Native American Brother and Sister Duo Sihasin Release Sophomore Album FIGHT LIKE A WOMAN Tomorrow, 5/25
Multi-award winning musicians, Jeneda (bass) and Clayson Benally (drums) from the Dine' (Navajo) Nation in Northern Arizona create a politically-charged explosive organic sound out of just bass and drums, inspiring their listeners with a hard punk backbone, softened by folk, world and thumping by pop. As brother and sister, they grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide against their traditional way of life. As teenagers, the siblings were the backbone of the award-winning punk band Blackfire for over twenty years, who performed with legendary rockers like Joey Ramone and Maynard James Keenan. In 2012, they formed Sihasin, the Navajo word for "hope", releasing their Ed Stasium-produced debut album, "Never Surrender", in 2012 to critical acclaim and numerous awards on the American Indian Music scene, and received the honor of being called the "#1 Freedom Fighting Band to Get You Through the Trump Years" by "The Huffington Post" in Dec 2016. They also collaborated on the song "Sister Moon and Brother Sun" for the 2017 Grammy nominated album by roots children's duo The Okee Dokee Brothers. Following the inclusion of their punk rock version of the Christmas classic, "Winter Wonderland", last holiday season in an ad campaign for Hyundai's annual Holidays Sales Event, in which Jeneda said, "We are excited to further open the doors for Native American artists.", Sihasin are happy to announce the release of their self-released sophomore album, "Fight Like A Woman", tomorrow, Friday, May 25. "I hope that the vulnerability of these songs is relatable and the listener can feel empowered in knowing that 'hey, you are not alone'", she says.
The duo believes in creating positive change each and every day and "Fight Like A Woman", working again with legendary producer Ed Stasium (The Ramones, Talking Heads, Mick Jagger, Living Colour, Soul Asylum), is an incredible personal journey. Clayson says, "Out of the blue Ed called us saying 'It's time to get back into the studio'. The state of the political climate, depression of the nation, and the need to work on something from the heart was desperately needed. After hearing the tracks Ed was like 'we can't rush this album. We're going to let the songs speak to us. It deserve all the time it takes'". He continues, "We are so blessed to have Ed as part of Sihasin. A guide, and mentor Jackson Browne suggested Gavin Lurssen Mastering, which was a total dream come true, and the perfect way to finish the completion of this enriching process."
The first single from "Fight Like A Woman" is the track "Strong Together". "The song was inspired by the fact that we are a force when we find our commonality rather than our differences. With the movements and hashtag societies we are changing the isolation of injustice. This song is a call for unity to create healthy and respectful communities", Jeneda says.
The title track of the album Jeneda says, "aims to occupy every stereotype about being a woman in Western society. It's about how we are constantly being defined by what the masculine decides who we should be. This song is about finding your own power to be your own definition."
Another highlight of the new album, the opening song "Child of Fire", "pays recognition to the fact that we are biologically made of all elements. It is a remembrance that we are children of our Mother Earth. Simply, we cannot live without her so, why then do we destroy her? It is also pays homage to our first band Blackfire."
Originally from Black Mesa on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, Jeneda and Clayson were born into the heart of a political land dispute between a coal mining company and the Navajo and Hopi tribes, separating them by a fence from traditional homeland and family. They grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide, and became known for creating music that reflects hope for equality, healthy and respectful communities, and social and environmental justice. When they formed Blackfire as teens, Clayson told Laurel Morales from "NPR" in 2015, "There was a lot of anger," Clayson recalls. "Starting the band and performing was a way of channeling that anger and frustration and putting it into something positive, as well."
Sihasin is a rare band who does more than just perform. They leave their audience with an exhilarating feeling of Get Up, Stand Up, and Do! They have performed at SXSW (playing at and helping organize a Native American showcase), WorldFest, Grassroots, Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, Native American Music Awards, The Woody Guthrie Center, Globalquerque, TanzFest, among many others. They have toured in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and across the US, and the siblings are also known by their internationally acclaimed traditional Dine' (Navajo) family Dance Troupe "The Jones Benally Family". The duo also gives presentations and workshops on Native American, environmental, and social justice issues, and are dedicated to bringing that hopeful message to schools all over Indian Country, which have disproportionately low graduation rates with youth at high risk of suicide, where they teach Native American youth how to write their own songs. Jeneda says that she's helped teens in times of desperation find the right words in a song.
With driving music, transcending labels and rooted in Native, Rock, Punk and World music and vocal harmonies including Dine (Navajo) singing, Clayson says, "The meaning, energy, and intention behind each song speaks to the love, and commitment to produce music with a substance." As Jeneda told KNAU radio, "We want to make music that makes people feel good and that they can do something-that they can create positive change in their community and that's kind of the spirit behind Sihasin."