Santa Fe, N.M. – November 18, 2016 – New Mexico musicians and bands Innastate, Native Roots, Joy Harjo, and Def-I have taken action to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline by creating a collaborative song entitled “Water is Life.” The song “Water Is Life” will be digitally released on Saturday, November 19, 2016. A music video for the single “Water is Life”, will also debut at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Film Festival on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Proceeds from the song will be donated to the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund which supports the legal defense of warriors protecting land, water, and human rights.
“When musician’s get together and they start talking about an issue, our first instinct is to write a song about it. We felt it was important to contribute and share our talents to show solidarity with Standing Rock. For everything in this world, water is life.” said Innastate musician and Native Arts and Cultures Foundation board member Adrian Wall.
“This song is a beautiful representation of the Native perspective on the importance of life, and speaks to the strength and resilience of our Native People. I am very excited to have the opportunity to premier this music video at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s 3rd Annual Pueblo Film Festival,” said Bettina Sandoval, Cultural Education Specialist. “We believe artists and citizens working creatively together can inspire hope and make progress. In this time of profound cultural upheaval, I’m grateful for the song and voices in this music video that support Standing Rock and the protection of mother earth. Imua! Onward and upward as we would say in my Hawaiian culture.” added Lulani Arquette, President of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.
Contributing musicians to the “Water is Life” single include: Innastate, from Santa Fe, NM, a promising contemporary reggae band which has garnished momentous acclaim within their fledgling existence; Native Roots, a notable award winning reggae band, whose signature music and live performance style, have propelled them to national performances and radio play; from the Muscogee Creek Nation, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation founding board member and award winning and critically acclaimed author, poet, and musician Joy Harjo; And Hip hop artist Def-I (Christopher Bidtah), from the Navajo Reservation, who is a stand out champion of hip hop in the southwest. Additional guest musicians include Clara Natonabah (Dine) on Backup Vocals, Gilbert Uribe on Bass and Carlo BlueHouse Johnson (Isleta Pueblo) on lead guitar.
Cover art was donated by Shonto Begay and the music video was shot and produced by award winning film maker Echota Killsnight from the Northern Cheyenne nation. Frogville Studio (Santa Fe, NM) generously donated studio time and the song was mixed by Frogville’s legendary engineer and producer Bill Palmer.