Today we’re joined by Envision Festival 2020 headliner
Rumor has it that you jumped out of a plane and landed at Envision Festival.
Tell us about that experience.
I’m pretty much done. I can just go home now and retire. I didn’t know that was going to happen until about twenty minutes or so before I went. It was a pretty epic entrance. When we jumped out of the plane there was a huge rainbow. I pretty much know now what it means to be a carebear. I encourage everyone to do it. Skydive Costa Rica just up the road here. They’re amazing guys who do great work and they’re really fucking funny too. I think that’s what I want to do before every show. New goals!
What inspired you to name your most recent tour Take Your Power Back?
So many things. Big life shifts. I had a whole list of different titles for the album and for the tour. You know the last couple years as I was putting together all the music and the storyboard of the next chapter, Take Your Power Back sort of kind of won over everything. There were some really great choices as well. I like to stay competitive within myself to make sure I’m actually getting the right thing. Take Your Power Back ended up maintaining the first place position. I’m glad it did, because it really does encompass the whole book of the music and message of the tour, the continuation, always the continuation of everything that we’ve done before.
With the Take Your Power Back album, you’re dropping your singles based on the Lunar Calendar.
What inspired you to drop a song on every new and full moon?
I think a lot of people fuck with astrology on the low. It feels as though these days a lot of the times people are always talking about it even if they’re not trying to talk about it. It’s far more kind of acceptable as a thing I guess. When we were in the brainstorming of what could be creative ways to release the music, it was the first idea and our team thought it made the most sense. For me as a writer, it gives me the opportunity to vibe off of astrologers, to read up on what people are saying and sort of divise my own intention and also to pull from the song that we’re going to put out. Whether it’s a new moon or full moon, whether it was in Pisces today or Aquarius last time. I could pull from the song itself and the readings and then create my own thing. It was fun for me, because I already think about that shit on my own. And I kinda assume that most folks that listen to the music at least somewhat look into that kind of stuff. It’s been pretty fun.
Do you bring in New Moon intentions when you put out these new songs on the New Moon or even create them for the new moon?
Anytime that we put it out on a new moon I’ll write it out and share that with people. So I shared mine today as well. It’s been pretty cool to consider the song and then consider the intention and to sort of mold them together into something that makes sense to offer to people. Like here’s my thing and what do you think, what’s yours? I think it gives everyone the opportunity to get creative as well.
You performed at Envision Festival six years ago and now you’re back headlining the ten year anniversary.
Is there anything that you want the festival goers to experience from the medicine music or even tonight’s performance?
I mean all the feels right? Everyone has a different reason for being there and everyone will have a different experience. My job is to create a container that feels epic, and safe, and exciting, and mesmerizing and pushes peoples entire beings to just open up and be with us in that experience. It’s wild. Everyone’s going through different things at the exact moment that you’re feeling something of a song and we’re like pushing out to you and you’re giving it back. It’s a collaborative effort. Ya know you don’t see a lot of people sitting around and not experiencing it. You’re closing your eyes. You’re standing still. I don’t know what else to say about that. It is what it is. It’s just, it’s an experience. The end.
You wrote Lifeguard ten years ago.
Why now? Why release it now rather than ten years ago?
It wasn’t time I suppose, ten years ago. I try not to ever throw a song away. That was sitting in the archives for a while. As we were kind of hashing out ideas. It’s just a simple song and I brought that forward when we first started pre-production and I was like yo this tracks fun. It’s simple and it’s fun to play. Why not? Better late than never. It just felt like the appropriate timing. The other song that we released after that is Slow Down. It is also a ten year old song. I’ve got such a back catalog of stuff as well as new things. It’s like molding them together; it doesn’t change over time really. The message at least from it. My feelings toward the songs are probably even more so now than they were before. It’s probably the thing too. It wasn’t ready to go like that before and now it’s like okay I’m ready. Use me now.
During your concerts and on social media, you speak on doing the work and making this movement move.
Can you expand on how you want the movement to move and what inspires you to do the work and what could inspire the medicine tribe to go on this journey of their own?
Well to me, doing the work is doing work within yourself. It’s always been kind of my first foot forward when I talk about my music. It’s the internal work of understanding and loving yourself, and finding what your purpose is here, and overcoming all of the human things that we have to overcome in order to become our whole selves. That’s the work. So I’m always encouraging people, ya know over the years I suppose it’s become more of an understanding that yeah this is sort of therapy we’re all having together. And so coming from that angle I consider it a big counseling session we’re all having at the same time. So in order to face the ever changing climate both spiritually, politically, and environmentally we can’t be in the state of victim or brokenness ya know? So the more that we take into account our own shit, the better that we face what is coming and what is already here.
What do you want the medicine tribe and festival goers to know about your latest single “Twisted” that you dropped at Envision Festival?
