Urban Vault caught up with Toronto based, Native American recording artist, producer, and activist, David Strickland to ask him questions about his music, collaborations, and Inspirations
David Strickland is one of the few Indigenous Audio Engineers in North America. He owns and operates ‘Aboriginal Audio’ in Toronto and was just recently featured in a VICE documentary by Noisey, ‘First Out Here, Indigenous Hip Hop’. He continues to build Recording Studios for business and community projects and is a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nation’s Youth across North America. David has dedicated his life to this healing power because for him… it all starts and ends with Music.
What is your name?
David Strickland aka Gordo aka Northern Eagle aka Certainman aka CertainNDN.
Where are you from?
How long have you been making music?
Since the age of 16.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
I’ve worked on many projects but this is my first solo project. I have released ‘Rez Life’ Featuring Violent Ground, Drezus, Que Rock, Joey Stylez and Hellnback and ‘Window’ featuring Drezus and Hakeem Roze which were both released on July 1st 2017 in protest to Canada’s 150th Celebration. The 3rd song I just released on Hip Hop’s Birthday August 11th entitled Armed & Dangerous Feat EPMD & Saukrates.
Can you tell us about your new song and album, the background, and inspirations behind it?
The new song is called ‘Armed & Dangerous’ featuring EPMD and Saukrates. The song and album were inspired by the journey I have been on behind the scenes engineering Hip Hop and RnB, reconnecting with my culture and attempting to use my skills to help my community and the people of Turtle Island. The album is called ‘Spirit of Hip Hop’ and is a combination of indigenous MC’s, mainstream Hip Hop artists and some traditional elements of my culture. I received a small grant from the Toronto Arts Council and I had a concept for an album that just bloomed into what we have today so Thank You to the T.A.C. for planting the seeds for me to water.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your Career?
So far, Keith Murray, Erick Sermon, Trizzlam, Saukrates, EPMD, Def Squad, Method Man, Redman, Blacka Da Don, Sproxx, Omen, the list goes on.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
That’s a loaded question; I’m open to working with anyone with talent and vision. It’s not about money.
What inspires you when you make your music?
It’s all about the vibe and what’s going on in my life.
How did you end up in the music industry?
I ended up in the industry through DJing which led me to engineering and producing.
What do you think of the music industry in 2017?
The industry is amazing, so much talent. The business is available to anyone to take off with a good song. Things are a lot easier nowadays as far as technology and access to fans. It’s incredible.
What have you got planned for 2018?
More Art, More Music. I have some surprises brewing….
What’s your favorite track at the moment?
At the moment I’m still stuck on ‘World Ends’ by War Porn Industries.
What do you do when you’re not making music?
I paint, train, DJ, read, participate in native ceremonies, I teach, speak to youth and try help people where I can.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music….