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What each member of Nahko and Medicine for the People are listening to right now

Nahko and Medicine for the People are a band with an undeniable energy. They output a nourishing brand of world music influenced heavily by Nahko’s mixed heritage; it’s chill, it’s wholesome, and it keeps audiences coming back for more.

Given the diversity of their musical pedigrees, we wanted to know a little more about what music these artists were into. Ahead of their next stop in Australia, we asked frontman Nahko plus Justin Chittams, Max Ribner, TJ Schaper, and Tim Snider from the band what they’ve been listening to lately.

nahko and medecine for the people Josué Rivas

Photo: Josué Rivas

As Nahko and Medicine for The People prepare for their Australian tour in April 2019, we found out which tunes the worldly ensemble are jamming on.

Nahko – Hawai’i ’78 by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

A song that is stuck in my head right now and have been listening to for the past two weeks is a song called Hawai’i ’78 written by Mickey Loane, but made famous by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole on his record Facing the Future. The song became an anthem in Hawai’i and has deep longing and sentiment to how things used to be.

It can be translated to a world view considering what colonisation and globalisation has done to the land and original peoples. Much has been lost, much remains forgotten, but within the music we find preservation.

Max Ribner – Universe By Roy Hargrove

Many songwriters go unnoticed in today’s world, including Roy Hargrove who wrote lines for D’angelo, Badu, John Mayer to name a few. Not only was he one of the most tasty horn players out there, he had incredible taste in writing songs like Universe, which has been on repeat in my home studio.

It’s a well needed message for today’s time: “the universe is moving right on time with us… so move on.” I see a day where music becomes the new source of information and media… derived from a place of love, encouraging balance, hope, inspiration, and sharing resources. This what I believe and so many others from the community of Medicine for the People. Good things coming…

TJ Schaper – The Chariot by The Cat Empire

I remember sitting on the bus on the way to middle school when I was living on Long Island, New York. I listened to this song almost every day, it was almost a compulsion/part of my daily ritual. This song still resonates with me as it was one of the first songs to get me excited about playing the horn.

I thought that it was so crazy that I could be in New York whilst listening to music all the way from Australia. I truly heard and still hear the musical messages that The Cat Empire say in this song. I would never have imagined that I would be traveling to/ touring Australia with the very trombone that I took all of those bus rides with.

Justin Chittams – Establishment Blues by Sixto Rodriguez

The first time I heard this song I felt it not as a song, but as a perfectly phrased sonnet that’s embodied Rodriguez feelings about the ’70s and ’80s. The message that Rodriguez inspires is not so different from the rallying songs that we’ve chanted and memorised through our times of struggle.

Hearing music this honest has profoundly changed the way I express myself through this art that we love so much.

Tim Snider – For Once In My Life by Stevie Wonder

Any time Stevie Wonder starts singing you can feel it all over! I love everything about this song but specifically classic arrangement. The way the strings and flutes intertwine and creative counterpart melodies. The way it builds and ends with kind of a bridge section.

But mostly just how the song makes me feel. Happy and full! I can listen to this song on repeat and it still makes me smile, which is rare.


Nahko & Medicine for the People tour Australia in April 2019. Check out the full run of dates below.

17 April 2019 – The Triffid, Brisbane
20 April 2019 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
21 April 2019 – 170 Russell, Melbourne

Also appearing at Byron Bay Bluesfest on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th April 2019.

Grab your tickets and further info here.



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November 20, 2018