“Lifeguard,” the first track from Nahko And Medicine For The People’s forthcoming body of work slated for 2020, was just released – intentionally coinciding with the arrival of the new moon. The new moon is recognized in astrology as a time of resetting intentions and direction. For Nahko and his fans, it will be a celebration of new music. “Lifeguard” was produced and co-written by cut&dry and is currently being performed on the road as part of Nahko And Medicine For The People’s 50-date “Take Your Power Back” fall headline tour, which resumes on Thursday, November 7 and runs through Sunday, November 24.
“I wrote this song nearly ten years ago after I almost drowned in the ocean,” Nahko explains. “Perhaps I should say, it felt like I was about to drown. I was stuck on top of a reef, thrown out of my kayak, had zero energy left, life flashing before my eyes in a huge swell, and then my ninja girlfriend came paddling after me and tossed me a line. In life and in a capitalistic society where we are taught to consume beyond our realistic needs, it takes a strong-willed person to see through the nonsense and keep your head above water. The altruistic motto ‘give what you can, take what you need’ rings true in the sentiment here. What if more of us held ourselves responsible for unlearning colonialism and took capitalisms bullying more personal? That's what ‘Lifeguard’ is for me, a reflection of oneself within the chaos. As I evolve, so does my sound and with this first single we debut a mature production and a timely message for the world.”
Nahko And Medicine For The People is a group with a collective vision that sees and values music as a powerful redemptive, connecting and healing force. Featuring a multi-cultural line-up and a blend of a variety of styles, Nahko’s albums and live performances are a 21st-century medicine-show for the mind and soul, rooted in social, personal, and spiritual healing that appeal to the current growing consciousness of mainstream music lovers.
Born Joel Miguel Nahkohe-ese Parayno of Puerto Rican, Filipino, and Apache origins, Nahko was adopted at birth into a conservative Christian family. Instead of choosing to accept the orthodox lifestyle inherited from his adoptive parents, Nahko elected to challenge them. At the age of 17, he left his adopted family home in Portland, Oregon behind, headed first to Alaska and then to Hawaii, embarking on a voyage of self-discovery and marking the beginning of a deconstruction process, a reclaiming of identity, and the rebirth of Nahko and his unique heritage.
Armed with stories, a guitar, a background in classically trained piano, and a fierce set of ideals, Nahko has found refuge and enlightenment in the music he creates, his bond with his bandmates, his ancestors that guide him, and the earth that nurtures him. The “Take Your Power Back” Tour is the latest chapter in Nahko’s journey to continually rediscover himself through music, and to bridge the cultural gaps that divide his own psyche. Music has allowed him to process life’s challenges, rounding down his sharp edges and opening himself up to compassion while at the same time simultaneously creating a direct platform for action. But taking your power back isn’t a one-size-fits-all ethos, he explains. Nahko hopes his music and example will encourage others to “take their power back” in their own unique ways.
Medicine For The People has created more than a community; it’s a movement of shared ideals that includes Nahko, the band, the music, and a devoted and rapidly growing fanbase, The Medicine Tribe. A passionate supporter of organizations like Honor The Earth, Amazon Watch, and Indigenous Regeneration, Nahko’s unique heritage has led him to a connection with nature that has played a pivotal role throughout his journey, introducing him to his bandmates, grounding him in times of adversity, and inspiring him during his live performances. “I think our music promotes the bridging of all tribes,” Nahko says. “The lyrics and the stories and our energy as a group break down people’s walls. I think that’s the most important thing you can do with music.”
Nahko And Medicine For The People’s most recent album Hoka (2016, SideOneDummy) debuted at #6 on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart. Nahko’s 2017 solo album, My Name is Bear (SideOneDummy), debuted at #1 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart and #5 on the same chart in the UK. In 2019, Nahko And Medicine For The People’s 100+ date headline tour included a sold out show at Red Rocks Amphitheater, and the band performed at various major festivals both domestically and internationally, including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, LOCKN’ Festival, Glastonbury, Byron Bay Bluesfest, and Colours of Ostrava.
Nahko And Medicine For The People – “Take Your Power Back” Tour:
NOV 9 - DENVER, CO - MISSION BALLROOM **
NOV 11 - FLAGSTAFF, AZ - ORPHEUM THEATER **
NOV 12 - PHOENIX, AZ - THE VAN BUREN **
NOV 14 - SAN DIEGO, CA - THE OBSERVATORY NORTH PARK ++
NOV 15 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE FONDA THEATRE ++
NOV 16 - LOS ANGELES, CA - THE FONDA THEATRE ++
NOV 17 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - THE WARFIELD ++
NOV 18 - ARCATA, CA - VAN DUZER THEATRE ++
NOV 20 - TACOMA, WA - THE SPANISH BALLROOM ++
NOV 21 - SEATTLE, WA - SHOWBOX SODO ++
NOV 22 - VANCOUVER, BC - COMMODORE BALLROOM ++
NOV 23 - PORTLAND, OR - McMENAMINS CRYSTAL BALLROOM ++
NOV 24 - PORTLAND, OR - McMENAMINS CRYSTAL BALLROOM ++
** with special guest Nattali Rize
++ with special guest Ayla Nereo