Home is a concept that rings differently in the ears of every individual. Having something, somewhere, and someone to come home to is a blessing Oranj Goodman doesn’t take for granted. Raised in Seattle and presently writing music between Washington state and New York, Goodman finds bliss in the connection and closeness of community. “Strong love for my friends and loved ones, my music and my culture brought me back to the misty Pacific Northwest,” he told Noisey about filming his new “Mineral” music video.
Goodman—whose bloodline is Lakota and Irish—grew up near where he returned to film the music video. Back at home in Washington, he found a tranquil, undisturbed set within nature. For Goodman, incorporating pieces of his Native American culture and working with a fully Indigenous cast was a sacred and important piece of the “Mineral” video shoot.
The collaborators on the video—Mitchell Carrington Jr., Nabahe Benally, and Seven Benally—all shared an attachment to the idea of portraying Native individualism and identity on screen.
“It is surreal to depict the effects of government policies like relocation and boarding school on Indigenous peoples, through our eyes, without being heavy-handed, or phony,” Nabahe Benally told Noisey. “‘Mineral’ invites outsiders on a front seat excursion with the [children and grandchildren] of America's forced assimilated Indigenous people that soar against all odds, creating beauty out of darkness and thriving like the warriors we are.”
The cast saw the “Mineral” video as a way to invite people to better understand Indigenous peoples’ experiences. “Now, with shows like Reservation Dogs and Indigenous representation from Native content creators [on social media], Native people have finally created a platform for us to enlighten folks on who we are as well as important issues Natives face in their communities,” Goodman shared. For readers interested in the art and stories of Native creators today, he suggests following James Jones, PJ Vegas, Shina Nova and Tia Wood.
Oranj Goodman believes in the power of listening while creating, and honesty and curiosity power the orbit of his artistry. “Mineral” sets the tone for a momentous and sincere album to come from Goodman later this year.