December 1st, 1999


by Alex Teitz

Indigenous is the name of a Native American Blues/Rock group consisting of four siblings: Mato Nanji on lead vocals and guitar, Wanbdi on drums, Pte on bass, and Horse percussion and congas. All four are Nakota Nation Native Americans from South Dakota. These four have opened for such blues greats as B.B. King and Johnny Lang. The group recently won three Native American Music Awards including Best Group.

In a hastily arranged interview, FEMMUSIC spoke with Pte backstage before a show in November. Due to the circumstances of the interview, it has been heavily edited. For more information visit:


FEMMUSIC: As a Native American Band with a woman in the group, have you faced discrimination both as Native Americans as well as with having a woman in the group?

Pte: Well we dealt with that all our lives because of the color of our skins which is wrong. I believe that women have a lot more style than guys when it comes to playing music. Guys are always putting themselves above women which is wrong. Women are the ones who create a lot of things in guys lives.

FEMMUSIC: Indigenous is up for more than one Native American Music Award. What awards are you up for?

Pte: I can’t really tell you right now because I don’t know. Indigenous is there to do one thing and that is to play music. When it came down to winning awards and something like that we didn’t feel like it was something we deserved. We’re out here playing music. It’s not about awards or anything.

FEMMUSIC: Speaking of experiences, what has been your best show on this tour so far?

Pte: Every show. Every show has been my favorite show. With Indigenous it’s all about playing the music. It was never what we looked like or where we came from, it was about what we were doing right, then and there. Every show we played at I had fun at because it was music or not.

FEMMUSIC: Who have been your (Indigenous’) greatest mentors when you began with this?

Pte: It was more less life that we looked at. Our dad always told us, “If you’re going to do what you love to do, keep going , but if you don’t love what you’re doing then don’t do it. It was as simple as that. Whenever I got into music I was like, “I don’t want to do this. I want to hang out with my friends.” I was like eleven years old when I started the music. Eleven years old is young. Whenever we did our first recording, I was about twelve, I said, “This is it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Posted in Interviews Tagged with:

December 1st, 1999

By Alex Teitz

Of all the places to hold a benefit the Buell Theater doesn’t immediately come to mind. This is a 5000 seat house designed for the touring productions of Tony winning shows and the overpriced tickets that accompany them. At the beginning of November it was transformed.

Gone were the pretenses of class or race, or in some cases, politeness. Instead the Theater was coming alive that night for two great performances: Nina Storey, and Indigenous.

The Theater was still barely filling when Nina Storey and her band took to the stage. Storey continues the Shades tour, and her set was filled with songs from that CD. Nina Storey was dressed in black and sang as passionately that night, as FEMMUSIC knows she did, opening for Johnny Lang’s US Tour.

Storey is a blues singer of the highest caliber. Her band is tight, and they work with each other in a synchronist motion. Storey’s songs included “Let Us Walk”, “If I Were An Angel”, “Crown”, and “If I Met A Man.” Storey’s voice echoed in the cavernous space of Buell even to the end of her set. The space was both intimate, and too large.

Now rumor has it there was a second band that night. FEMMUSIC does not agree. Lewis and Floorwax, two local deejays, think they can play instruments. They’ve found a group of experienced musicians who want to perpetuate this fantasy with them. They call themselves the Groove Hawgs, and play covers of blues standards. The best thing to be said is that with the exception of Lewis and Floorwax the talent of one Groove Hawg can drive a band by itself. The realistic thing to be said is that Lewis and Floorwax drive the Groove Hawgs off a steep cliff by not knowing if they want to be deejays, musicians, or comedians. So far they have proven themselves bad at all three. That night was no exception.

The headliner that night was Indigenous. Indigenous is a group of four Nakota siblings from South Dakota. Indigenous has played blues with the likes of B.B. King, Johnny Lang and others. Read our short interview with Nte. Friday November 5, the night FEMMUSIC saw them, was the same weekend they won three awards at the Native American Music Awards.

Indigenous plays blues incorporating strong lead guitars, and bass with blues, rock and rockabilly. Where Nina Storey’s voice echoed in Theater, Indigenous overpowered it. The levels seemed set for an outdoor event, not an intimate benefit.

The music is strong, and well done. For being as relatively young as they are, Indigenous plays hard. Keep an eye out for this group. Much more is on the way.

For more information visit

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