On the American side of the Border with Canada a stones throw away from Niagara Falls in the Seneca Casino and Hotel complex, Native American and Canadian artists celebrated the best of their culture, music and vibe at the 14th NAMA (Native American Music Awards). They were joined by Chinese Star Ayi Jihu, herself a Yi Native, to pay tribute and award those from their community who had shone most brightly in 2012.
Like many of you reading this, we had no idea the native American Indian community even had an award ceremony. We were oblivious to the Native American music scene and we had no idea what to expect. What we discovered was a vibrant Native American music community and scene and it has amazing artists who would top any chart in RnB, Hip Hop, pop, blues, soul as well as its own distinct music and identity.
Having been to quite a few award ceremonies around the world, the first thing that struck me about the NAMA’s was the people that attended it. The moment you walk into the building you are aware that you are surrounded by characters, personalities, talent and passion. There was not a tux in site. Everywhere you looked people were saying something with what they were wearing, the diversity in the way people dressed gives you a clue to the distinctiveness in the style and music of the event itself. You will see everything from Traditional native regalia to ‘blinged out’ street style and all in between and for some reason which we could not quite figure out, it just works. It’s beyond just being cool, it’s interesting and for the most part very real.
Ayi Jihu was styled by Top Native designer Angela DeMontigny. She is no stranger to this event and has dressed many of the native community’s biggest stars. It is her relationship with Chinese star Ayi Jihu however that is finally getting her the recognition she deserves and the dress she designed and styled Ayi Jihu in was definitely a show stopper.
The rich diversity and style at the NAMAs was evident everywhere and gave us a hint of what was to come on stage.
Ayi Jihu and Angela DeMontigny were presenting an Award together with Native Star Terri Lynn. Terri Lynn who is also styled by Angela DeMontigny looked stunning in her designs on and off stage. She was nominated in several categories.
Terri Lynn with her husband prominent native artist, Robert Davidson
The NAMA’s showcased many genres of Native American music from the traditional to the new. Artists like Jana Mashonee who performed with rapper ‘The Boy Illinois’ represent the pop side of the Native American music scene. She has won several awards in the past.
The traditional artists and music at the NAMA’s also makes this event a little different. The Native American Music community has some amazing vocalist and performers.
The grooves and melodies from Native American Music seem to have many elements that we hear in popular music today. The use of the drum is also very similar to how drums are used in African culture and music as well as Asian Music and culture.
Thrown up in between the traditional and the new are artists like Indian Elvis.
We had access to all areas at the NAMA’s and found the spirit and friendliness of the Artist, organizers and fans beyond anything we had experienced before. It made us wonder why the Native American Music community has remained such a secret. The talent in their ranks is comparable to much we have now also.
Native Legends like Russell Means star of oscar winning movies like ‘Last of the Mohicans’ (Who sadly passed away) where honoured at the event. The wife of Russell Means picked up his award.
Ayi Jihu met with many of the award winning Native artists at the NAMA’s.
Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan who has performed with several major well known stars on their videos and was introduced to the world by Nelly Furtado won who won the Artist of the year award, was an example of the talent, dignity and humility of many of the Native American artist we saw on the night.
Watching Ayi Jihu alongside Native Fashion Designer and Haida star Terri Lynn present at the NAMA’s was a nice bit of history, but to us it was also a clue as to why the Native American music scene has not perhaps realised it full potential as yet. Artist like Nelly Furtado are far and few between, when you see just how much talent there is within the Native American community you realize that getting themselves out there in the right light (for them) is perhaps their hardest battle.
We spoke to Ayi Jihu after she award ceremony and asked her how she felt about being the first Chinese artist to do what she did and what she felt about the NAMAs?
“Firstly I want to thank Terri Lynn and then the NAMA’s for inviting me here and making me feel so welcome and at home. I also want to say a big thank you to Angela DeMontigny who not only styled myself and Terri Lynn but who also made this whole thing happen. I feel privileged to be here. I feel a great responsibility to represent my people well and I see the same thing here among the Native American music community. I was not on stage for very long and I did not say very much, but I was aware of the significance of everything and just hope that my presence here will turn a few eyes towards the Native American community in a positive way as well as help people all over the world see that we are all in fact just one people. Sounds like big words but it is so true.
