- Rick Garrick
Keewaywin’s Kelsey Peters enjoyed dancing with Classic Roots during his collaboration with DJ Shub at Lac des Mille Lacs’ Live Free Live Righteous concert on Sept. 4.
“It was cool and awesome,” Peters says. “It was cool putting tribal music into kind of like a beat.”
Sandy Lake’s Ashley McKay also enjoyed dancing with Classic Roots as he led a group of fans in a circle dance during one of DJ Shub’s songs. The eight-hour Live Free Live Righteous electronic dance music concert was held at Fort William Historical Park.
“It was fun,” McKay says. “It’s good music. It’s showing our culture and our religion.”
Classic Roots wore his men’s fancy dance regalia while performing on stage, in front of the stage and among the audience, where he gave high fives to many of the fans as he ran through the crowd. Classic Roots began performing his music in Thunder Bay before moving to Toronto a few years ago.
“I think it is most important to interact with the crowd, just showing the love and embracing our culture to any different nationality,” said Joshua Deperry, also know as Classic Roots. “Everyone is all in unity and all in one.”
Classic Roots performed along with DJ Shub, who used to perform with A Tribe Called Red before going on his own about a year-and-a-half ago.
“Shub and I have been connecting on collaboration terms,” Classic Roots says. “I am really honoured for him to allow me to express the fancy dancing and the powwow and the powwow house, powwow step and the things we are going to push moving forward with the Aboriginal culture and electronic dance music.”
Classic Roots encourages people to keep moving forward with their music or any career they want to pursue. He performed on his own during last year’s Live Free Live Righteous concert.
“Everyone, in any different nationality, don’t ever stop,” Deperry says. “Always keep moving forward with your music or any career you want and just keep pushing forward.”
Classic Roots appreciated the wide variety of people in the audience.
“Especially in Thunder Bay, we need to be all in one,” Deperry says. “Everyone has to get together and just celebrate (with) good vibes and having a good time.”
DJ Shub, a Six Nations citizen, enjoyed performing with Classic Roots during the concert.
“Classic Roots is my dude — we’ve been making music together for a bit,” DJ Shub says. “This is actually the first time he got to dance. And I’m telling you, it was the highlight of the show. You can’t go wrong with Classic Roots. He’s a hometown hero.”
DJ Shub appreciates the support he has received since taking his own path in music.
“It’s inspiring,” DJ Shub says. “It’s making me want to make more and more music.”
Lac des Mille Lacs hosted the concert in support of initiatives that support positive social values and community growth, including anti-racism, anti-bullying, anti-hate and gender and sexual equality initiatives. A portion of ticket sales went to support a local charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Thunder Bay.
“We feel it is really important for First Nation groups, organizations and bands to be involved in their surrounding communities,” says Tony Maunula, a project coordinator with Lac des Mille Lacs. “Of course it is of utmost importance for them to be involved in their own matters, but it is also very important for First Nations people to be visible in the greater community as a whole.”
The concert also featured DJ Blvck Sheep, from Thunder Bay, Laidback Luke, Grandtheft, Cheat Codes and Autoerotique.