artist who will emcee the event.

The focus for the festival is on diversity — of sound, artistic expression, gender and age. “We have Indigenous performances from almost any musical genre from hip-hop to folk, metal to blues, rock to electronic — and more than half of the lead performers are women while one-third are youth (under 25),” artistic director Meeka Morgan stated in a news release.

Among the diverse musical acts are reggae beats by the Spiritual Warriors who sing in the Lil’wat language, thrash metal by Omega Crom, blues by 17-year-old Big Willie G-1 and electronic dance music by the See Monsters.

Apart from what will be seen on the stage — music, spoken word, dance — there will also be music workshops, video screenings and a collaborate art exhibition.

2018 Line Up: Courtesy of 2 Rivers Remix

Iskwe [Cree/Dene] – Soulful Trip-Hop

Ta’Kaiya Blaney [Tla’Amin] – Fold singer-songwriter

Ostwelve [Sto:lo/St’at’imc/Nlaka’pamux] – Emcee

The Melawmen Collective [Secwepemc/Nuu-Chah-Nulth/St’atimc/Nlaka’pamux] – Rock hip-hop fusion

See Monsters [Heiltsuk/ Klahoose/Wuikinuxv] – EDM Remix & Live-Visual duo

DJ Kookum [Alexis Nakota Sioux] – EDM, Trap, Moombaton DJ

JB The First Lady [Nuxalk/Onondaga] – Hip-hop

The Spiritual Warriors [St’atimc] – Lilwat roots-reggae

Brandon Peters [St’atimc (Xaxlip)] – Hip-hop

Kym Gouchie & Northern Sky [Lheidli T’enneh] – Indigenous folk & country

Big Willie G-1 [Namgis/Kwakwaka’wakw] – Blues, rock

Laura Grizzlypaws [St’atimc] – Grizzly Dance

Omega Crom [Nadleh Whu’ten] – Thrash metal

Khastan Drummers [Lheidli T’enneh] – Hand drummers

Valeen Jules [Nuu-Chah-Nulth] – Spoken word

Salt Water Hank [Gitg’at] – Tsimishian roots folk

Ms. Panik [Haida (Xaayda)] – Live-looped electronic poetics

Sabina & Anzel Dennis [Nadleh Whu’ten] – Caribou Dance

DJ Mikey Whiprek [Secwepemc (Simpcw & Stuctews)] – Jackin/Fidget house and Glitch Hop DJ

JUST [Dakelh/Secwepemc/Nuu-Chah-Nulth] – Warrior sisters punk

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