"Mato’s music is everything that good Indigenous art is right now. We are in a Renaissance and his music speaks directly to that movement. It’s unapologetic, it doesn’t need permission to exist and it’s made with an urgency — An urgency to move us into a new era."
Sterlin Harjo, co-creator of Reservation Dogs-
Mato Wayuhi, an Oglala Lakota rapper, producer, composer, and filmmaker from South Dakota “uses his voice for so much more than himself” (NPR). Wayuhi, who has been producing since he was sixteen, participated in the Netflix/IllumiNative 2022 Producers Program and was recently included in the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. The self-described “Indian with an education” received attention following his 2018 submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, for which his entry “Wildberry Poptart” was included in the honorable mentions. Wayuhi went on to score the award-winning television series Reservation Dogs and the feature-length film War Pony, which won the Caméra d'Or prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Wayuhi sees himself as an “agent of storytelling” for his ancestors, whose voices were silenced or ignored. His raw, multifaceted, and vulnerable sound is rooted in his native Lakota culture and the vast landscape of South Dakota while drawing inspiration from pop, soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. Now based in L.A. following studies in filmmaking at the University of Southern California, Wayuhi’s next projects include scoring for the upcoming Marvel Studios and Disney+ series Echo.
As a young changemaker, Mato has set a challenge to redefine the definition of indigenous art. His musical creativity and calls to action play homage to the culture that raised him, and his barrier-breaking sound “proves his faith in his own potential” (NPR).