There’s an ease assumed when one hears the term “Indie.” As if an Indie artist might exist out of the scope of high production value, intentional marketing, or relevancy. Sometimes, simply put, they are assumed to exist in a vacuum. With the recent release of Sonshine, by Swoope, Native North has set out to directly challenge these notions. Native North, a collective of artists, creative managers and visionaries, recently released their first album. Sonshine was completely creatively driven by a dedicated team of six. It’s recent release was received extremely favourably, but still only marks the beginning for an organization such as NN.
The uniquely different set up of this label, is the intimacy between the artists and the ones who support the artists. In many ways, there is no indication as to whose input on a matter is more relevant. Their round-table discussions and collaborative outlooks seem to center their need for one another, for community and a collective vision. To “bet the bag on themselves” is to fully invest their energy, as they would in any other well established artist, into themselves. As risky as it may have been to mix friendships, finances, and time into a two-year long project such as Sonshine, Native North’s commitment to one another is the impetus for their keen sense of creative and marketing direction, and more broadly, their taste for excellence.
An organization like Native North lends its hope to future tastemakers that might not believe they’re capable of achieving much without outside validation. And while validation, whether we like it or not, does matter to artists, it is not our fuel. In order to fuel our ideas, they must be inherit pieces of validation themselves. What we think we can achieve, the outlandish alternate realities we dream of, must somehow be possible to us. And with that possibility, fuel us to nurture the tasks we’re presently holding. Native North gave up a lump sum, both in time and finances to see this idea through. Lauren said, “there is no losing.” Whether they succeed or fail, they are stretched in the process, and despite the difficulties, that is often priceless.
Each member is unified under the umbrella that the work they will do for each other, should be just as impactful as the work they’d do for another. In other words, investing as much in their work, as they would any other commissioned work. From a producer and sound engineer, to a marketing agent, a graphic designer and web coder, Native North merges their precise and high creative gifting, with a call to serve one another in true community and for the greater good of good art. Although Native North may still be in its infancy, in a time where Indie artists can win Grammys, so much is possible for this team. No one owns them, so the possibilities are limitless. ©
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