Everyone I met here was so interesting and kind. I did not feel like an outsider or someone who was here for the first time. I felt very much at home. There are many things my people [Yi People of China] have in common with the Native American community, from our love of music to the strong connection we have with our culture, history, traditions and our land. It’s a shame that these types of events are not broadcast to the kids of the world so they can see there is more than one way of being, more than one way vision of how things can be.
I hope the Native American Music community will invite me again and others like me to participate in their celebrations so that the world begins to take notice of all they have to bring to the table. I have seen some truly amazing artist tonight, singers, dancers musicians and comedians. They are so very talented these people.
I had a great time, learnt a lot and I have been inspired by much I saw and experienced. There is a great passion within the Native American music community. Nothing seems to be done just for the sake of it or just to sell stuff. There is a meaning and a reason behind every word and action when they perform and sing. I love this.”
For more information about Ayi Jihu visit her website www.Ayijihu.com
You can find out more about Top Native Fashion designer and stylist Angela DeMontigny by visiting her website www.AngelaDemontigny.com
Find out more about Haida Native singer Terri Lynn here
Discover more about the Native American Music scene and the NAMA’s here
Multi – Platinum Mega Producer Carlos C-Los Beats Stephens to produce Chinese Star Ayi Jihu on her new Fear Chaser film sound track and album.
After the No Limit army had risen to enormous heights and then just as suddenly found itself in need of reorganization at the end of the ’90s,Master P proceeded to dismiss the ranks of his prolific production team,Beats by the Pound, with the sole exception of Carlos Stephens. Since first collaborating with Master P on his 1996 Ice Cream Man album, and also producing beats for future No Limit soldiers Kane & Abel and Skull Dugrey circa 1996, Stephens quickly found himself a member of the Beats by the Pound production squad, also including Mo B. Dickand KLC. This was just the beginning for Carlos Stephens who has sold over 75 Million records worldwide.
Carlos Stephens Joins other Big Name producers like Paul Wiltshire working on Chinese Star Ayi Jihu’s brand new Album for 2013.
Global News Spoke briefly to Carlos Stephens by phone and asked him how he felt about working with Ayi Jihu?
“I’m Looking forward to it really. She is very talented and what we are going to be doing goes even beyond her album as we shall be working on the her Film ‘Fear Chaser’ Too. She is quite unique in her feeling and understanding of Black urban culture and R&B coming from China I have never quite come across anyone like her. It’s very exciting, and when you have done as many things as I have done in this game finding things to be excited about is not easy.”
Carlos Stephens will be working with Stevie Eagle E on both Ayi’s album and the Fear Chaser film. Shlepp Entertainment Ltd are working with GoConnect in Australia and Germany on Ayi’s first single release for 2013 which will lead up to the Album later in 2013.
Ayi Jihu told is she is more than a little nervous at working with the Carlos Stephens. “He has worked with everybody done so much, from Master P to Snoop Dogg. I have been blessed that from day one I have only worked with the best, Stevie Eagle E, Paul Wiltshire, and now Carlos Stephens. All I can say is I am really excited and humbled and just want to do my best for everyone. There are a lot of people believing in me and I feel a great responsibility. I am going to keep working hard. 2013 looks like being a good year for me.”
After years of work trailblazing the way independently Ayi Jihu now seems destined for greatness with her Fear Chaser alto ego and Brand taking of simultaneously with her own musical career. Ayi Jihu’s Fear Chaser game has already been played by over 25 million kids worldwide on Adventure Quest worlds. Rumour has it a stand alone console game is being planned in conjunction with the Fear Chaser film.
Global News will keep you up to date with developments on this story
Ground Breaking Chinese Star Ayi Jihu
Chinese Star Ayi Jihu stepped out in London to the ‘As Blue As The Sky’ private movie event at Mango Lounge in Earls Court. Ayi Jihu has a small part in this British Romantic Drama and this was her first real meeting with the Director and some of the producers of the film since finding out she was going to be in the film.
