TORONTO, ON – May 27, 2022 – Renowned Canadian-Indigenous artist, record producer and engineer, David Strickland, has been keeping busy. From his hustle in studios across North America, working with industry greats, to exploration in the world of NFTs, and giving back to Indigenous communities through charitable endeavours, David's first single of the year is a mirror for this drive. Today, he shares Beastmode, featuring Juno Award-winning R&B/Soul singer and theatre performer, Divine Brown, and Alberta-based Indigenous artist, model and actress, Pooky G. The three come together to create a soundtrack piece to life's A-game moments and when you need an extra boost. Listen to Beastmode here.

David says of the track"Beastmode is about unapologetically asserting your sense of self with little concern of what those around you and the society, at large, have to say about who you are, because you know yourself best. Within marginalized communities, due to colonialism, people have been encouraged to 'humble themselves' in order to serve the needs of the powers that be. Humility is one of the seven Grandfather teachings, yet sometimes, people can be too humble. Hip Hop, on the contrary, has always had a competitive ethos - on Beastmode, we merge the two to inspire others in asserting themselves, like the stance of an MC and going for it! Hip-hop is both direct and yet deeply coded in subtext,  artists are elevated and respected for their prowess with words. Having a strong sense of identity within all of our many complex identities has never been intrinsically a male nor a colonist experience, it is a human experience. Knowing who you are; being aware that you have the capacity to evolve and change; truly allows you to conduct yourself with the highest esteem while allowing others to do the same."

Rapper Pooky G classifies Beastmode as “pure therapy," noting, "It is about releasing thoughts, something for people to relate to even if they may not feel bold enough to state themselves. It represents who I am as an artist, I don’t care to fit into what society tries to mold me into. The My truth is my truth; I am an individual, this is me, a Northside Queen.”

Acclaimed singer, Divine Brown, adds: "Everyone has to get into ‘Beastmode,’ in their lives, especially if they are driven. Pooky eloquently expressed that in the song. It’s not always important that people see your worth.. As long as YOU ‘inner’ stand your worth, you are golden. To all the fearless queens out in the world doing your thing…wear your crown with pride…I do.”

Learn more about Divine Brown and Pooky G's incredible careers in their bios below. 

Last year, David and rap legend, Erick Sermon, teamed up with The NFT Agency to release an official non-fungible token (NFT) collection celebrating the hip-hop luminary’s esteemed career. On October 20, 2021 the six-piece collection featuring original artwork by Strickland — highlighting moments from Sermon’s career as a member of EPMD, the founder of Def Squad and as a solo artist— saw 291 NFTs sold within 24 hours as a curated drop at Crypto.com/NFT, the global cryptocurrency platform’s NFT marketplace. Erick and David donated $10K of the net sales to Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The collection was released in promotion of Strickland’s latest single, Messenger, a collaboration with Sermon, Toronto rap veteran, Saukrates, and Outlaw by Nature — a supergroup consisting of Treach from Naughty by Nature and the late Hussein Fatal of the Outlawz, a collective famously founded by Tupac Shakur. 
A Grammy-winning engineer who has worked on projects by artists including Sermon, EPMD, Drake, Method Man, Redman, Pete Rock and Keith Murray as well as a who’s who of both the Toronto and Indigenous hip-hop communities, Strickland is also an accomplished visual artist who connects with his Mi'kmaq ancestry — as well as his passion for music and hip-hop culture — to create works that have been displayed at major galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. In 2021, Strickland won three International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards for his acclaimed 2020 album, Spirit Of Hip Hop. The album brought together artists from various North American hip-hop communities while continuing to champion Indigenous hip-hop artists. 

Learn more about David's career below, and stay tuned for more music this summer. 

DOWNLOAD – Press Photo | DOWNLOAD – Beastmode Art

DOWNLOAD - Pooky G Press Photo

DOWNLOAD - Divine Brown Press Photo

About David Strickland
David "Gordo" Strickland is an Indigenous, Toronto born and based award-winning engineer, mixer, producer and DJ. Known for being behind the boards on iconic Hip-Hop and R&B records for over two decades, his work has graced seminal tracks by the likes of Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, EPMD, Keith Murray, Redman and Method Man, to records by ground-breaking Toronto hip-hop acts, including k-os, Ghetto Concept, Jelleestone, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Choclair and Drake.

David's album, Spirit Of Hip Hop (June 29, 2020, Entertainment One), highlights some of North America's Hip Hop progenitors and innovative Indigenous artists alike to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) arrived on November 20, 2020 as a follow-up featuring fresh takes on the album tracks by Gordo himself, and some of his esteemed colleagues. From control room to canvas, David is also a prolific visual artist that has been featured at many galleries across Canada. He continues to be a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nations Youth across North America. 

About Divine Brown
A rare gift to have, Divine Brown’s five-octave vocal range makes everybody stand up and pay attention. Her versatility as a performer both musically and vocally has found her manifesting success in the music industry. She placed three top 10 singles on CHR, AC and Hot AC radio in Canada, and her hit single, Sunglasses, reached number 14 on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart in 2010. Divine first captured the heart of the public after she earned a Certified Gold Album for her debut self-titled project in 2005 (Universal Music), a JunoAward her sophomore project, The Love Chronicles, which won R&B Album of the Year in 2009, as well as a SOCAN #1 Award for her Soul/R&B classic, Old School Love. Divine recently worked with Chicago house music producer Terry Hunter in late fall of 2021, on his first single called Angel, off his new project, Imagine No Music.

About Pooky G
POOKY G is a multitalented artist, musician, model and actress born and raised in Treaty 6 Territory Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). She spends her days working as a DJ, hosting indigenous hip hop at two radio stations, Cuzin Radio & Raven Radio, both broadcast through Windspeaker Media. Developing entertainment projects and filming is a favourite of hers, recording music is her passion, performing arts is also one of her many skills. If it’s Art?  Pooky G is no stranger. She has grown up in and around the Indigenous entertainment scene for over 30 years. You can find her album, So Far So Hood, on  many platforms. Pooky also freelances as an Aboriginal Family and Youth support worker through Indigenous organizations by facilitating empowerment workshops & performing live. Pooky recently finished filming her first lead role in the film,  Abducted. 

About MNRK Music Group
MNRK Music Group is one of the largest independent music companies in the world, with recording, music publishing and management divisions operating in every major music market around the world. MNRK is committed to discovering and guiding top music creators and artists and is home to some of the greatest music talent in the world, including The Lumineers and Ricky Martin as well as the music publishing catalog of Chuck Berry, plus premier music companies Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang. Its catalog across divisions consists of 54,000 music tracks, including multiple GRAMMY winners and platinum-selling hits. www.mnrk.com.