Given the tragedy woven right into front man Nahko’s story you’d intend his music to it is in dark and also depressing, however it is precisely the opposite. Nahko sings songs that mirror the positive, resilient, forgiving, and grateful human that that is regardless of all that he’s confronted in life. Nahko is Apache and of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent, but he shed touch with that legacy for virtually two years after that was adopted by a white family in Portland. Although the was embraced into a loving household where he was presented to music and also learned piano, Nahko can not shake his disillusionment v the world and need because that self-discovery. Together a teen, he packed his bags, and also his guitar, and collection out to travel and also uncover his roots just to find that his mother had been forced into person trafficking and also his father had been murdered in 1994. Despite every one of this, Nahko never ever let anger take over, yet instead today works through his mom to support for the anti-trafficking movement. He even went come visit his father’s murderer in prison and forgive him. This compassion and also inner-strength shines brightly v Nahko’s music, specifically in his band’s 3rd album, “Hoka.” The word, hoka, is an aboriginal word and also a call to action. Nahko says, “my call is come put activity to the native that ns speak and the lyrics that i sing. Not simply to talk, however to do.” covering nineteen tracks, “Hoka” is a musical, and also spiritual, journey filled with profound lyrics and also a unique fusion of jazz, hip hop, and folk influences that is influenced by countless cultures.

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The album opens up with title track ‘Hoka.’ native drums and chanting contrast with vocals the speak of collection the nations. The opened track is the “call to action,” and quickly the journey of the album begins with a piano intro and Nahko’s pure, emotionally vocals on ‘Directions.’ The song quickly becomes deeply powerful as the guitar, drums, and also horns come in and also Nahko sings cries because that guidance from ours ancestors. The next two tracks: ‘It is Written’ and ‘All can Be Done’ pick increase the groove, pass in the jazz influence as well as Nahko’s signature fast-paced, rap-like singing. However, in spite of the funky vibes, the songs’ text still hold heavy meaning, touching on themes of healing and spirituality. The fifth track ~ above the album, ‘San Quentin,’ may be the most touching, informing the tale of how Nahko visited and forgave the murderer of his father. The song is how amazing upbeat as Nahko sings that letting walk in the procedure of forgiving. ‘Build a Bridge’ is an exciting coupling that reggae and salsa influences with some hip hop sprinkled in, truly structure a bridge in between cultures and genres. “Hoka” end climactically with ‘The Wolves have actually Returned’ which attributes Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, Leah Song, and Joseph. This beautiful teamwork with celebratory, earth-praising lyrics ends the album in solidarity. By the end of the album, you’ll feeling a solid urge to gain up and put love, forgiveness, and also gratitude right into the world. Nahko and Medicine for the world truly thrived in their call to action.

The native “powerful” is used often to define music, but Nahko and also Medicine for the people have offered that native new definition and have actually taken it come the following level. Brilliant musicianship paired through raw, emotional text creates music the truly is medicine for the people, and also medicine because that the mind, body, and also sould. Nahko has taken his hardships and also turned them into something solid and beautiful, and he’s urging human being to carry out the same.

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Nahko has something important to say, and also his music states it, for this reason we have to listen. 10/10.