The livestream event URGNT, founded by Mark Marczyk, is back with another amazing set of performances. This set of live streams are taking place throughout Toronto as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shows promote social distancing while supporting artists such as Digging Roots, who will be performing April 17th at 7pm ET.
Digging roots is a JUNO award-winning band from Toronto founded by partners Raven and Shoshona. The group uses traditional North American Anishinabek methods of creating music by writing “Song Lines” where the melodies and rhythms mimic the falls and rises of horizons in a landscape. This musical connection with the earth is a way for Digging Roots to incorporate traditional approaches to making music and to promote their Anishinabek culture. Their latest JUNO nomination is for the album, “For the Light” and they have recently released a new single called “AK-47” that tells of replacing the firearm with hope, love, and courage.
With all of their summer gigs canceled due to the pandemic, Raven and Shoshona decided to play for URGNT, and Raven notes that this is a great way to help artists with their finances while giving them a place to play. For Friday’s livestream, Digging Roots will be playing originals like “Stay” which is recorded on a ukulele, their new single “AK-47,” and “Tall Grass” paired with a mixture of newer and older songs, as well as covers.
“I actually feel this is a great opportunity for Canadian culture to lean on its artists because music is such a powerful tool. It fights negativity, oppression, and brings people together. It’s like spiritual food for some people, it’s like if you don’t have music you’re missing something from your life,” explains Raven.
Raven and Shoshona not only create beautiful music, but are making a global impact. Shoshona is the creator of the Indigenous Music Summit and founder of the We Are The Stronghold concert series. This is an important gathering that is raising awareness for the things that are taking place in Canada on Wet’suwet’en territory. Raven states that “I think that we can take this time and view it as an opportunity to make ourselves better human beings. I think that with the society that we’ve been living in, we’ve forgotten how important our family and community are. Now is the chance to think about that, and when things start to move back into a place of normality we can start bringing some of those thoughts and ideas back into our lives”
Learn more about digging roots on their website and tune in to the concert this Friday via the URGNT Facebook page and URGNT website. Upcoming sets for URGNT will include Hip Hop artist, Quincy Morales, Indie beatnik The Holy Gasp, stand-up comedian Elvira Kurt, JUNO Award-winning Indigenous blues duo, Digging Roots, vocal jazz artist Laila Biali, with more to be announced. Donate to their GoFundMe campaign here.
Photo: JUNO Award-winning Indigenous blues duo, Digging Roots, taken by Ratul Debnath