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Carsen Gray Combines Traditional Indigenous Styles On The Energetic “Illuminate”

The new video makes British Columbia’s forests look like a mystical nightclub.

by Devin Pacholik
Sep 25 2018, 1:15pm

Photo courtesy of the artist

A lot of people think EDM stands for electronic dance music, but in fact, in the right hands, it means electronic dance magic. It involves bass, synths and soaring voices that teleport you to another plane of existence. Carsen Gray’s latest video for “Illuminate” is pure electronic dance magic. It’s a refreshing throwback to the pulsing, fun sounds of artists like David Guetta and Justice circa 2009. Produced by Red Rockerz, Grey’s inspiring chorus weaves traditional song with bodyrocking bass. This song better win awards. The video, directed and produced by Stuey Kubrick, shows the Haida singer from Skidegate decked out in glowing body paint set in a luscious landscape. The Indigenous Music Award-winning artist sings, “Will the fire inside you to rise from the ash.”

Carsen Gray wrote to Noisey about the song, saying, “It’s easy enough to be happy when everything in life is going good but when darkness comes for you are you going to face it with that same energy? Anger and sadness are inevitable during hard times but don’t let it take over you. Don’t ever let negative emotions lead you down a darker path. Allow the challenges presented to you in life make you stronger.” Watch the new video for “Illuminate” above.

Devin Pacholik is a writer from Saskatchewan.