Nova Scotia

City Natives, aboriginal hip-hop group, win at Indigenous Music Awards

Aboriginal hip-hop group City Natives is making history and bringing back some Indigenous Music Awards to the Maritimes.

Group won Best Duo or Group and Single of the Year for the song "Straight Chief'n".

City Natives, a group from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, won two awards at the Indigenous Music Awards. (www.ecma.com)

Aboriginal hip-hop group City Natives is making history and bringing back some Indigenous Music Awards to the Maritimes.

The group won Best Duo or Group and Single of the Year for the song "Straight Chief'n".

Brandon Arnold co-founded City Natives and says their music is heavily influenced by the communities they grew up in.

Arnold is from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. Other members are from Eel Ground First Nation in N.B. and Eskasoni in Nova Scotia.

"We just write about success, really. About how hard work pays off and determination," he said.

He says the win is a first for the aboriginal music community in the Maritimes.

"Just the fact that we're the first ones from the East Coast to really bring one back. I don't think no one has ever done it before," he said.

'We're seeing results'

Arnold calls their sound "original" and says they are influenced by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Dr. Dre.

The group's members have known each other for about a decade, but formed City Natives so they could enter into the East Coast Music Awards.

But Arnold says they have their sights set on other awards — the Juno Awards.

"We figure we're getting there, we're getting close to it. We are achieving all the goals and all the steps we needed to get there. We're seeing results and we really feel we got a good chance this year," he said.

The Indigenous Music Awards were held in Winnipeg this year and Arnold says it was a shock to hear their names called during the ceremony.

"It's an honour to be a part of the awards in general, to even receive four nominations. The fact that we bring home two awards is just a bonus. It means a lot," he said.

The group has just been nominated for Aboriginal Artist of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Week Awards in November.

Next month, they go to Atlanta to perform at a music festival that will feature big name hip-hop artists like Wiz Khalifa.

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