Nahko and Medicine for the People
Oregon-born Nahko was born from strife and intermingling identities; his origins are a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino cultures. His grandmother forced his mother into prostitution at age 14 and his life began in an act of violence. In the song on the new album, Dark As Night, by his group Medicine for the People, he sings, “So thankful, I never thought I’d give thanks for rape/but that’s how I got here today.” That line, filled with a poignant sense of acceptance and forgiveness, equally exemplifies this musician’s power and grace.
“Through the years we've been fine tuning the purpose behind what we’re doing,” Nahko says. “The oral tradition of storytelling is so important for our generation to bring with us. Part of what we try to convey is accountability and empowerment. These songs direct us to look at ourselves, whether it’s about a social issue, environmental or a personal issue.”
The band has toured with SOJA, and internationally with Xavier Rudd, and performed at festivals such as Electric Forest and Wakarusa (USA), the Bali Spirit Festival (Indonesia) and the Byron Spirit Festival (AUS), continually bringing a powerful catharsis to the audience. Dark As Night debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Alternative New Artist chart and No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, revealing how much Nahko’s personal journey is relatable to those outside of himself. The music is meant to be a connecter, drawing people and ideas and cultures together in surprising new ways.