Pine Ridge Singer / Songwriter Wanbli Ceya (juQ) Nominated for “Debut Artist of the Year”

Pine Ridge – Singer / songwriter Wanbli Ceya (juQ) has been nominated Native American Music Awards for both “Best Pop Recording” & “Debut Artist of the Year.

LRInspire recently spoke with Wanbli about his music, background and his future plans

Tell us about yourself?

I’m Wanbli Ceya, as an artist I go by juQ. I’m an Oglala Lakota singer / songwriter based on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I also am a cultural advocate, working avidly and speak on behalf of my experiences of Lakota way and as a Lakota man to influence the youth & my community to pursue the culture, language, sobriety, etc. and hope to expand my influence to all indigenous communities.

juQ performing at Lakota Graffiti Jam. Photo from Facebook

Tell us a little about your music?

The music I make is essentially Contemporary pop with Lakota identity, language, topics, incorporated but I do Round Dance songs in the language as well. I essentially wanted to convey my personal experiences as a Lakota man with native women, our culture, society as is, the Rez. It’s something for me, my people but also for indigenous communities to get the same feeling and for non natives to recognize.. We are a thing, our situation is so unique, distinct and we have our own story to tell.

What’s your goals/future plans?

I’m.very different to say the least. My goal is to be able to do music full time of course but I’m in the process of launching many things I believe could change everything in my community including the launch of “mní”, a Lakota immersion tipi village where every protocol, the language, various practices would be brought back to life and serve to be a major part in cultural revitalization amongst the Lakota Nation and hopefully inspire other indigenous nations to take similar actions everywhere. My reasoning is for that I genuinely want Lakota way amongst my people, and I’d do anything to see them much like our ancestors. So this and music and the possibilities are endless in the realm I’m working towards and I’m very excited to pursue it all!

To vote in the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards go here

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