Joe Rainey is a man like no other. Growing up around the age-old tradition of Pow Wow music, he has now found his equal in electronic producer Andrew Border, as he told Pitchfork back in May.
Joe Rainey has become a sought after vocalist for an eclectic group of people. Starting out with the Pow Wow groups Midnite Express and Iron Boy in the Minneapolis region, Rainey soon evolved to become a confidant of headline-acts such as Justin Vernon and Aaron & Bryce Dessner. But Rainey always pushes for innovation. In 2022 he took things a step further and got together with the man known for his electronic wizardry, Andrew Broder. The result was the critically acclaimed album that holds the name Niineta (2022) and combines Broder’s abstract beats, Rainey’s incredible sample catalogue of Pow Wow vocables and Rainey’s own unique voice.
Pitchfork took a deep dive into Joe Rainey’s history and sat down with him for a conversation about growing up with Pow Wow music, his meeting with Andrew Broder and the visibility of native people in popular culture.