Ayi was accompanied by Shlepp CEO Stevie Eagle E.
Ayi Jihu got to meet some to the producers involved in the film ‘As Blue As the Sky’ Like James Daley. The Main producer of the Film Frederick Archer was not able to attend the event.
Ayi spent much of her time meeting and greeting various investors involved in the film. All of them seemingly eager to embrace the Chinese interest Ayi Jihu brings to the film.
For The Director of the Film Wayne Campbell this was not his first time meeting Ayi Jihu. He directed her the first music video she was ever in almost 5 years ago at Shlepp Records in London. He recommended Ayi for this role in ‘As Blue As The Sky’ Wayne Campbell told us: ‘It is amazing to see the rise of Ayi Jihu since I first met her almost 5 years ago. She was just an extra in a music video I was shooting for Shlepp Entertainment and we all could not take our eyes of her in the editing suite. It was obvious she stole the show on the video then and we actually went back and shot more of the video around her. Like many people I have been keeping my eye on her progress over the years and it has been a while since she has been back in the UK as she always seems to be in some exotic location around the globe. When we looked at Casting for this movie we knew right away we needed every edge we can get being an independent film. Ayi is not only perfect for the part but she brings a lot of interest and eyes from all over the world and hopefully that will put a few more bums on seats. If her first video is anything to go by we can expect her first big screen experience to to really go of the chain. She has a way of doing that to the things she touches. We are all excited about having her on board.
Ayi Jihu broke out in her custom raw laugh when Director Wayne Campbell tried to explain her role in the movie. Apparantly whatever it is she will not be wearing much we have been told.
Global News have also been told at least one Ayi song will be included in the film Soundtrack.
As Blue As The Sky is a Romantic Drama set in Dorset UK. The movie is supposed to be a real tear jerker. Based on a true story It explores the the scenario of losing and find love from a slightly different perspective. The film is slated to break ground on production early 2013.
Ayi Jihu has a busy 2013 lined up with her new album and several other film projects including Fear Chaser starting to break ground also.
TOP NATIVE DESIGNER AND STYLIST ANGELA DEMONTIGNY LAUNCHES YOUNG NATIVE FASHION LINE WITH CHINESE STAR AYI JIHU
‘Young Native’ (@YoungNativStyle) a new fashion line from Designer Angela DeMontigny.
Maverick Native Designer and stylist Angela DeMontigny today launched her new Fashion line ‘Young Native‘ to the world in some style. We have been expecting a new young and fresh line from Angela (@womanofdesign) for some time now, but what we did not expect was the collaboration with Chinese Star Ayi Jihu.
“Live Free, Love Free” That is the motto of the ‘Young Native‘ brand designed by top Native Designer, Angela DeMontigny. This new line which has a refined ‘street’ vibe to it, is for the young, free spirited and confident 18 – 35 year old woman who wants to be sexy, classy and real but also connected with the natural and cultural elements of life. Working with Ayi Jihu to create that vibe was a shrewd move by Angela DeMontigny. Ayi Jihu is an artist, philanthropist and celebrity known for being independent and real. She is also a Native born Chinese girl, from the Yi Minority in Sichuan Province of China. She is about as native as you are gonna get coming from China and she represents a new breed of international women hungry for their place in the new world.
Angela DeMontigny worked closely with Chinese Star Ayi Jihu when creating the collection. After developing the costume for Ayi Jihu’s Fear Chaser character that is being crafted into a movie, comic book and animation, Angela and Ayi became not only close friends but colleagues. Ayi Jihu is now hard at work on her new Album set for release in 2013 as well as getting ready for her first proper Film Role in British Romantic Drama As Blue As The Sky which is set to start filming in October with a strong British cast. Angela DeMontigny is styling Ayi for her part in the film and the two have been working very hard to get everything finalized.
