On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Frank Waln releases his newest video ‘Good Way’ ft. Gunner Jules & Rollie Raps. “Good Way represents the side of Indigenous boys and men that doesn’t often get portrayed in the media. We are often portrayed as bloodthirsty savages that rarely smile and exhibit no emotion.” ~Frank Waln
Frank had this to say about ‘Good Way’, “Indigenous people are often portrayed as less than human in western media. Good Way is about us, as Lakota men, laughing, smiling and enjoying life together, being human beings. Gunner and Rollie come from the same reservation I do (Rosebud Reservation) and I’ve known them for over 23 years. We’ve struggled, healed and grown in our own paths together but music was always the thing that brought us back together as a community.
The song is about some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way and the video is a portrayal of the joyful, hopeful place those lessons have helped us reach. We wrote and recorded the song in my (Frank’s) home studio in Chicago. We came together with our fellow Indigenous brother Tomas Karmelo who is a Chicago based filmmaker to film the video in the land that brought us all together as inter-tribal artists.
Everything about this project from the music production/audio engineering, to the directing/filming/editing of the video is completely Indigenous made. What that means is there is no colonial filter. What you are seeing is a truly Indigenous representation of how Indigenous men see ourselves. We are human beings. Tomas Karmelo helped bring these ideas and messages to life in ways that are more visually stunning than I ever could’ve imagined. This is a positive portrayal of healthy, Indigenous masculinity.”
Director Tomas Karmelo’s comments:
“Coming from a poetry background, I describe my style as moving my camera as I would my pen. In the video “Good Way” I looked to honor my Native brothers by creating images that show their strength through slower and softer movement. There is a power in our gentleness that the world sometimes does not see or acknowledge. We especially hope to show the youth in our communities that happiness and love are also traits of warriors.
While Frank lives in a big city far from his homelands in South Dakota, he finds peace and comfort in nature, his spiritual items, music and in his brotherhood with Gunner and Rollie. The presence of water is calming and represents the soothing embrace of our first medicine from our mother’s womb.”
Tomás Karmelo Amaya is Yaqui (Yoeme), Zuni (A:shiwi), and Tarahumara (Rarámuri). He is a photographer, filmmaker, multimedia artist and writer born and raised in Phoenix, AZ who currently resides in Chicago, IL. When he was 7 years old he wrote a poem that describes the passing of his grandmother as the graceful descent of an eagle’s feather. This early expression would become the foundation to a lifelong journey of honoring all forms of life through written, verbal, sonic, and visual poetry. He continues to explore the concept of taking a poet’s and writer’s perspective to honor people and spaces, describing his style as “moving my camera as I would my pen.”
His clients include The Sundance Institute, Northwestern University, The Fader, Pacific Standard Magazine, BBC News, among several others
Frank Waln is an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist and music producer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Frank Waln started playing piano at age 7 and started writing, producing and recording music as a teenager. A recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, he attended Columbia College Chicago where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. Waln’s awards include three Native American Music Awards, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, the 2014 Chicago Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement, and the 2015 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists. He has been featured in The Fader, Vibe, NPR, Paper Magazine, ESPN, and MTV’s Rebel Music Native America. Frank Waln travels the world telling his story through performance, speaking and doing workshops focusing on self-determination and expression of truth.