October 24th, 2013 Last Updated on: October 24th, 2013
Q) Always a pleasure! Thank you so much for collaborating with me on tracks that are on my CD, THE DESIRE OF NATIONS. I sure do appreciate you helping me to win that NAMMY! What're you into these days, my friend?
Thank you for including me in your project! It’s always an honor when other talented artists ask me to collaborate! Right now I’m working on my next solo album and getting ready to release a new project of unreleased songs I’ve recorded over my career called “From The Vault”, which will be released on November 19th.
Q) Well, set it off…tell us what you want us to know about you. What do you want us to know about you that we don't already know?
Well, my name is Gabriel Night Shield. I’m Father to a 7 year old daughter and a Hip Hop Performer. I live in Sioux Falls, SD, but am from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. I’m a 2x Native American Music Award Winner. Indian Summer Music Award Winner. One of Vibe Magazine’s Top 51 Unsigned Artists. I’ve released 5 solo albums, 1 group album and a total of 16 albums underneath my N.S.E. Record Label, that’s also home to Maniac: The Siouxpernatural & Danny Boy.
Q) What's your Native heritage?
I’m Lakota Sioux from The Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.
Q) We see lots of Native performers embracing Hip Hop. Why do you think that is?
Hip Hop was born from struggle and poverty and that’s something that I think a lot of Native Americans, especially from Reservations, can really identify with, that and the fact that Hip Hop dominates popular culture currently.
Q) There's a storytelling element in every Indigenous culture. Hip Hop seems to have a strong storytelling element as well. What kind of stories are you telling in your music?
I tell the stories of my everyday life. I pride myself in my writing and lyrical ability so my songs are basically my way of telling “My Story”. Everything I talk about is something that I’ve gone through and lived. Every album and song is a reflection of a different period of my life, whether it be a day of my life or a month or a relationship. I use my songs as a way to vent and get things off my chest. I guess we can use the old “Music is my therapy” saying here.
Q) You have so many hits! What are some of the songs that are your favorites? Why? What are some of the stories behind some of the songs that are most special to you? I have to admit, “Broken Dreams” is my all time favorite NSE track!
“Broken Dreams” is a great song! On my album “Sex, Drunks & Hip Hop”, I have a song called, “Who I Am”, which is very personal to me, the song details the downfall and eventual break up with my daughter’s mother. On the same album I have a song called “Hell Of A Life” that’s probably my most personal song ever. I wrote it when I’d literally hit rock bottom. On my album “The Hangover” I’d have to say my personal favorites are “Games” and the title track. For performances, “Drunken Madness”, “The Way We Do It”, “It’s On You” and “Sex, Drunks & Hip Hop” “All I Want To Do” are my favorite songs to do live, the crowd seems to really get into those ones!
Q) Awards and recognition have certainly followed your hard work! What are some of the awards you have enjoyed receiving?
I’ve won 2 Native American Music Awards, 1 for Best Hip Hop Album for my album, “Savage Display: The Total Package” and the other for Single Of The Year for my song “Broken Dreams” that was featured on my album “Loved & Hated”. I’ve also won an Indian Summer Music Award for Best Hip Hop song for “Who I Am” that was released on “Sex, Drunks & Hip Hop”. I think my favorite accolade though was being named one of Vibe Magazine’s Top 51 Unsigned Artists, that felt good because I had no prior knowledge about it and it literally came out of nowhere.
Q) How did you start in music? Does your career look like what you expected?
I started out in music as a DJ and decided to start a record label because I knew a lot of really talented people that I thought other people should here. That’s why I started N.S.E., I always had fun being involved in music and the love grew exponentially as I got more into the scene and eventually I started creating my own, people responded really well to it so I kept at it and then my solo career really started to take off and here we are! I never expected or set to become an artist, but I’m grateful for all it’s done for me.
Q) What is the most powerful lesson you have learned in your years of performing? What is the thing you wish you had known when you started out?
Creating music and performing music live are 2 completely different things. This is something I didn’t quite grasp at the start of my career, I try to bring a lot of energy to my live shows and perform songs with a lot of crowd participation so that way my shows are more of a party atmosphere than the traditional Hip Hop shows.
Main thing I would suggest is educate yourself in the business and perfect your craft. It’s also important to be able to take criticism. Finding out what your flaws are can make you work on them and turn them into strengths.
Your song, “Baby Girl” is beautiful! As a devoted father, what would you hope your daughter would learn from your example? What is the most surprising lesson you've learned by being a Father?
I hope she would reach for her goals and not let anything hold her back. She’s smart and is already showing a lot of artistic tendencies so I’m excited to see what her future brings. She teaches me new things everyday as far as growing as an adult and the process of raising a young woman has been very educational for me.
Q) Congratulations on your new CD!!! Where can we purchase your music? Where can we connect with you?
Thank You! The new project is called “From The Vault” and is a collection of songs that I’ve recorded from as far back as 2002 up until the present day that have either been previously unreleased or collaborations I’ve done for other people’s projects. You can get pick it up on iTunes and most National Digital Distributers on November 19th. You can find me at NightShizzle.com and on Facebook at Facebook.com/NightShield.
Q) It's fun to watch your live shows! What should we expect from a live NSE show? What's your favorite part of performing for your fans?
I think people should just be ready to dance and have a good time. My favorite thing about performing is getting the crowd into it and having everyone rocking with you. The vibe in the room and the feeling is incredible! It is definitely a natural high!
Q) Who are some of the artists who inspired you in your music? Do you hope to inspire anyone through your music? If so, who?
Well my favorite artist of all time is Krayzie Bone. I think if we did a track together that it’d be crazy, pardon the pun! I always hope to inspire everyone with my music, hopefully someone has heard my music from the rez and saw that I came up from the same environment as them and saw that if I could do it, so could they. No limits!
Q) If you had to put only one song into a time capsule to send into the next century, which one would it be? Why? What do you think the future would think of it and learn about you?
I think “Broken Dreams” would be perfect for that. I think that song’s a good representation and blend of everything that a modern Native American is going through. From the struggles on the rez and the hypocrisy of our government and the clash between modern society and more traditional Native American ways with both the Hip Hop aspect blended with the beautiful vocals from Ms. Jackie Bird.
Q) What's next for you? For your music?
Well I’m releasing this “From The Vault” project in a few weeks and then I’ll be back to focusing on my next solo album, “SDHH3: The Addiction” and that will be released sometime in the 1st half of 2014. I plan on doing some heavy touring once that drops. Plus we got Maniac: The Siouxpernatural’s new album, “Nightmares & Dreamscapes” getting ready for release also.
Q) How many things that you dreamed about have come true in your life? What do you hope will still come to pass?
I honestly never dreamed anything that’s happened in my life so far ever would. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the success that I’ve had and I appreciate everyone that has had a hand in my success. As far as what the future holds, who knows, I just hope that folks will continue to enjoy my music as long as I do it.
Thanks for being my friend! Can't wait for your new music!
Thank YOU Dawn! I appreciate the support!!
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