Working on the Young Native Fashion Line with Angela was the most fun. She really does it all and I just kinda give my opinion on what I like and what I think will go down. The whole style of the range and what it stands for suits me perfectly. I love the Tee Shirts they are so cool and each one of them stands for something. They are cultural, natural, colourful and well made, but they are also cool, street and fashionable, not as easy as you would think to achieve. When I am wearing Young Native clothes I just get so many compliments from women, which is different from just getting men looking. Just walking down the street you get people coming up to you asking, where did you get that, It’s great! Most of all it’s about how things make you feel and I feel real, sexy and even more confident when I wear the right things and Young Native gives me those feelings.
I’m really proud of what we have come up with here and I know it will go down with women all over the world. I am overjoyed to be the Ambassador for the product and feel I played a little part in how this new line is being presented. Angela is a fantastic, original designer, she is the first of her kind to really break out into high fashion. She and I are both going where no one has quite gone before and we have a kind of sister relationship. She has designed the new Fear Chaser costume (which is fantastic) and she is also designing and styling me for my live shows, videos as well as the film I am going to be working in this year. So we are just having a good time, working hard and doing good business too. I know she works closely with My management, Record and Production company Shlepp Entertainment and they had a lot to do with helping her develop the marketing and images and direction for Young Native. They are also helping her establish the brand in China so it’s very much a team effort all of this. I know everyone will love it as much as I do.
It was a natural progression for Angela, after becoming Ayi Jihu’s personal stylist and designer to craft a collection she has been planning for several years and use Ayi Jihu as a muse for her designs.
The result is the beautifull and vibrant Young Native Collection. The Young Native Collection is set to grow over the next several months with more styles and accessories being added. Ayi Jihu is proud and happy to represent this new vibrant fashion brand and hopes that it will catch on around the world and especially in China.
Head of Shlepp Entertainment Stevie Eagle E
We are constantly on the look out for strategic business alliances for our business. We are always looking for ways to expand Ayi Jihu’s presence around the world. She is not just about singing there is much more to her than that. Young Native is a fantastic brand with great growth potential and it works perfectly with Ayi Jihu. We see nothing but good things here. Angela DeMontigny is the first of her kind really, a native designer about to breakthrough into mainstream fashion. Together they form a Dream Team with us firmly behind them, making sure that the brand and the individuals get out to the world.
Ayi Jihu continues to work hard independently with Shlepp Entertainment building her brand around the world. Despite the odds she continues to grow. Her new single and album are scheduled for release in 2013 and we shall be bringing you any news first here on Global News.
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Ayi Jihu is known for many things, however, what she has at her core is dancing. If you one goes back to her village in Leibo China and mentions her name, all will refer to the “little girl who was always dancing and singing.” In fact, she has been dancing ever since she could walk and whenever she dances people pay attention.
Ayi Jihu is about to take her dancing to another level as she collaborates with “So You Think You Can Dance?” dancer, choreographer, and director, Ryan Jenkins. In addition to all of this talent, Ryan is also a trailblazer and it was his work with the Vietnamese Musical Theatre that played an equal role, as his unquestioned dancing abilities brought these two together. After many years of searching for the right person to help her develop her dancing style further, Ayi Jihu has finally found someone who understands her, and who she feels can assist greatly in taking her performance to the next level.
Ryan’s resume is impressive, from X-Factor to Grease; working with legends like Michael Flatley and Molly Molloy, he is a man in great demand. He is also a man with his eyes firmly set to the East and the new opportunities it brings for him to expand globally.
“I love working with Asian dancers and artists,” stated Ryan. “I just love their whole approach to things and they seem to like me too. When I was approached by Ayi Jihu’s management, I did my homework and was quite impressed. In fact, I was ‘wow’d’ — this girl is something else! As hectic as my schedule is, and with all I have to do, including working with the Dream Idols who are blowing up right now, I felt I had to work with her. She inspires me. When we first met it was at a nightclub in Cambridge and I thought I would see what she was really made of, so I whisked her away onto the dance floor and put her through some moves right away. Nothing I did was a challenge to her, rather, she made it all look so easy. I knew then and there that I had met someone exceptional. The best dancers make it look simple. Of course, with someone like Ayi, there is much more going on than simply natural dancing ability. She is currently working on a diverse range of projects, all of which are destined to create an explosion. With that in mind, I will be working on her new promo videos and live shows as well as helping her with in her movie debut in ‘As Blue As the Sky.’ where she will be dancing and singing. It is all very exciting and we are equally looking forward to what we will develop together.”
