Friday, June 21, 2024

Liam McDonald Is Telling the Story Of The Indigenous People Through Music

If you are new to music, you probably know that building your career and staying motivated is very difficult. Many musicians find their motivation in pain, love, or struggle. Some of the problems are also promoting your music. When you add fighting for a cause, it makes it somewhat harder.

However, musician Liam McDonald (also known as OPLIAM) has no problems performing solo and found his motives in Indigenous people’s issues. Since he was a teenager, he has been an activist for Indigenous activism. Finding his start with Winona LaDuke, a well-known leader in both the environmentalism and Indigenous rights movements. And that was Liam’s trajectory of where his life leads.

His music career went from being an entirely solo artist to a frontman. ”I would say I’m a solo artist that often times plays with the backing band set up,” says Liam. Although he can’t define the exact origin of the word ‘Alter-Native,’ he believes it is just a play on words and rebranding alternative music to identify yourself as an Indigenous artist. When it comes to Liam’s most significant influencers in writing and creating music, he moves to the core, saying it is Jimi Hendrix and Robbie Robertson.

Over the years, Liam has been involved with different movements. Also, he did a lot of interviews with similar musicians and has worked hard to create spaces and platforms for Indigenous music. Liam has always been somehow involved in combining those two.

Inspired by Hendrix, he wants to make his path with a story that has cultural perception, which includes storytelling: ”I think people are tuning into Indigenous wisdom and gaining global consciousness because the whole planet needs it.”

Fighting through family trauma to a life worth living for

Liam doesn’t keep it secret that his family has a lot of intergenerational traumas. Having a lot of demons to deal with is almost an everyday thing. The consequences didn’t make him weak. He used it, channeled it into lyrics and melodies, and gave it a musical dimension.

Although, as an activist who goes through much marginalization daily and has family problems, Liam says this is an excellent time to be alive, watching the world progress for the better right in front of us. No matter how hard it is, it is worth living. After all, life is short, and being driven by the impact is the only thing worth living for – be it impacting your family, loved ones, close friends, or the world, says Liam.

Coping with two sides of one coin – the cause vs. the money

Liam says he is more excited to be a part of something or to create something new in this world than make a lot of money. Every new thing that comes into his life pushes Liam into new creative concepts, which he greatly enjoys. He also likes to investigate how something was designed and developed, so he can find new ideas to help him improve his motivation and skills. “I don’t ever want to make music that is imitation work,says Liam. “I want to make music that comes from the soul, and whatever that manifests, I am proud of it because that is what I feel. And at the end of the day, at least I did something different.”

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