How a white dude’s music ended up on American indigenous radio

I’ve thought very carefully on how to approach this issue, but I realized I had to say something sooner than later.

Long story short, I’m not indigenous. Why does that matter? Read on.

It started on SoundCloud. After not checking my page for a long time (I don’t use it that often), I noticed my track “Sail” was getting a lot of play, considering I never really shared it anywhere.

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Maybe people thought it was that Styx song?

Then, I noticed that it had been reposted (the SoundCloud equivalent of retweeting) by Revolutions Per Minute, a “global new music platform for Indigenous music from across Turtle Island and around the world,” according to the description.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 3.26.24 PM.pngI didn’t think much of it. I figured that it was either a mistake, or they didn’t exclusively focus on indigenous music. I decided to sit on it and maybe talk to them later on.

I went back to not checking SoundCloud, as is my usual behaviour. Flash forward a couple weeks, and I check my notifications to see Dustin Riel McGladrey has reposted “Sail.” I go to the profile to see who it is, and I realize I should have said something to RPM earlier.

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Not anymore!

I realize I need to say something. I message both Dustin and Revolutions Per Minute on SoundCloud.

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Man, I seem a lot less polite in that second message.

There we go! It was done. I sat back, hopeful that they’d see the messages and we’d go from there.

But I checked a few days later, and the reposts were still there. They’re still there as I write this.

That takes us to this past Friday, when I got an email from someone living in Oregon. They had heard “Sail” on KBOO the night before, and they emailed the station to see who it was. I was flattered that they went to those lengths, and I was touched by their message.

But after checking the show schedule, I realized that “Sail” was played on Rose City Native Radio. I’m assuming the DJ checks SoundCloud to get song ideas, and they must’ve stumbled upon RPM’s repost.

Now, some might question why I’m making a big deal about this, but I can’t sit here and take up airtime meant for indigenous artists. I want the opportunity to spread my music as far as possible, but not by taking that opportunity from someone else.

I hope I’ve handled this properly. I’m always looking for feedback. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.