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For years Anishinaabe DJ and producer Les Boulanger — known by audiences as Boogey the Beat — has toiled behind the scenes, laying the sonic foundations for other musicians’ anthems. As a longtime lover of hip-hop and rap, collaboration is his comfort zone. He’s worked with the likes of The Halluci Nation (formerly a Tribe Called Red) and Snotty Nose Rez Kids, playing stages across Turtle Island.
In homage to the sounds of a sundance, Boogey builds each song around a percussive heartbeat, then adds vocals and other instruments, letting the drum lead the way. He remembers walking up to one of his first childhood pow wows and hearing the big drum, a guiding force that stays with him today.
While he hopes his music will resonate with revellers from all walks of life, he beams at the thought of Indigenous youth hearing pow wow and sundance songs for the first time at one of his shows.
“It’s important to not forget that at one time it was illegal for us to sing these songs, play these drums, and go to these ceremonies,” he says. “Now it’s a time for celebration, and for us to take over the main stage.”
Originally from Garden Hill First Nation, born blind, and growing up surrounded by music, Mattmac quickly found an effective coping mechanism in singing in his community’s gospel choir. From there, he started making beats and writing songs, teaching himself how to play piano and guitar along the way. He attributes his talent to the support of the Bling & Famous group — a USA-based collective of blind music artists who collaborate and connect with one another through the internet.
Mattmac debuted his entry to the music scene in 2016 when N’we Jinan, a traveling music studio program visited his community and invited him to collaborate on a project. Pulling inspiration from his personal story, they created a song and video titled, Help You See, which has received over 250,000 views on YouTube and Facebook.
From there, Mattmac connected with International artist, Nelly Furtado and performed alongside her at Indigenous day Live and We Day Canada Day in 2017; they continue to work together.
In 2020, his debut music project, “20/20” catapulted Mattmac’s music and story into the national limelight, landing him on CTV National News and all major media outlets. His debut single, Paradise, reached #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown and top 50 on mediabase charts.
In 2021, he won the Broadcast Dialogue Emerging Artist Radio Award and took home the Rap/Electronic Album of the Year at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards.
Mattmac hopes to continue to use his platform to inspire others to know that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
"The Kaptain" (AKA Kapanaise Thiebaut) is an Anishinabe and Inuit Two-Spirit artist and DJ.
"The Kaptain" first started work as a DJ at 16 after taking a workshop with the one and only Mama Cutsworth. From here, they started playing raves, first performing under the name, Psychedelic Fairy.
Over the course of a few short years, they learned the ins and outs of the industry, shifted away from raves, and underwent a game-changing rebrand—ultimately emerging with a more authentic moniker.
As "The Kaptain", they boast a new-found confidence, commanding the dance floor and promising smooth sailing throughout the night.
"Music has always been my go-to"—Toppleganger emerged from a darker time in life; while transitioning from playing metal to learning how to produce music, and never really sticking to one genre when it came to production. Be prepared to be taken on a wild adventure.