Music has the profound ability to transform how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. In todays world, I believe it has never been more important for artists to tap into the BEST vibrations we can imagine, and to channel the much needed feelings of hope, compassion, and love into the words and music we create.
Whether you are a music listener or a music maker, it helps to surround ourselves with songs that remind us of who we are when we are at are best, not our worst. I've compiled the following list of artists that I believe are making true medicine for our hearts as we navigate and grow through the challenges we now face.
I hope you find at least one artist in this list that you resonate with. They have all been real gifts in my life.
Pro tip - Make a playlist of the songs that inspire the best in you. Then use it!
*Note - I'm not ranking artists in any particular order. They are all awesome.
Derek Demuth - Virtuoso w/ a Heart of Gold
Though you may not know his name, you can't deny his flame. Derek and I met under a breathwork tent at Arise festival, and little did we know we'd become dear friends (and room mates for a few months when I moved to Colorado). There were a few sweet months in the beginning of the pandemic when we were cooped up in a tiny apartment in Boulder together, listening to him writing guitar music every night while falling asleep.
Derek is a percussive finger-style guitarist, which means he drums on his guitar while playing it at the same time. When I say he has a heart of gold, I mean PURE GOLD. Derek is fully committed to reducing suffering and inspiring love and magick in the world. His music carries a message of unconditional love that could transform the world if everyone could experience just a taste of it.
A real life angel that can play 2 guitars at the same time y'all. Check him out!
Tubby Love - The King of Conscious Pop
In 2020 I had the pleasure of attending a Roots Recording Retreat hosted by Tubby Love and Amber Lilly. There's nothing else to say other than that Tubby, aka Andrew, is the REAL DEAL. Not only does he have a huge heart and a desire to embody love, but he is a true master of conscious songwriting and catchy hooks.
After attending the workshop I literally spent an entire year listening almost exclusively to his music. As the covid pandemic set in and things got crazy, this guys high vibes kept me both anchored and inspired. I learned to play my favorite of his songs "More than Enough" and I played that song every day before getting started with work.
Andrew blends reggae, pop, folk and conscious lyrics in a fresh provocative way. Check him out y'all!
Yaima - Modern Prayers for Spiritual Seekers
Yaima has been blowing up on the world stage, and for good reason. Their music feels like an out of body experience facilitated by moving drums, pristine guitar, soulful synthesizers, and undeniably powerful lyrics and vocals that always point us back to the our true north.
Whether you want to think of them of prayers, mantras, or simply cool lyrics, these songs are beautiful reminders that are relatable across many walks of life. Where else do you get to learn about the inner workings of body/mind/spirit in a song?
I can't recommend Yaima enough! Check 'em out yall.
Max Ribner - Trumpet of the Gods
Max Ribner is a true bridge builder using music to create connection and inspire change. In 2021 I had the privilege of joining Max in a music workshop and it was SO MUCH FUN! A trumpet player and composer by training, Max has already accomplished a lot by touring and recording with Nahko and Medicine for the People before branching off into his solo career with his debut album 1st Language.
Perfect for jazz and funk enthusiasts, Max has a clear cut and poignant way of delivering truthful heartfelt lyrics supported by flawless instrumentation. I get the sense that Max will be sharing countless more songs (gifts) with us as his career continues to blossom.
Amber Lilly - Earth Mother, Magick Soul
Amber Lilly literally changed everything about how I view songwriting and music for healing. In 2019 I was listening to her play in a writers round at Arise festival when she said something about the power of words in our songs to heal or to harm. Something deep inside me in that moment shifted, and after 20 years of songwriting, I would never again approach songwriting from the same vantage.
Despite performing on the world stage Amber is incredibly down to earth, kind, and compassionate, and it all comes through in her music. She's carries her own special medicine with grace and humility, and shares her voice with a felt sense of responsibility.