New Video Release
There is a breeze that blows through this land... if you listen close enough it is whispering its secrets... beckoning you to remember that we can be in relationship with the world, and each other, in a different way.
It is that breeze that ends up waking you up from a deep slumber with its promises of hope and a way to create a world where all people are seen, loved and valued.
What that breeze also says, ever so softly, is that this path of being awake is fraught with trials and it will be a struggle.
At the same time, it gently wraps you up and whispers, yet again, 'I believe in you' and 'you won't be alone, there are others out there and you will find them'.
It was a year ago, today, in the dead of the night I stood across a military blockade on the bridge which was situated on Lakota-Sioux unceded territory off the Standing Rock Reservation. I had come because I knew that I was responsible to the truth I had woken too... 'It is all of us or none of us'. That truth dictated that I must show up to this moment, that continued to perpetuate the historic atrocities towards the First People's by my government, with the best tools I had which were my music and my body.
Standing with my friends, I sang into the night, hoping that my message would find its way into the heart of those with semi-automatic weapons who had been aiming them at unarmed indigenous resistors and their allies. That it would help awaken in them the understanding that there was a better way than being the arms of a machine hell-bent on dehumanizing us all.
When I made it home, I tried to process what I had seen and the immensity of what it meant to be awake at a time in history that demands complacency. After watching the deep underbelly of my country come to light, through things such as a president who deems anyone who isn't a white male as unworthy and that racism feel emboldened to take more power than it already had, I truly understood how attractive it is to be lulled back to sleep.
That is when the idea for this video was born.
Ryan Ao, a talented filmmaker who filmed 'Dreamer in the Deep', and I talked about making it a video that reflected my time at Standing Rock. However, as we mulled around the story, it became more and more clear that I wanted this to be a whisper of encouragement into the ear of all the people who were fighting and cultivating liberation of us all, regardless of how that was happening.
I am incredibly grateful for all the support and work that went into the filming and producing this video. It was a journey that, like life, had a huge learning curve and what came out was a complete and wonderful surprise.
Special thanks to:
My family who sings my songs and loves me no matter what
Ryan Ao for his creative direction
John Mower for Audio Engineering
Fernando Moreno for Camera Operation
Juliet Rivers for the use of her home to record in
Makanda Katchin for the support in shooting the film
To all of those who cultivate and fight for liberation for all beings, I see you and you are not alone.