Coachella Valley Songstress Receives Prestigious Nomination
By Esther Sanchez
2015 CVMA winner in the category for, “Best Country Artist,” Kelly Derrickson has for the second time been recognized for her contributions to the music world with two nominations for the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards to be held Sept, 11th in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The winners are selected via online votes. Last year, Derrickson successfully rallied enough fan support to bring home an award honoring her debut album, Warriors of Love, and this year she is being recognized in the categories for, “Best New Artist” and “Best Music Video.’’
The Canadian born beauty was blessed with an impressive vocal range that basks in the embrace of a sweet, yet sultry tone. Clearly a natural, Derrickson admits she comes from a family brimming with musical talent and that talent has been fostered and perfected during the years she spent studying music performance and business at Berkeley School of Music in Boston. I must say….although her arts education is clearly impressive, it was a detail that Derrickson only briefly mentioned in passing. She did, however show me a fantastic video of her Uncle demonstrating his kick-ass banjo skills that had us both smiling from ear-to-ear.
I soon realized that whenever Kelly Derrickson spoke of her family and her people, she beamed with warm, glowing pride which was endearing. It was the same loving tone she emitted whenever she spoke of her manager and partner in life, Robert Cooper. Derrickson: “I love that man with every part of my being. I feel it is important for me to acknowledge the fact that I would not be where I am today if it was not for him.”
After spending a short time with Derrickson, the sense of warmth, pride, loyalty and honor that she emits along with her generally positive vibes and cheerful disposition becomes somewhat contagious. There is no doubt that much of it stems from her distinct family background. Derrickson grew up as the daughter of Canadian, First Nation Grand Chief Ron Derrickson. Grand Chief Derrickson is a celebrated tribal leader, author, and activist who has for decades, fought tirelessly and without hesitation for the civil rights of Aboriginal Peoples. He is also one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in Canada. Basically, he is considered a hero to Indigenous Peoples. Derrickson: “I cannot express how proud I am of my father and the tremendous changes that he helped put into motion for our people.” Derrickson giggles: “He is supposed to be retired but I don’t see much evidence to support that. There is still so much work to be done. As long as there is still work to be done and he has the ability to do it he will. That’s my father.”
Clearly, the work-ethic, spirit of activism and charity that her family holds sacred has not been lost on Kelly Derrickson. She regularly spends time feeding the homeless and does not shy away from topics regarding social injustice and activism.
Derrickson: “I come from a family of givers. We just give because that is what you are supposed to do without question. Of course we believe that people should work but generosity is not supposed to have strings attached. I was taught that there is no greater joy that you can experience than the joy that comes from being a giver.’’
On that note, although it didn’t come out of her mouth, I would venture that the charming, talented and generous, Ms. Derrickson would be thrilled to receive any and all support from her fans through votes. It just takes a few minutes to log on to IndigenousMusicAwards.com, register your email address and vote for her in the categories for Best Music Video for her song, “Idle No More” and the category for Best New Artist. Come on, my desert peeps! Let’s rally around our local girl and show some vote-love.