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Medicine for the Mind and Soul: Spreading Peace Through Music

American band Medicine for the People comes to Berlin to spread music as an international redemptive and healing force

August 22nd, 2016
Andreea Stretea, News from Berlin

On August 18, Nehka and Medicine for the People will hold a concert in the Columbian Theatre in Berlin, through which they will attempt to spread their message of peace with the global community.

Nehko and Medicine for the People is an American world musical collective band formed in 2008. The group of five is led by frontman Nahko. Nahko (Nahkohe Parayno), a sixth generation Apache/Mohawk with a Puerto Rican/Indian mother and a Filipino father, grew up with his adoptive family in Oregon. Nahko suffered some early childhood identity problems, until he began to ground himself in music. At age six he started taking up piano lessons, and in his teens he decided to give up those lessons and started directing musical productions for local schools. His talents landed him a seasonal production position in Denali, Alaska, and there, with the wilderness around him, he began to put all the musical, cultural and philosophical pieces of his personal creative vision together.

Seeing music as an international, multi-generational, multicultural tool and as a redemptive and healing force, he joined with his backing group – Medicine for the People - anchored by horn player and Berkley School of Music graduate Max Ribner, and percussionist Hope Medford. Together they began making what has been called ‘’thump-hop’’, a percussion-heavy, rainbow-envisioned mix of styles and approaches that is at times as much spoken word as anything else – a sort of 21st century medicine show for the mind and soul.

On their latest album, HOKA, which was just released on 10th of June, Nahko’s voice is strong and his mission is clear: ‘’Hoka is a Lakota word,’’ says Nahko. ‘’It is a call to action. It’s what Crazy Horse would say when he went into battle, ‘Hoka, hey!’ My call is to put action to the words that I speak and the lyrics I sing. Not just to talk, but to do.’’

As a musical collective, their mission is to be the motivation and inspiration for those who have become members of ‘’The Tribe’’. Within their global community, they have access to the tools needed to make changes, take action and spread awareness of how to live in harmony with Mother Gaia herself.

‘’We are honored to be a force of attraction for positive and creative minds during these often-corrupt times. With your trust and support, we humbly accept this role and speak our prayers of intention to take direct action… ‘’Hoka Hey’’ means ‘’today is a good day to die’’, but perhaps with your help it could transform into ‘’a better day to live. Thank you again for your love and support! Tribe members let us come together today to be the change that we wish to see tomorrow.’’ This is the message the band spreads through it’s website to their community of fans.


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