Classic Roots, a Toronto-based music producer and performer, will be kicking off the environmental film festival EarthxFilm today with EarthxDance, a live-streamed DJ set highlighting the intersection of urban and indigenous cultures.
The virtual performance, which starts at 6pm EST, will begin with a screening of the documentary short, Turning Tables, about Classic Roots’ music and influence.
The Thunder Bay native is an award-winning producer and DJ who developed his original sound through integration of traditional Anishinaabe drumming and singing with house and techno music, to establish “a sense of cultural freedom that echoes throughout the electronic music scene”.
In his hometown, Classic Roots, real name Joshua DePerry, is known in the Anishinaabe community as a colourful “fancy dancer” who impressively integrates contemporary dance moves at traditional pow wows.
A force for change, Classic Roots has also been prolific in encouraging creativity and a greater sense of self-confidence in the youth in First Nations communities. He has delivered workshops through MikwChiyâm, which is a programme that emphasises skill-sharing to empower youth through mentoring and support, to reinforce a sense of cultural pride and encourage self-expression.
While he is deeply rooted in his identity and his community, he is ready to soar to new heights as an artist. He dreams of taking off to Berlin, the techno capital of the world, and prepares to take his career as an educator and entertainer to the next level.
Chrisann Hessing, Director of Turning Tables, said: “Negative depictions in the media surround Indigenous people, especially the youth. Now, more than ever, there is a desperate need for coverage of stories of resilience, strength and hope. Joshua’s story is exemplary in that he has proven through his musical career, ambitions, and simply through his existence, that it is possible to come out of a place of limited opportunity and create a successful and fulfilling life.”
EarthxDance will also feature performances from N’Dambi and other artists.
EarthxFilm, which runs from 22-27 April, takes place from 2-10 pm ET daily. The environmental film festival offers 36 features and shorts online as well as Q&As with film directors, and youth film programming.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com