Ian Campeau picks favourite tunes from William Prince, Beyoncé, Leikeli47 and A Tribe Called Red

Even though Ian Campeau is no longer producing music, he’s still keeping his finger on the pulse of new music.
Ian Campeau, former member of A Tribe Called Red gives his picks for music. He thinks Canadians should listen to Leikeli47, William Prince and Beyonce. (A Tribe Called Red/Instagram: leikeli47/Mike Latschislaw/Daniela Vesco: Associated Press)

Originally published April 1, 2018

Even though former A Tribe Called Red DJ Ian Campeau is no longer producing music, he's still keeping his finger on the pulse of what's out there. We asked him to pick some tracks that he thinks all of Canada should hear. 

​Wash & Set

"She's a rapper out of Brooklyn … [who] wears a mask, which I think is the coolest thing," said Campeau. "She raps a lot about what's empowering to her as a black woman." The song he suggests all Canadians hear is Wash & Set — a song about hair.

For Campeau, the song reminds him of the relationship Indigenous people have to hair.

"All I see [when I hear the song] are kids getting their hair cut at residential schools and understanding the importance of hair [to Indigenous people]," said Campeau.

William Prince
Earthly Days

Now that Campeau is spending so much time out in his garden, he said the artist he likes listening to while tilling the soil is William Prince.

"The first time I heard him [it was] mind blowing ... that compelling voice that he has is just so wonderful," said Campeau. "He's got that calming effect of the earth [and gardening]."


Campeau has always been an advocate for women's issues, and is raising his three girls to be outspoken. The female anthem he suggested to dedicate to his daughters is Freedom by none other than Beyoncé. 

Beyonce performs "Freedom" at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California U.S. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (REUTERS)

A Tribe Called Red with John Trudell
​We Are the Halluci Nation

A Tribe Called Red's latest album, We Are the Halluci Nation features two tracks recorded with John Trudell — a Native American writer, poet, activist and musician. 

"We met him first at a show in Arizona ... and he said before the show he was like, 'Would you ever want to work together?'" Campeau recalled. 

Campeau said that meeting was a career highlight because Trudell was always on his list of artists he'd like to work with. Trudell wrote two poems for the new album, and the group set him up in a recording studio in San Francisco. 

"Then he sent it and we chopped it up right away and it ... shifted our idea of where this album was going. John brought up the idea of the Halluci Nation," said Campeau. 

"It's about a nationhood and creating our own nationhood that would carry the flag of people that have the same sort of values and understanding."