Kristi Lane Sinclair chats on her cellphone as she drives her dog to the park to enjoy an afternoon run.
Her American bull dog/lab cross gets play time before she can get down to work, the 34-year-old musician says on the call from Toronto.
Sinclair is a Haida/Cree singer-songwriter who was raised in Prince Rupert BC, before she left to pursue her musical education.
“I moved to Vancouver at 17 to go to music college, I majored in classical guitar and composition,” she says.
Her first show was in Gastown’s Purple Onion. I was really, really nervous,” she says. “I had incredible stage fright – it was crazy. Then when I got off stage I had to go right home, I had stomach pains so bad. That goes away eventually, luckily that goes away.”
Her latest full-length album Dark Matter was released a year ago. A brand new EP will be released this summer and a six-part TV series about her musical journey premieres May 10 on APTN.
Part of what’s helped move her career forward is her dedication to helping other Indigenous musicians. Six years ago she organized the Red Ride Tour, a collective of Aboriginal musicians showcasing their diverse talents across the country.
“It started six years ago when I got a grant from the First People’s Cultural Council,” she says. “I had just released my first CD and they gave me a bit of money to tour, so I asked a friend to go with me to be two acts.” From there, the concept grew organically as she contacted other Indigenous musicians she knew along the route.
“There was no end-goal, no long game,” she says. “Everyone had so much fun doing it, the next year everyone wanted to do it again.”
Over the next few years, the Red Ride Tour ramped up adding more acts and covering more territory.
This is the first year the tour comes to Victoria and Sinclair is excited about it. “I’ve always wanted to go to Victoria – this has been a long time coming.”
The concert is scheduled for May 21 at the Victoria Event Centre. Accompanying Sinclair will be Ostwelve, Enter-Tribal and Paint The Town Red.
“Ron Dean Harris, Ostwelve, is an old friend of mine. He does spoken word, hip hop, every time he comes out he blows my mind. He’s the most hilarious person I ever met – he’s super badass,” she says.
Enter-Tribal is a unique duo that fuses traditional Haudenosaunee sounds with modern Hip Hop beats. Paint The Town Red is a Vancouver Island-based hip hop group forged by Brian Sampson aka YellowWolf (MC), Tommy Paul aka Barndawg (MC), Addie Elliott (Singer/Vocalist) and Serj Dirassoyan aka DJ Goadman (DJ). Their first EP, The Grand Entry, will be released in 2016.