February 20th, 2014 Last Updated on: February 20th, 2014
Interview by Dr. Dawn Karima, Cultural Editor
Q) What do you want to make sure that we know about you?
A) I am Michael Eagle, a Full blooded Native American enrolled Eastern Shoshone from Wind River, Wyoming. Now, you know my bloodline, but my heart is out here in California, where i was raised with grandparents. My Pops was from out here in California and Gram came from Wyoming. I will always call California my first home. I love both side of my family from California to Wyoming. I do my best to stay respectful to both traditions. My dream is to see the world and maybe one day make my place in history with some kind of positive impact.
Q) You are always on the move! Music, Business Owner, Manager, Promoter! How does music fit into all that you do?
A} What does music mean to me? Music to me is a expression of feelings, emotions, and a maybe a time in a person's life they can express by using Music as a way to show it. So Music to me is expression of life. I manage and promote artists and I work with promoters to get my guys the gig.
Q) Tell us about your company? Your music production? Your label?
A} Odat is an empire covering, Art. Sports, Music, Entertainment, and Lifestyle. We are renowned, especially in the Native community, for our Music Promotion and Production. Further, we have expanded into other areeas. For example, Art consists of following and marketing tattoo artists, painters, models (OdatHim) as well as (OdatHer) Native American and non Native american concerns. A smile and the perfect setting to me is art.
In Sports Odat empire features MMA fight gear as our main branch now. Represented by amateur and pro fighters from California to New Mexico. We make sure our reps wear our OdatHim or OdatHer fight shorts, while in the cage and during any outside exposure. My partner Juan Ramos is my lead person who works close with the MMA side of things. Soon we hope to break out into other sports like surfing, BMX, MotoCross, Auto Racing. The sky is the limit to put the Odat Crown in all sports.
Q) Since your Shoshone heritage forms the foundation of your identity, how do those tribal values infiltrate your music and business?
A) O-DAT-Him (OdatHim) is a noun, that depicts an ideal man, who through integrity and creativity would rise above all the negativity and who will represent men in a legit way. O-DAT-Her (OdatHer) has the same meaning. Everyone just has to open up break out and express themselves a bit and can be a ideal OdatHim or OdatHer.
Musically, my moves into the music industry include Odat empire records. I have an array of artists that we work with as in assisting, in booking and promoting. Hip Hop Native and non Native musicians fill our roster, and of course, Powwow singers.
I host events and promote entertainment, including Djs and live music. When you hear the slogan, “its not a party unless its a Odat Party”, you know that our record setting events are part of a powerful lifestyle. Clothing lines for both OdatHim and OdatHer lifestyle can been seen everyday, not only in the sports world. They are classy, catchy and sexy for ladies, nice and smooth for the dudes.
Q)As a Native man, what are your goals for your own life? Who helped to shape your goals?
A)I want to be someone that can influence all Native American youth. I want to be a goal setter and a go-getter. Music is a focal point. It's my dream that i had about six years ago and I just never gave up on it. Since I was raised by my Gram, I know she is smiling down at me. She was a strong Native woman, who showed me how to be respectful and stressed the importance of education.
Q) What do you think the power of Native music truly is? Why do you believe Native hip hop music has become so popular? Why does our music reach so many Non-Natives?
A} A few years ago i had the Word champion hand drum group “North Bear” come out to California from Wyoming to sing at my little brother's funeral. We were talking the night before the services and I remember them telling me that Native singers sing from the heart. Their all goes into it. That why you can feel it from the beat of the drum. As for Native hip hop, i know that our artists will break out into the mainstream soon. I predict that there will one day be a Native on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine.
A} I am a person who can jam it all from the good old Hank Williams, Sr. to Rob Zombie,depending how i feel that day. Also, all this cannot be possible without all the support and help i have from my partners to my printers. I recognize everyone who has had a big part of the “rise of the empire” and I cant thank them enough.
Q) How can folks connect with you?
A) Like us on the Odat empire Facebook page as well on the Odat empire MMA fight gear page, and then on the www.odatempire.com site.
Dr. Dawn Karima dances Women's Southern Cloth and is the co-author of CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY READ, a book about multiculturalism and spirituality.
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