Nahko & Medicine for the People- ‘A Call to Action’

Nahko & Medicine for the People- ‘A Call to Action’

Nahko (Nahkohe Parayno) was born in Oregon under some difficult circumstances but fortunately adopted by a loving family while he was still a baby. He struggled early on with identity issues, being a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino cultures, but music gave him an outlet for that pain. Early piano lessons and singing at church showed that he had real natural talents. When he was older, a music gig in Alaska helped show him there was a whole big world outside of Oregon and he started really learning what he wanted to do with his music.

After traveling around the world for a bit, and gaining a little more musical experience, Nahko formed the five member group Nahko and Medicine for the People in 2008. Their most recent album, HOKA , was released just last year.

“Hoka is a Lakota word, an indigenous tribe from the Great Plains, it is a call to action. It's what Crazy Horse would say when he went into battle, ‘Hoka, hey!' My call is to put action to the words that I speak and the lyrics I sing. Not just to talk, but to do,” says Oregon-born singer/songwriter Nahko, who is of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache), and Filipino descent.

“This is the soundtrack of the movement for a better planet,” he continues. “I want to challenge myself and others to make a change.” “Hoka,” which is the intro to the first track, “Directions,” is one of the album's many song intros used as a way to round out the storytelling on the tracks. “On this intro, my uncles are chanting the lyrics to ‘Directions' in Lakota, and the three female voices include a clairvoyant, an astrologer, and a friend who all had important messages for me that are a big part of my story,” he explains.

His music really speaks to his fans and most of their concerts sell-out. This lucky pow wow crowd at Gathering of Nations was able to enjoy a performance by Nahko and Medicine for the People this past year.

Watch below!

You can currently catch them on the Good Vibes Summer Tour 2017 with Rebelution, Collie Buddz, Hirie & DJ Mackle

For more information on the tour and to listen to their most recent music, check out

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Paul G

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

One Comment “Nahko & Medicine for the People- ‘A Call to Action’”

  • Avatar for Tabatha Combs

    Tabatha Combs


    Awesome Article! Nahko has a large task in front of him that he just seems to be natural for. I am sure with the love and support of his Elders and Family things will happen. I believe in the good things coming!

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