04 May G. Precious Shares Her Story with iBuildBridges
– WRITTEN by Toni Clark, Executive Director
I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with G. Precious, a rap artist who shares her life through music. She regularly performs and speaks in the New Mexico schools. She participates in the Espanola YMCA Program, an annual event, that brings together Native Americans, Hispanics, Mexicans, Filipinos and Sikh to share food, culture, arts and dance.
I asked G. Precious to share some information about her bridge building activities in New Mexico and shortened version of our conversation follows.
You were raised on the Indian Reservation of Ohkay Owingeh, and your music reflects that heritage. What led you to reach out to the communities surrounding you in New Mexico to participate in programs that promote appreciation and tolerance for difference.
My music reflects the life I had growing up on the reservation. I knew that there are a lot of children, youth and even adults out there that may be struggling with the same issues I saw growing up – alcoholism, drugs, suicide, loss, depression, being raised by their grandparents, helping to raise their younger siblings – all while trying to get an education and do more with their life. I wanted to share my life through music to reach as many children, youth and adults as possible. To show them that no matter the type of life they live or have lived, they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
With these thoughts in mind I made connections and was able to reach diverse community groups and work towards bringing us together through similarities and differences. I have truly been blessed by being able to share my life through music and help inspire people to heal, recognize their problems and move past them.
Which of your songs do you feel most reflects your passion for reaching out and connecting with people from other cultures?
Wow, that is a tough one because each of my albums has songs that people can relate to and find a connection with me and with others. My first CD, On My Shoulders, was truly a healing process for me. I poured my heart into many of the songs on that album. Dear Lord (On My Shoulders), Family, Her Love and I’ma Get my Piece/Peace, all show my struggle. I followed that album with Walk On Water: Evolution, and pulled at people’s view of truth with the song, Rise, pushing the envelope even further in my latest CD, Eclectic, with songs like Tears of a Clown, Kho-Shee-Yo (in my native language of Tewa), Dancing in the Sky and Spread My Wings. So truly, with every album, I have continued to grow, share, and connect with others.
How have these bridge building activities impacted your life?
Being able to connect with people on a personal level while sharing my story and hearing theirs has had a major impact on my life. Knowing that I am able to make a difference in the lives of people is amazing. Seeing the reactions of my audiences– tears, sorrow, laughter, joy—and their joining me in dancing is truly a blessing. They are taking a journey of healing with me and in the end, we Rise together and spread our wings.
Is there anything else you would like to highlight?
With the current pandemic, several organizations including the Pueblo of Pojoaque Poeh Cultural Center, the Census – iCount initiative, and the Native American Music Awards have all reached out to me to do virtual concerts from home to help lift the spirits of people. Through this initiative, I have chosen songs that will bring comfort during this time of uncertainty. We are all one people.
G Precious was born Brenda M. Atencio, and raised on the Indian Reservation of Ohkay Owingeh – Village of the Strong (formerly San Juan Pueblo) in New Mexico, by her grandmother. She is a multiple New Mexico Music Award Winner in Hip Hop and Native American Artist categories. She is also a Native American Music Award (NAMA) Nominee for Hip Hop/Rap.
For more information about G. Precious:
Her music can be found on all music sites: iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Rhapsody, cdBaby, YouTube, Reverbnation and now on TikTok.