Tribal Member breaking into Hip Hop on his terms

by Mar 22, 2010A&E, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments



EBCI tribal member Matt Bryant, who records under the name Uno, poses by his RV which bears the graphics seen on his latest album with partner SC entitled "A Strange Revolt." (Photo by Scott McKie B.P./One Feather)

If you drive around Cherokee, you’ve probably seen a brightly decorated van touting a new album by Uno and his partner SC entitled “A Strange Revolt.”  Uno (real name Matt Bryant), is an EBCI tribal member who is determined to make it in the hip hop world on his terms. 

Working on his music for ten years, self-taught Uno is highly motivated and can feel himself getting better every day.  “It takes thousands of hours to learn your skill,” he said relating that he feels musicians are 90 percent skill and 10 percent natural talent.  

Uno is currently in a cross-promotional deal with McFarlane Toys with Todd McFarlane, the creator of the Spawn character and comic.  Uno plans to promote his album and music at various car shows and events this year and hopes to start live shows this upcoming winter. 

Right now, he’s searching for an established live band to perform with at the shows.  “Anybody can have a beat going on in the background and rap to it.  When I wrote this album, I wrote it to perform.” 

Uno definitely is taking his time and is looking for a band with an edge to them.  “I definitely want to do it right.” 

The beats on his new album have an emotional, atmospheric and orchestral feel in parts.  “The beat, the emotions, that’s the thing that drives me.” 

He said recording and performing is always a journey and a learning process.  “I honestly feel that every time I do my tracks, they’re getting better.  Even though I’ve been at this for 10 years, I’m still learning.”  He said he hopes to be able to work with various producers in the future that can challenge him and help him continue to improve. 

Having grown up in the Louisville, KY area, Uno is happy to be back in Cherokee country and said living on the reservation has given him an opportunity to hone his skills.  Not your average American Indian artist, Uno’s music is about his life and experiences and he delves into various subjects – not simply all things Native. 

He said it’s important for Indian artists to go out of their comfort zone and branch out beyond the typical “native music”.  “If Native Americans want to compete, that’s what they have to do.  You can still keep your character and your traditions and make your own music.” 

He does have a goal of winning a Native American Music Award.  “That’s what I want to win.  I just need support.”  He’s hoping that his new album will garner a nomination and a win at next year’s NAMMYs. 

For right now, he’s promoting the album and making live appearances such as his next one in Morristown, Tenn. at  the Lay’d Out At the Park Car Show on April 9-11. 

You can purchase UNO’s album locally at Rez Recordz, Tribal Grounds Coffee, and Talking Leaves Native American Bookstore.