Drezus, a fixture of the Indigenous hip hop scene in Canada for over a decade, is a well known MC making noise all over Turtle Island and beyond.
Fusing a classic hip hop background with a deep connection to his First Nations heritage, his searing lyrics convey a message of empowerment and resilience in the face of struggle, which speaks to fans both young and old all over the world. In 2009 he was nominated for a Juno alongside his former group Team Rezofficial. His 2013 single “Red Winter” was the unofficial anthem of the continent-wide Idle No More protest movement, and he took home four Indigenous Music Awards in 2015 for his album “Indian Summer”. With a new album expected to drop this spring, 2017 promises to be his biggest year yet.
From the trap beat and booming vocals on the hit single “Warpath” to melodic hooks that punctuate his articulate
rhymes, Drezus makes important music with a message that cannot be ignored. His music inspires people of all
nations and generations.
Powerhouse vocals and an electric label-img stage presence aren’t the only things to set apart 25-year-old singer Mariame Hasni. Mariame is of Cree (First Nations) heritage, and sings of the joys and challenges she faces (on tracks like “Native,” that incorporates First Nations sounds into the mix). Dubbed the “Cree Rihanna” by the Quebec Cree communities of James Bay, Mariame has been touring the communities of the territory since she was 13. On May 26, 2016, the single mother of two took her musical career to the next level by releasing her first album, Bloom.
Mariame is the first artist signed to brand new label, N’we Jinan. What started as a music education program within the Cree communities, N’we Jinan is now a partnership between founder/music educator David Hodges, and Joshua Iserhoff, the Youth Grand Chief of the Cree Natiion Youth Council and the Cree Native Arts & Crafts Association (CNACA). Mariame first came to their attention as part of this program, and won the organization’s Rising Star award in 2013. “You are born with something that separates you from the rest. When I first heard Mariame, she had that,” says Hodges. It is Hodges hope that with the release of Bloom, N’we Jinan can be a part of a bigger picture goal to develop the arts in the Cree communities.” I believe there is so much room for career development and sustainability for the arts in the First Nation communities.” Releasing Bloom is more than a business endeavor for Mariame as well, “it means so much to me for my kids to look up to me and to see me strive for what I love.” With deeply personal and inspirational lyrics Mariame has turned adversity into artistry and in many ways her exciting journey has only just begun.