Around the world, particularly in China, Ayi Jihu is famous for her style of dancing. Some call it proactive and sensual, but most just drop their jaws in disbelief. Along with the feel of her lyrics and her independent status in Asia, it has made her a controversial figure; an artist that seems to polarize opinion. “I’m like marmite,” she says. “People either love me or want to kill me, but thank God most people accept and like what I do and the manner in which I do it, even if it is not yet quite understood.”
2013 looks to be a monumental year for Ayi Jihu. She has spent most of 2012 in preparation. “My new album will be released in 2013. It will be my first album for a while and I know a lot of people are waiting to hear what is coming next. I am also blessed to be working on some film and television projects both in the West and China; nothing too grand, but significant steps for me. Yeah, it’s all about 2013 for me and I have been working like a dog to be ready for it all. I face many challenges but have confidence that I can rise to them all.”
“Finding Ryan Jenkins has been a godsend for me. I have had some great Choreographers in the past, like Taz, who helped me get to where I am now, but I wanted to develop in another way and I needed someone who understood where I was trying to go. I looked at Ryan’s work, and was impressed all around. I loved his understanding of the Asian culture and how we think, move, and express ourselves. I love the way he gets the grimmy RnB and dancehall stuff that I love so much and mix with contemporary dance. Ryan just gets me and we get on so well. Too well sometimes — we are a crazy pair when we are together. I am so happy about this. I know I have been driving my whole team crazy with finding the right person for this; I can see them all breathing a collective sigh of relief, but I knew what I wanted and it had to be the right person otherwise, what’s the point?”
Shlepp CEO, Stevie Eagle E, sees this as a significant move for Ayi. “We are very choosy at Shlepp and the process of finding the right people to develop an artist is never an easy one when you are not dazzled by either reputation or money. We are searching for integrity, character, talent, and understanding. Ryan Jenkins means we now have our core artist development team in place for 2013 which is a key year for us and for Ayi. She is moving fast; constantly wanting to try new things and push herself and she has been very selective with regard to filling this position. It is important that the artist is happy. Some would say it is key, but at Shlepp we think differently. We think it is important that the team is happy and the team is very happy with Ryan Jenkins. He brings a lot to the table and will play a significant role in the development of Ayi Jihu along with JR Skeete and the rest of the artist development team. Everyone is looking forward to what these two will come up with together as it is already apparent they have great chemistry. We have a lot happening over the next few months and I can now confidently say we are ready!”
Rising Chinese iconic star Ayi Jihu released a new video today explaining much about her growing Fear Chaser project that has caught the imagination of Millions worldwide. The Online video game of Fear Chaser starring Ayi Jihu and based on her concept was played by upwards of 25 million kids worldwide.
Ayi Clears up many misunderstandings about Fear Chaser in her video while telling us what to expect in the future as the project grows. 2012 is a big year for Fear Chaser with production breaking ground on the Short Movie, As well as her Fear Chaser Album. Also Ayi is expected to be performing Fear Chaser live in a technologically groundbreaking way; We are awaiting more details on that one.
In the video Ayi not only speaks about what Fear Chaser is but how it started and what it stands for. She explains a little about Fear Chaser being more than just a movie, but also a way of life, a movement, encouraging people all around the world to acknowledge and confront their fears.
Ayi also speaks about the ethnic and cultural influences that inspire Fear Chaser and make it slightly different from superhero figures that have gone before. ‘Anyone can be a Fear Chaser’ Ayi says. The different cultural and ethnic influences in Fear Chaser are displayed in the Re-designed Fear Chaser costume for 2012. Angela DeMontigny, native Canadian designer and stylist to Ayi Jihu is a top Fashion designer and she played a real part in helping Ayi and Co expand the Fear Chaser vibe to embrace even more cultures.
Watch the full video below:
Watch the full video below:
For more information on Ayi Jihu visit her official website: www.Ayijihu.com
For more information on Fear Chaser visit: www.fearchaser.com
For More information about Angela DeMontigny visit her website.