Alexis Sallee

Host & Producer - Earthsongs

Alexis Sallee grew up in Anchorage, Alaska of Iñupiat descent. Her love for sound for film and music started at an early age and found its focus in radio when she joined the KNBA team after graduating high school. After working as an Earthsongs sound editor along with Shyanne Beatty for two years, she attended college at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. There she earned a Bachelors of Science in Recording Arts. Alexis now resides in Los Angeles where she hosts Earthsongs and is involved in the audio post production industry.

Sacramento Knoxx is an Ojibwe/Chicano artist from southwest Detroit. Knoxx blends electronic and hip-hop styles of music with Indigenous, Mexican, blues, and jazz roots. Growing up, he had a sense of split identity, not entirely fitting in with the Mexican or Native communities. When Knoxx entered the hip-hop scene, he found a home for his voice. Utilizing multi-media elements to create both live and digital works, he conveys a message of healing and motivation to native and diverse communities worldwide.

  Steven Rushingwind, award-winning Native American flutist of Rushingwind & Mucklow and the Rushingwind Project shares with us his third solo album and latest release, “Red Beaten Path”. Steven is from Pomona, California of Cahuilla/Opata and Mexican descent. Building on his healing flute music that incorporates rock elements and world beats, this new project launches in a new direction for Steven, branching out with more contemporary elements and instrumentation.

January 30, 2017

  Tara Williamson is a self-proclaimed poet, provocateur, and pop singer. Born Cree, she was raised Anishnaabe and Métis in Swan Lake, Manitoba. Tara grew up with Native song, drum, and dance. Despite being the only artist in her family, she embraces the traditions of her roots as part of her musical identity. Following the jazzier folk/rock of her two EPs, Tara’s new full-length album Songs to Keep Us Warm is “engaging with the mainstream outside of Indian country”.

Of Choctaw heritage from Shawnee, Oklahoma, singer-songwriter Samantha Crain started touring when she was 19 years old. Starting out with an interest in creative writing, she ended up teaching herself to play the guitar. Many of her short stories became songs, exploring themes of the common person in the tradition of folk rock. Following her third album, Kid Face, she continues with producer John Vanderslice and an analog recording style in the 2015 album Under Branch & Thorn & Tree.

This week on Earthsongs, we’re playing Christmas songs from some of our favorite Indigenous artists, including music from Crystal Shawanda, Brulé, Jana Mashonee, Robbie Robertson, Samantha Crain, Don Amero, and many more.

 The artist Xandrah was born Alexandra Thomson, a Nakoda woman from Carry the Kettle First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. Her debut EP Vinyl Secrets takes pop music and blends it with jazz and soul influences. Xandrah and her instrumentalist JFP, or Justin Frank Pelan, are inspired by artists such as Sade and Erykah Badu. With Xandrah’s sultry vocals and JFP’s hip-hop beats, the two performed together as University of Saskatchewan students at events such as the Regina Jazz Festival and the U of S Aboriginal Arts Festival.

  Hip-hop artist Wake Self comes out of the Albuquerque, NM hip-hop scene with a strong belief in the power of music to change hearts and minds. His career with the band Zoology and more recent solo projects has taken him around the U.S. and Europe, including performances with such acts as Blackalicious, KRS-ONE, and De La Soul. Wake Self’s latest album is entitled Malala, after the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

 On the Wikwemikong reserve of Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Crystal Shawanda grew up with country music and the blues. The pain and authenticity in artists’ voices moved her as she sang at funerals at a young age, a witness to alcoholism and depression in her community. Always self-motivated and ambitious, Crystal wrote an album by age 13 and moved to Nashville at 16. There, she was offered a record deal at RCA, despite being told along the way that she was not marketable as a country artist. Her first album awarded her CCMA’s Female Artist of the Year in 2008.