I want them to know that it’s a banger. It’s like the beginning. We started people off with something they’re familiar with. Lifeguard is a familiar feeling. As I grow as an artist, this album is – as far as production goes like the most mature shit I’ve ever done because it feels so much. It feels just like it’s grown so much. I’ve found some really amazing producers I worked with- cut&dry. Shout out to cut&dry. They really helped our band and myself make music that’s clean in the frequency where before we really were like throwing so much stuff in there. And now it’s like I’ve learned to throw stuff in there and take it out and then put it back in little by little ya know you don’t want to overdo it. This new song is a very raw story of accountability upon self and learning to love and realizing that you haven’t been taking care of yourself. And that can be embarrassing, it can be very humbling, it can be very scary, but for me it was all those things and I was able to put it into a song and to have a very clear message to it that speaks to the reminder that you need to take time for yourself and learn how to love yourself as much as you’ve been able to help others love as well.
Your music inspires people to do the work and to go on a journey. What is your viewpoint on your music creating that Ah Ha moment or soulful experience for people?
I’m saying things that have been said before. I’m just saying it in my own unique way. I think that as artists that’s the trick right? We’re able to transcribe and create something that allows other people from all walks of life to be able to hear it in a disarming way I suppose. Somethings in a triggering way of course. Which I think is the key. It’s tricky to get into people. We’re very complex, but thank gosh for music. That’s sort of the thing right is to be able to get into people’s thing and break through to them in a way that they can hear or they can feel.
Why do you write music?
Is writing music your way of doing the work or is it more for the medicine tribe?
It’s a huge part of the work for me. It’s for me first. And then I’m like now you can have it. I’ve never written for anyone else except for me.
Your music is truly framed around being of service to the world.
Is there anything you want your fans to be of service to in this next decade that you think could possibly impact the world?
Themselves I suppose. Well how are we going to take care of the planet for our grandchildren and for all of the creation? It always comes back to you. It seems simple. It’s an easy thing to just say because it is a simple answer, but ultimately it’s our responsibility and it’s us. How are you going to participate in society in a way that promotes the kind of living society and living planet that we all dream of?
When you released your second single, Slow Down you wrote on your social media “to the practice of slowing things down in order to get the real work done. This is the way.”
Can you dive a little deeper on what you meant by the practice of slowing things down?
Well snail life. Yo real slow. Cruising. Everyone’s going to have their own way right? I think it can be interpreted however way you want it interpreted. For me it’s a whole lifestyle. This is a very fast paced lifestyle ya know you’re traveling and you’re seeing all these people and you’re in this place and that place. Even for me sometimes I’ll take a five minute power nap and I’ll just try to relax all the muscles in my face because when you’re on your job you’re on and you gotta be on. And then you’re like let’s iron all that shit out because there’s a lot of stuff going on there. There’s so many little things you can do to chill out. Even for me coming into a big festival like this. Cause this vibe is high. And I’m not a regular festival goer. I’m a person here working and stuff. So that hyperness in my own self I have to calm myself down to come in here and I gotta chill out and that’s a moment to moment thing too. Like before I came in I took an hour power nap to just chill. It’s easy to go hard and I’ve gone hard many times. Now for me I’m like alright I’m just keeping this casually cruising so I don’t burn out and so I don’t get cranky.
Do you have a mantra or a vibe that you want festival goers to be a part of or to bring with them when they leave Envision Festival?
There are two things that I think of just off the top of my head.
One is something that my Uncle Jo Jo once told me. When you’re considering all of the crown epic high vibe stuff that you experienced here. Sometimes you kinda leave thinking is this thing sustainable? Can I take what I’ve felt here back to my 9-5, back to my schoolwork, back to my regular ass job, back to the grind, back to Babylon and all that? Did I come here just to get fucked up and high or did I come here to get fucked up and HIGH? Ya know what I mean? He’s always said that everyone’s invited into this reality. Everyone’s invited into this space that is sustainable and that’s a belief and it’s a manifestation of each person taking what they know how to take from this into their daily life and how to work it into it. And that takes practice. It’s not gonna happen tomorrow. It may not even happen during this trip ya know? But not everyone’s gonna come. And so you can look around and say yes all of us, but it won’t be all of us. Perhaps everyone eventually will, but everyone’s on their own karmic journey. Everyone’s on their own specific consciousness level or whatever you want to call it. But some people gotta come back more than some others. And will we see this place that we’ve imagined in our minds before our time here is done? Who knows?
The other one is where we are going, we’ve never been before, but we can go there together.
Those two things.
Connect with Nahko Bear
Nahko and Medicine For The People drop the Take Your Power Back album on May 15th! You can pre-order the album HERE. To shop Take Your Power Back apparel, check out their Online Shop. Lastly, Nahko and Medicine For The People support a number of causes that you can be apart of! Read about the Causes They Support and get inspired to get involved!
Live Interview With Nahko Bear!
Behind The Scenes:
Electric Feels: Title Photo and Videographer
Road Trip Films: Videographer
Brittany NO FOMO: Photography
Tyler Allix: Photography
Envision Festival is my favorite time of year!
To meet more Envision Festival 2020 headliners check out their interviews HERE.
Brytta is a world traveling yoga instructor from NYC. She is a lover of glitter, SUP Yoga and climbing waterfalls. When she's not adventuring around the world and teaching yoga, she's writing about her adventures, interviewing inspiring souls and coming up with new ways to take her yoga off the mat and into the world! A big fan of discovering new poetry, her current favorite poets are: Rupi Kaur, Lena Moon, and Carlos Andres Gomez.